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What books do you recommend for learning calculus on your own?

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- Thread starter Bassir
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- #1

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What books do you recommend for learning calculus on your own?

- #2

stewartcs

Science Advisor

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What books do you recommend for learning calculus on your own?

I would recommend studying Precalculus/Trigonometry before attempting Calculus.

However, I am a fan of James Stewart's Calculus books.

CS

- #3

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I would recommend studying Precalculus/Trigonometry before attempting Calculus.

However, I am a fan of James Stewart's Calculus books.

CS

I'm currently taking trigonometry.

Do you have any books you can recommend for learning precalculus all the way up to calculus?

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Analytic geometry, the function concept, polynomials, exponential, logarithms, trigonometric functions, mathematical induction, the theory of equations.

They use

- #5

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TrigonometryisPrecalculus; or rather, it's part of it. Precalculus is part algebra and part trigonometry. For example, Georgia Tech's Precalculus course description says:

They usePrecalculus,7th edition by Larson, Hostetler, Houghton-Mifflin. I can't speak to that, as I'm not familiar with the book. I used Stewart'sPrecalculus: Mathematics for Calculus, 5th edition, and I liked it quite a bit. I should point out that this is the same Stewart mentioned by stewartcs.

Would 4th edition be adequate?

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- #7

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Something not too advanced, just high school AP physics/college freshman physics.

- #8

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Halliday and Resnick fundamentals of physics.

- #9

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Calculus by James Stewert?

- #10

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Stewart's Calculus is ok - the 5th edition can be found for very cheap. However, there are other books that may be a little better.

I like Swokowski for a good general book but I hear that Kline's book and Gootman's book are also popular for people new to the subject.

Once you have the basics, look for Spivak.

I like Swokowski for a good general book but I hear that Kline's book and Gootman's book are also popular for people new to the subject.

Once you have the basics, look for Spivak.

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I have heard, but not seen for myself, that Spivak's book is very good. I haven't been able to find even an old edition that wasn't still a bit pricey.

- #12

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From the series "Dover books on mathematics"

"Essential Calculus with applications" , Silverman

"Advanced calculus", Widder

Cant go wrong with them , even if you may have to look to a video lecture or two for some issues and explanations. (For example the analysis of trig functions is omitted )The price is excellent, ~25 USD for both, compare this with the price of today popular textbooks.

"Essential Calculus with applications" , Silverman

"Advanced calculus", Widder

Cant go wrong with them , even if you may have to look to a video lecture or two for some issues and explanations. (For example the analysis of trig functions is omitted )The price is excellent, ~25 USD for both, compare this with the price of today popular textbooks.

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- #13

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I could write an essay on why I think Stewart and many other calc books are not worth your time or money. But I won't bore you. Let me instead present a list of books I think

http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/resources/Strang/strangtext.htm

I haven't myself read this book but:

1) It's written by Strang, so it's probably good (it has good reviews on amazon.com).

2) It covers both single- and multi- variable calculus, but it's not too long (Stewart is over 1100 pages!).

3) It's free!

**********************************

In short, I recommend:

Thompson, Schey, Strang.

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- #15

jgens

Gold Member

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Does that mean Precalclus by Stewert is unnecessary if I decide to go with Spitvak?

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Wait, Spitvak's Calculus has precalclus in it?

Not in the way that you think. Spivak builds your understanding of Calculus from the ground up, but you still need a very good grasp of precalculus topics to have any chance of understanding Spivak.

It is a great book, but everyone here recommending it probably learned basic calc from a different book and then found Spivak (just a guess!). It is super for deeper understanding, but I stand by my suggestion that it probably isn't the text for a first time calc student unless you are very strong at grasping new math topics.

Buy a copy of the 3rd edition (cheaper) and see for yourself. It is worth owning anyway...

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Does that mean Precalclus by Stewert is unnecessary if I decide to go with Spitvak?

I should clarify. I didn't mean that it would be enough to completely teach you precalculus. I meant that if you are at a level at which you can understand or get through the first 70 pages, then there isn't much reason to go and find another precalculus book, especially since you've had trigonometry. But if you find yourself hesitant or not comfortable with the material in that section of Spivak, then go find a precalculus book at your local library. I don't know of any precalculus books that stand out, but others might. In my opinion, a precalculus book won't be an investment. You'll learn it and never look back, but your calculus text will always be a great reference. You can use any library's interlibrary loan to basically get any book you want that your library doesn't, so get Spivak and find a precalculus book, and then you could make a better judgement where you should start.

There isn't any reason someone can't learn calculus for the first time with Spivak. That's why it's there and such a good book. Stewart and the like (i.e. any book that makes endless editions, multiple types of editions, interactive CDs, etc. just to make publishers and the authors money) teach computational and boring calculus. Don't shy away from learning calculus the right way. Learn precalculus by any method you choose and then go for it. You could just go for Spivak and find that it really didn't matter that you haven't a formal precalculus class, or you could find that you need to step back and learn it. You don't lose either way.

Final thought, I wish I had learned calculus first from Spivak and not Stewart.

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- #20

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If the Barrons EZ series is not working for you, you can always give Calculus for Dummies a try. I'm currently in the eighth grade and I am learning calculus very easily with the Barrons EZ series.

Good luck with learning calculus! I admire your motivation to learn calculus at this age.

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I am going to cast my vote with Spivak. I am also definately going to second reading a book on proofing and logic first, though.

Spivak was my first experience to proofing, and the first quarter of the book made me want to throw the book across the room, until i got the hang of having to prove things (especially things that seem like they're just obvious). It turned out all right in the end: it's doable, just not recommended. I imagine it would be a lot easier to first learn to proof, then learn calculus, instead of learning both at the same time.

If you have had trig and algebra, you are capable of doing Spivak. He really does go from the ground up.

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Edit: This thread is over a year old?

Spivak was my first experience to proofing, and the first quarter of the book made me want to throw the book across the room, until i got the hang of having to prove things (especially things that seem like they're just obvious). It turned out all right in the end: it's doable, just not recommended. I imagine it would be a lot easier to first learn to proof, then learn calculus, instead of learning both at the same time.

If you have had trig and algebra, you are capable of doing Spivak. He really does go from the ground up.

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Edit: This thread is over a year old?

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- #22

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He build the knowledge from the foundation..

Some of the elementary analysis textbooks also good for learning logic and proof..

Books like Analysis from Steven R. Lay or Elementary Analysis by Kenneth A. Ross are really accessible..

- #23

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"Calculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebraic" Published by Pearson Education in 2003. The authors are Ross L. Finney, Franklin D. Demana, Bert K. Waits, and Daniel Kennedy. It is a revision of the Finney Thomas Demana Waits, "Calculus", published by Addison Wesley.

- #24

eumyang

Homework Helper

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"Calculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebraic" Published by Pearson Education in 2003. The authors are Ross L. Finney, Franklin D. Demana, Bert K. Waits, and Daniel Kennedy. It is a revision of the Finney Thomas Demana Waits, "Calculus", published by Addison Wesley.

"Hands down"? Are you kidding!?!? Sorry, I'm going to have to disagree here. This book is VERY poor in my opinion. It is rather lacking in explanations. The material presented is low-level, avoiding even remotely complicated reasoning. A colleague of mine currently teaches the 3rd edition (2007) and she does not like it.

(There is also a Precalculus book by 3 of the same authors, of which I am currently using in my Precalculus class. It's also quite lacking, topics are often presented out of order, and the examples are either too hard or too easy.)

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