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Calculus books, intuitive but rigorous?

  1. Aug 11, 2014 #1
    I've tried to learn calculus many times from many books,I've come to the conclusion that there is no ideal book on this subject.

    I've read Spivak's book,and greatly enjoyed its problems but I felt unstatisfied by the explanations and the illustration were very poor ,and the only chapter on application is the one on planetry motion(which is beautiful).

    As for Apostol's book ,I've read only a few chapters of it,and the only thing I can say is that it is indeed very dry.

    I've also read some portions of MIT's free calculus book by Strang and it's really great ,but it doesn't preapares you for more mathematical treatments of analysis (there's no discussion of least upper bounds and other things).

    Can anyone comment on these books ,especially the last two which I haven't read too much of, I would like to know if there is any calculus (or anything else) book that fits the following criteria:

    -riogorous but intuitive treatment with a geometric flavor(non-axiomatic approach if possible).


    -contains the most relevant applications and makes use of them.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2014 #2


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  4. Aug 11, 2014 #3
    I'm not sure what to suggest. When I saw the title I was going to recommend Apostol, but you found that to be too boring. I had an incredibly lively and wonderful professor for an honors calc 1+2 class that used that book, so it's possible that it was the addition of the amazing professor that made things seem so lively. That said, I do recall liking the book quite a lot too and being a bit disappointed when we switched to another offer for honors calc 3 in the spring (although it was still a great course). However, once again, it's entirely possible that had I not had that professor I would have been less excited by Apostol. That was one of the greatest course sequences I've ever taken. Perhaps you should give Apostol another chance?
  5. Aug 11, 2014 #4
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  6. Aug 11, 2014 #5
    I'll try to read more of Apostol's book,but what do you like about expilicitly?
  7. Aug 11, 2014 #6
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  8. Aug 11, 2014 #7
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  9. Aug 12, 2014 #8


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    The only book I know of that is like this is Calculus Unlimited, you can find an online copy on the author's website. That said, I don't think it is a good idea to avoid the usual limit definitions. So I don't actually recommend this book.
  10. Aug 12, 2014 #9


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    Your intuition is different from my intuition.

    (IOW: what works for others, doesn't have to work for you, so there is no guarantee advice given will work).
  11. Aug 12, 2014 #10
    Then,the opposite of formal presentation,with abstraction kept at a minimum.
  12. Aug 12, 2014 #11

    Well, you can't go wrong with any book written by Peter Lax. And why is it so important to find reviews by professionals? If you like it, that should be enough, right?
  13. Aug 15, 2014 #12
    I look into it on amazon and there's nothing on implicit differentiation,is that right?
  14. Aug 15, 2014 #13
    I'm not really sure, but if I remember correctly the book has nothing on implicit derivatives.
  15. Aug 16, 2014 #14
    but aren't the problems too easy?
  16. Aug 18, 2014 #15
    If Spivak's book had half the application in Lax's book ,it would be the perfect calculus book,I have the third edition ,does the fourth have more applications?
  17. Aug 20, 2014 #16
    For multivariable calculus,I found
    Advanced Calculus: A Differential Forms Approach
    Harold M. Edward
    I would like to know if anyone know anything about it, what's its level?What does it require? Anything?
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