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Calculus textbook input needed

  1. Nov 2, 2014 #1
    This is my first post here. But I have read many of the others before joining the forum.
    I have to say I am happy to have found it.

    Ok, let me get to my question. I'm interested in if anyone has any opinions / experience with a text called "Calculus for Scientists and Enginneers" by Briggs and Cochran.
    I've read some reviews on Amazon that are favorable, but would like to get some opinions from a more experienced audience.

    Thanks for any information you can share.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2014 #2
    Thanks for the post! Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
  4. Nov 10, 2014 #3


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    I went to Amazon and read the first 2-3 pages for free. They looked pretty mediocre to bad to me, unclear explanations, and it seemed to take a lot for granted beforehand. But it did have lots of worked examples, so one could probably acquire a "monkey - see, monkey - do" set of basic skills from it. I am a professional (pure) mathematician, not an engineer, so I like precise definitions and clear explanations of concepts. I am an experienced mathematician and professor-teacher, but not experienced with this book.

    Aha! Here is why the book is so poorly written: from the website description of the book:

    "Briggs/Cochran is the most successful new calculus series published in the last two decades. The authors’ years of teaching experience resulted in a text that reflects how students generally use a textbook: they start in the exercises and refer back to the narrative for help as needed. The text therefore builds from a foundation of meticulously crafted exercise sets, "

    i.e. students don't really read books anyway, so we didn't bother to really write this one! So this is aimed at a student who does not want to actually understand the material. It may however succeed at giving practice in rote problem solving, and this seems to be their only goal. Hard for me to recommend it from my perspective, but maybe someone else will offer a different one. I only chimed in since no one else had done so. Maybe you can find a copy at the library and spend some time with it, to get a better feel for how it suits your own needs. Good luck.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  5. Nov 14, 2014 #4
    I'm currently using Briggs, Cochran, and Gillett's Early Transcendentals for Calculus 1, which is what my college uses for their three semester calculus sequence unfortunately. I don't like it. If a concept is not intuitive for me, reading the text does not illuminate the subject at all. It's written in a bland and uninteresting way and has plenty of generic, uninteresting problems to accompany the chapters. I'm in the market for a good calculus text myself, because this one seems purposed solely as a vehicle for Pearson's MyMathLab product.
  6. Nov 21, 2014 #5
    Thanks for checking.
  7. Nov 21, 2014 #6
    Thanks a lot for your input. I hadn't heard that; about the Amazon description before LoL
  8. Nov 21, 2014 #7
    Thanks for responding. You are the only person to actually use the book that commented.

    I'll be looking at some other texts I've seen recommended in other posts.
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