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Book Recommendation: Introduction to Multivariable

  1. May 8, 2008 #1
    Hey guys here, I am going to university soon.

    Introduction to Multivariable is one of the courses. Before going to university, I hope to do some self-study as I am relatively weak in math. Hope that with an extra prepared Math module I can cope well during my university's life.

    May you guys here suggest a good textbook for Introduction to Multivariable?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2008 #2
    Depends what you want. I was introduced to multi variable (I assume calculus) by Calculus volume II by Tom Apostol. Generally not recommended for people without a good math background though.

    You can try Larson ed 8. I suggest this book simply because it gives you a decent computational approach to the mathematics, but at the same time if you get stuck on homework, you can go to their website and look at a worked out problem. It's fairly decent for self-studying.
  4. May 8, 2008 #3


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    It depends on what's your major. Are you majoring in maths, physics, engineering or something else?
  5. May 8, 2008 #4
    I major in engineering.

    Hope you guys will recommend a good book for me. Preferably a free ebook which can be downloaded.

    Thanks for the head-ups.
  6. May 8, 2008 #5


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    I would recommend that you find out what textbook will be used for the course and go ahead and get that book.
  7. May 8, 2008 #6
    If I were you, I would do some investegating and try and figure out what book you actually will be using in your course. Perhaps you know who your professor will be and can ask him, or perhaps they have past courses posted on their website.

    This way you can have a head start on the material that will be covered in your class.
  8. May 24, 2008 #7


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    why is a person who is "relatively weak" in math starting uni with several variable calc?

    people of that description taking multi vbl freshman year often wind up with a D.

    I recommend starting off with single variable university calc, maybe the honors version if you have already studied calc and learned some of it.
    Last edited: May 24, 2008
  9. May 27, 2008 #8
    I am hoping you know integration and single variable calculus. This is engineering, so you need an intuitive approach. Get Stewart's Multivariable Calculus, via: https://www.amazon.com/Multivariable-Calculus-Stewarts-James-Stewart/dp/0495011630

    Now the reviews aren't looking that great. This is because of a) mathematically challenged people that can't get the grade by cramming and b) mathameticians complain about stewart going too easy on the students and not giving enough proofs (rightfully so!). I will tell you it is the easiest book on the subject, and you can easily learn the multivariable stuff during the summer. It will all be review once you start your course, which would hopefully go in more depth. I'd also suggest you get Stewart's single variable calculus, or even his Calculus (which is single + multi). They are not free but that doesn't mean they can't be downloaded.

    Most people here are suggesting hardcore books for a mathametician or physicist. While you are certainly encouraged to look these up in your life, and engineer will not have use for them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  10. May 28, 2008 #9


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    take my advice. in the previous spring course in multi vbl, over 50% of the test scores were D's and F's, from people with backgrounds like yours or better. learn the fundamentals first, then progress upwards.

    if you want good books on svl vbls, there are lots: wendell fleming, williamson crowell and trotter, courant, lang, ch edwards, salas and hille, casper goffman, buck, allendoerfer.

    but if you are weak in math and begining college in sevl vbls calc, read my lips: YOU ARE OVER YOUR HEAD.
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