1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Calculus Calculus by Varberg, Purcell, Rigdon

  1. Strongly Recommend

    0 vote(s)
  2. Lightly Recommend

  3. Lightly don't Recommend

  4. Strongly don't Recommend

    0 vote(s)
  1. Aug 9, 2013 #1
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I am not familiar with this book. Too bad it is by Edwin J. Purcell. I would be interesting in reading a calculus book by Edward M. Purcell. The description is quite funny bragging about being short, accurate, mainstream, complete appropriate, concise, and clear; but not excessive, unnecessary, rigorous, outdated, or faddish. It is like they just gave a list of adjectives. All those claims are questionable and subjective. I will be sure to flip through it sometime.
  4. Aug 6, 2015 #3
    Sorry for this late review, but I'd thought I'd give in my two cents: I was gifted this book a while back by my high school math teacher who is responsible for me being a prospective mathematician, so it holds sentimental value to me. I have flipped through this book and have used it as a reference when my courses in college have used Larson as the text. I must say that this book is more somewhat rigorous than Larson and Stewart (naturally). It contains a lot of references to nuances of analysis that I am now able to identify having taken an analysis course, though I am sure this would go way above the head of a typical calculus student who is solely concerned with how to compute a given derivative or integral. I must say that these microscopic plunges into more "analytic" rigorous calculus are kind of disproportionate since it in different sections, it seems nearly indistinguishable from other textbooks such as Larson or Stewart, in it's focus of computation rather than Theory. That being said, the book does have an overall great preliminary chapter that even includes a small section on proofs and logic (and I mean small, perhaps insufficient, but it would at least provide motivation to be expanded upon by a diligent teacher/professor) and various topics that could be either review or maybe seen for the first time. Should one buy this book? Well, I view it in the way that I view other "first calculus books": there are completely free open source textbooks online that vary in rigor and difficulty to suit your needs that are completely free, so I would say no. If you absolutely need to have a physical copy of a book, or are a high school teacher that can suggest to the school board some textbooks of an appropriate level that also prepares students for higher level math, then I guess I would say yes. I think this is better than Larson or Stewart, especially if the student works through it all, even focusing on the tossed around details that may seem unimportant at first. If followed up with reading a book on proofs, such as Book of Proof (freely available), they should be able to tackle Apostol or Spivak for a more theoretical treatment. As a superficial little side note on unimportant cosmetic nitpicking, the book does have a monochromatic green visual style to it which may put off some students (which it shouldn't). I don't know if this is with all versions of the book since I have the instructor's edition, but I know that these introductory books are more colorful and easy-looking than say a typical Springer published book. This one matches the format, but is otherwise kind of ugly looking. Again, hopefully the student can look past this minutia and focus on the great material in the book.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted