Apostol's vol 1 calculus not as good as Stewart's calculus?

  • Calculus
  • Thread starter rxh140630
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Hello, all around the web and even on this website, I've been told countless times that Apostol/Spivak's calculus books are superior to Stewarts. Having personally read about a forth of Apostol's book, and having read half or more of Stewarts, I notice Stewart has better explanations, and better problems to test your knowledge of the concepts. Stewarts book seems more rigorous. How can people say Apostol's book is better?
 
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  • #2
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Spivak is much more advanced and covers many topics absent from Stewarts.
 
  • #3
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To me, there are a couple things at work here:
(1) different texts speak to different people. It may be that you and Stewart think alike and isn’t it great to find a text like that?
(2) Stewart tends to be a great text for people who intend to use calculus as a tool. Engineers, economists, physicists, etc. While Spivak is often appreciated by those who are more inclined towards the way math is taught to people taking math degrees.

Also, I appreciated Spivak much more as a second text.
 
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  • #4
George Jones
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Folks keep mentioning Spivak. Is everyone referring to the same caculus book? Spivak has written (at least) two, "Calculus" and "Calculus on Manifolds".
 
  • #5
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Folks keep mentioning Spivak. Is everyone referring to the same caculus book? Spivak has written (at least) two, "Calculus" and "Calculus on Manifolds".
Yep I was referring to the first one, Calculus, 1967
 
  • #6
What people don't tell you . . It really matters where you want to end up:
  1. Engineer lite / non-STEM
  2. Abstract mathematics
  3. Heavy-duty STEM
    • Want the option of a solid graduate program, for example.
And how you want to get there for 2/3. Pain now, easier later? Easier now, cliff later? Or possibly better: multi-book now = less pain more work now, and easier later.

If you already worked pretty easily a quarter through Apostol, just finish it. Do some fun problems on the side.
 
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  • #7
mathwonk
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As others have said, and as Robin Williams' character in Goodwill Hunting told Will, roughly: " no book is perfect, what matters is if it is perfect for you". Obviously Stewart is better for you than Apostol, so you should go with Stewart. The struggle for most of us is to find any book at all that speaks to us. You have found one, congratulations! I would not worry at all that some others prefer a different book. There is also a wide variety of versions just of Stewart, my favorite being maybe the 9th edition? I also like Spivak and Apostol, but for different reasons. Stewart I found conversational and easy to learn from, especially for computational skills, whereas I thought the other two more helpful for theory, Spivak being more fun, and Apostol more "scholarly" perhaps, but in a dry way not appealing to everyone. If you want to get a PhD in pure mathematics, it will likely help to try to master Spivak or Apostol, but I am guessing that is not your goal. Enjoy!
 
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