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Calculus book advice

  1. Jul 15, 2014 #1
    Hello PF community, I have an important question(to me.. and hopefully other users aswell) about two particular books I have ordered. I have ordered Calculus by Michael Spivak as well as A First Course In Calculus by Serge Lang and I am very curious to know if those two books will give me a complete and thorough understanding of calculus 1, 2 and 3 , Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2014 #2
    Just look at what a student is supposed to learn in Calc1, 2 & 3 and see the table of contents of each book you purchased.
  4. Jul 15, 2014 #3
    As far as I know, Spivak's book has got a lot of hard exercices to see if you really have a deep understanding of the material. I think you should also try Apostol's books on Calculus, which are great books (I have them).
  5. Jul 15, 2014 #4
    I also have Stewarts calculus 3rd edition and I've taught myself up to applications of integration in 1 week but that just emphasizes the fact that Stewart is just maybe a bit too easy for me.. but the book has basically all of calculus based on what people say, so why do so much people hate Stewart's calculus ?
  6. Jul 15, 2014 #5
    Sorry, I forgot to quote you in my previous reply( I'm new here)
  7. Jul 15, 2014 #6
    Since everything in it is really standardized to fit some testing model.
  8. Jul 15, 2014 #7
    Is that it? so do you mean that it is aimed towards all of the students that are not interested in becoming mathematicians?
  9. Jul 15, 2014 #8
    That's not what I meant.
  10. Jul 15, 2014 #9
    How can one go so far in a book in one week? Have you done the exercises? Because, it seems quite unusual. It must be some kind of introductory book then, isn't it ?
  11. Jul 15, 2014 #10
    Well I have to admit I have not done every problem because there is about 100 problems for every section but I do understand the concepts very well, that is all
  12. Jul 15, 2014 #11
    And maybe.. I mean it certainly is no Spivak based on what I've heard
  13. Jul 15, 2014 #12
    So, do you feel at ease with most of the subjects you have covered in this book ? Are you able to do 85% of the exercices and get the right answer ? I mean, even if you don't do it, when you see the exercice, can you think about how you're gonna do it ?
    If the answers are no, then you should consider re-reading it, or trying a new book I guess. You should start with Lang's introduction to calculus, and then move on to Apostol's or Spivak's Calculus book. Maybe, if you'd rather attend lectures on the subject, you should try this : http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/18-01sc-single-variable-calculus-fall-2010/ and then move on to the Multivariable one.

    By the way, that post belongs to Academic Guidance, not Calculus.
  14. Jul 15, 2014 #13
    Thanks Nathan, and yes I can come up with the answer about 60% of the time so I will try rereading all of it and do the exercises
  15. Jul 15, 2014 #14
    You're welcome. By the way, if you don't feel comfortable with this book, try another one. As I said, Lang's First course in Calculus is quite good. Try Apostol's or Spivak's book when you feel you've got a good grasp of the subject.
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