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Calculus Calculus: Single and Multivariable by Hughes-Hallett, et al.

  1. Strongly Recommend

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  2. Lightly Recommend

  3. Lightly don't Recommend

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  4. Strongly don't Recommend

  1. Aug 7, 2013 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2013 #2
    I will be using this book starting in the fall, so I am curious as to how others view the book in regards to being a good calculus book. I will answer this question myself after I've examined the book, but I would like to see if this is a good book to teach someone looking for most likely applied physics phd or nuclear physics phd, we'll see where it goes. Maybe even an engineering degree.

    Edit: I am will be attending Michigan Technological University. If anyone else has attended MTU and has used this book, I would like to know how many of the Calculus classes use this book? Calc I, II, and even III? Thank you.
  4. Aug 19, 2013 #3


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    I do not own this book and only looked briefly at it years ago, without being impressed. While we wait for a more informed opinion from someone who has actually studied it, I will make a snarky remark stimulated just now by perusing the impressive list of authors, several of whom are friends of mine whom I highly respect.

    Namely, it reminds me of one of those mediocre movies that have about 8 or 9 good actors, but for which nobody bothered to hire a good script writer. I.e. how could a book claiming contributions from this large a pool of outstanding talent not be better than it is? It makes me wonder what the process was used to combine all those contributions of whatever kind into one book?

    Sometimes when good mathematicians contribute to an elementary book, they let someone less qualified tell them how it should be done. This seems to have happened in some of the 1960's experimental SMSG books for example, where high school teachers sometimes edited the work of research mathematicians.

    Ok I just used the amazon link to read the first few lines and already, in section 1.1, on functions, the writing is so depressingly poor, in clarity, precision, and usage, that I am unable to punish myself to read any further. I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that the people I know on that author list did not write this stuff.

    And its ridiculously long and comprehensive so that a poor student wanting only maybe one variable calculus gets charged also for chapters on differential equations, several variable integrals, vector analysis, etc etc, ... and it's $192 new!! Now I'm getting upset. I wouldn't give $2. for this piece of junk.

    Check out some of the amazon reviews for yourself, they look pretty negative to me:


    I would recommend an old edition of Thomas, maybe 1950'ish. for an engineer wanting to understand calculus and how to use it. maybe #10 on this list:


    \here are some more recommended books;



    avoid books that combine the names weir and hass with that of thomas, especially ones published after 2006, when Thomas had actually died.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Aug 19, 2013 #4


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    This book is not good. Certainly not worth 1.92$ much less 192$. One thing I will say is it tries to be different. If you are going to write a bad calculus books at least do not just copy the other bad books. I was quite upset that earlier editions omit l'Hôpital's rule, since then I have seen so many misapplications that I agree with omitting it. Too bad it is back. Some of the exercises are conceptual which is nice. The multivariable part is particularly bad which is usual in calculus books. Common functions like sec x and sinh x are not used. Logically there is no reason to use them, but students should see them so they recognize them later and expression containing them look nicer. Don't buy it if you do not have to. Read another book as well, good advice even if the first book is good.
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