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Best Introduction to Calculus Book

  1. May 28, 2004 #1
    Hey, I know this is not on the level of the regular posts here, but I just want your opinions, on a good book to be introduced to calculus

    In my science classes I have been continually been intrigued by many things (one of which, Maxwell's 4 equations). I ask questions, which results in..."this answer involves calculus"...And i am sick and tired of it. I am fairly good at math, but I have no idea where to start in this subject.

    Can anyone recomend an introductory book for a grade 11 student who wants to start this..?
    Last edited: May 28, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2004 #2
    A good introduction is "Calculus made easy" by Silvanus P. Thomas and Martin Gardner St. Martin's Press, it's been around a long time and makes it fun to learn in my opinion.
  4. May 28, 2004 #3
    Calculus: A Physical & Intuitive Approach - Morris Kline
  5. May 29, 2004 #4
    DIv grad curl and all that.
  6. May 29, 2004 #5

    for grade 11? that book is good but not for someone who hasn't seen any calculus before.
  7. May 29, 2004 #6
    what ever you do.. DO NOT get this book... it did not explain things well AT ALL. this was a college book, but yeah.. still not recommending it. it did not explain things well.. i was very dissappointed.. i wanted to keep a calculus book... the thing was 100 bucks.. but i decided to sell it back at the end of the term b/c i mostly learned from going in to talk to the professor then that book. evil evil book
    Calculus, Single Variable
    By Deborah Hughes-Hallett, Andrew M. Gleason, Daniel E. Flath, Patti Frazer Lock, Sheldon P. Gordon, David O. Lomen, David Lovelock, Brad G. Osgood, William G. McCallum, Andrew Pasquale
    Release Date: 06 July, 2001
  8. May 29, 2004 #7
    Alright, my library has...
    • Calculus Made Easy
    • Div grad curl and all that

    I also have yet to take a senior algebra course (3d vectors, matrix, proofs, etc.) how complicated is div grad curl and all that stuff?

    How long do you think a book has to be, to give a decent explanation of calculus, Calculus:Intuitive and physical approach is over 900 pages...
    In the other post the people are talking about Calc I, and Calc II, etc. to these books all only cover Calc I? or more..?

    Thankyou so much for your suggestions so far, any other books?
    Last edited: May 29, 2004
  9. May 29, 2004 #8
    Don't bother with Div Grad Curl & All That, it's for people who are in their 3rd calculus course. I like the one by Morris Kline.
  10. May 29, 2004 #9

    Math Is Hard

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    Course companion book

    Hi Mark,
    My favorite "companion" book for a first calculus course is "How to Ace Calculus" (Streetwise Guide). It's fun to read and does a great job explaining concepts at an overview level - sometimes the textbooks are so detailed that you can lose sight of what you're trying to solve.
    Anyhoo, you might want to check it out when start your calc studies.
    p.s. I actually did "Ace" Calculus :smile:
  11. May 29, 2004 #10
    Teeehehhehe I was kidding about Div Grad Curl and all that--- I am taking vector calc and I have trouble with that book.
  12. May 29, 2004 #11
    I always thought that An Idiots Guide to Calculus was good.
  13. May 29, 2004 #12

    Math Is Hard

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    Don't forget Calculus For Blondes :rofl:
  14. May 29, 2004 #13
    It was written by a physicist so maybe it would be better for a physics or engineering student? I thought it was good because I do better with intuitive explanations. Not everybody does though.

    I just have a thing for big huge math books I guess. Either big huge ones or tiny little ones. Example: my favourite math history book is also by Kline; it's 1300 pages. His calculus book covers single- and multivariable calculus, infinite series, polar coordinates, etc so I guess that would be all of calc I & calc II. He's also got a 1-chapter intro to differential equations at the end. It's so long because he's got so much explanation and discussion.
    Last edited: May 29, 2004
  15. May 30, 2004 #14
    But seriously--- I thought that James Stewart Calculus Early Transcendentals was an excellent text book.... 4th or 5th edition it doesnt matter!!! CHeck it out if you can!
  16. May 30, 2004 #15
    Calculus of a SIngle Variable
    Larson, Hostetler, Edwards

    Its the one i first learned from freshamn year, very good. It has a nice format to it makes it easy to follow.
  17. Jun 1, 2004 #16

    Ahh the book i used in high school! Excellent indeed, although I personally thought that going into series calculus (ch8) immediately after integration (ch7) was a bit of a jump, but other than that it was excellent.
  18. Jun 1, 2004 #17
    Hi Mark,

    I'm glad you posted this, I'm also in the 11th grade (just finished pre calc) and I was going to ask the same question. Thanks everyone for all the suggestions :smile:
  19. Jun 2, 2004 #18


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    Okay, I know all the hardcore math heads would tend to disagree with me on this, but I would say that stewarts calculus concepts and contexts book is excellent. There aren't a lot of proofs, but the book really helps a beginner start using calculus, and understanding it before getting to the nitty gritty. A few people I know have trudged all the way through Apostle's tome, and found they had to skip over entire sections reverting to stewarts book to tell them what the hell is going on intuitively. Plus another thing I like about stewarts is that if you're a nerd like me, not having the proofs allows you to derive them yourself, and then check either at the back of the book or another reference to verify your result. This has gone a long way in deepening my understanding of calculus. Hope that helps! :smile:
  20. Jun 2, 2004 #19
    The book I used for Calculus I and II in college was Single and Multivariable Calculus by Hughes-Hallet et. al. Although I wouldn't say it's the best book, it did gave me enough knowledge to go on to Calculus III. The one thing I don't like about it is that it omits proofs (like why Taylor series work, etc.), but I don't blame it since some things can't be proved of the bat at that level. The book I used for Calculus III was a very nice, very cheap book published by Springer called Vector Calculus.

    While I'm on the subject, I don't know why books have to include so many unecessary pictures, colors, examples, etc. All books ought to be like Springer books: small and cheap. If I was an author though, I would want my book to be as reasonably expensive as possible (so I could get huge returns).

  21. Jun 3, 2004 #20
    Gza right on!!!

    I am still using Stewart for my multivariable calc course and its great!
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