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Calculus and Pizza

  1. Oct 24, 2004 #1
    I am currently reading Clifford Pickover's book Calculus and Pizza. I'm taking analysis right now, but I just want to get a head start on calculus. Does anyone know how much of a standard calculus course this book covers? And what other good, easy-to-read calculus books are there?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2004 #2
    Any good, easy-to-read Calculus books you say? Well, there is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Calculus by Michael Kelly. It's a very useful book for AP calculus courses as well as some college level calc. Plus, Kelly's witty and sometimes humorous explanations of concepts will help you to remember them better, as well as give you a little relief from the sometimes monotonous process of getting through formula memorizations and other technicalities. Read this book and you'll laugh, you'll cry (well, maybe not cry), and most importantly of all, you will pass your calculus course. Just remember to use it with your textbook and not separately, since his explanations can be different sometimes. Plus, and this pretty much goes without saying, get some extra practice in with the problems given throughout the "Idiots Guide". They'll help.
  4. Nov 10, 2004 #3
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  5. Nov 18, 2004 #4
    i think calculus and analytic geometry by thomas/finny would help you as you can find calculus and analytical geometry are intertwined.
    Hope this helps

  6. Nov 18, 2004 #5
    Thank you all for the replies and suggestions. I have almost finished Calculus and Pizza, and I must say that it is an awesome book. I have no idea how good it is compared to any other calculus texts, but I highly recommend it. One caveat, though: do not buy this book if you want nothing but calculus. Mr. Pickover often goes on tangents completely unrelated to math and mixes a little bit of calculus with a whole lot of dialogue between characters (yes, this book actually has a plot). Still, if that style appeals to you, check this book out.
  7. Nov 19, 2004 #6

    Tom Mattson

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    I don't know the book Calculus and Pizza, but I will highly recommend Calculus by Larson, Hostetler and Edwards. It presents the theorems with proofs, lots of examples, varied problems, and a special "Problem Solving" sections at the end of each chapter that include problems that are more involved than a typical homework set.

    Are you sure you don't mean "Analytic Geometry"? Analysis (almost ?) universally comes after calculus. Indeed, analysis is what gives calculus its rigorous foundation. So if you really are taking analysis, then you have already got a head start on calculus!
  8. Nov 19, 2004 #7
    Maybe some types of analysis come later; but functional analysis, which I am taking, seems to perfectly fit between Algebra II and Calculus. So far it's just been crudely drawing functions with their asymptotes, graphing logarithms and exponents, and trigonometry. Nothing too fancy, and certainly nothing that you need calculus to comprehend. I've never heard it called "Analytic Geometry."
  9. Nov 20, 2004 #8
    http://www.math.niu.edu/~rusin/known-math/index/46-XX.html [Broken]. I don't really think that falls between Algebra 2 and Calculus...
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  10. Nov 20, 2004 #9


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    I'll bet he means an introductory course in functions, linear versus nonlinera, domains and ranges, and and figuring out asymptotes. You could work that kind of thing into a semester course and it would be a good prep for calculus and maybe for an algebraic version of physics.

    Personally I think that advanced trig and a rigorous course in analytic geometry would do the trick even better.
  11. Nov 23, 2004 #10
    Sometimes I wonder how they name certain courses the way they do. I got my engineering degree from the New Mexico Inst. of Mining & Technology. One of the required math courses was called "Introductory Analysis." In reality, it was simply the usual class in ordinary differential equations. I also took a chemistry class called "Quantitative Analysis." Everywhere else, it's called "Analytical Chemistry," while "Quantitative Analysis" is often a math course.
  12. Jul 14, 2005 #11
    yeah, some schools have some wacky course names. I am happy my university is very conventional with their naming system. :)
  13. Jul 14, 2005 #12


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    When I was an undergraduate, the analytical chemistry courses were called "qual" and "quant"; qualitative and quantitative analysis. Lots of my pals took them; the college I went to, Butler, had a thing for turning out pharmacists and supplied degreed technicians to the local pharm giant, Eli Lilly. Both qual and quant were semester courses. Dare I conclude they have been combined into a single year course called analytical chemistry? And the the anomalous "Quant" course would be a surviver of past modes of teaching.
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