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 with Analytic Geometry 1 Book?

  1. Aug 26, 2011 #1
    I am a sophomore at Penn State and I am taking Calculus for the second time, I didn't fail the first time, but I didn't want to take the chance I might get a D so I dropped it. Anyhow I am looking a great Math book to learn from while I am learning it again in class. We are using Calculus: Early Transcendentals (Stewart's Calculus Series) 7th and 6th edition, but I feel like the book doesn't do a good job explaining things. The how and why of the problems isn't there. So is there a great math book ( not a textbook or anything) that I could use on the side that teaches Calculus with great explanations?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2011 #2
    Perhaps "Analysis in One Variable" by Estep. It does a great job explaining the underlying principles. But it doesn't cover as much as Stewarts book.
  4. Aug 26, 2011 #3
    I really think your best bet would be to look at other freshman calc books and see if they clear things up for you --- Anton, Larson, and Thomas are three very popular examples, and you might find that one or more of them explains things in a way that you find more understandable.

    But if you absolutely don't want a textbook, then all you can do is try books like "Calculus for Dummies," or "Calculus Demystified," or stuff like that. I've never read them, so I don't know how good they are.

    With all due respect to other posters, including those who always recommend Spivak or Apostol, I strongly doubt that analysis-based texts are what you want, if you were flirting with a D your first time around.

    You might also consider that the problem may not be with calculus, but with its prereqs. If you think you may be a little shaky in algebra or trig or graphing functions, you might want to get a PREcalculus text and work through it carefully.

    Unfortunately, the precalc text I usually recommend is also by Stewart. You might try Swokowski's, though.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  5. Aug 26, 2011 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Read the Amazon reviews of Calculus by Gilbert Strang. If you like the book reviews, you can google his website - Wellesley-Cambridge Press and order the text and the solutions manual and the study guide if you're still interested. If he still has the first edition on hand you'll probably get a real good deal on it.
  6. Aug 26, 2011 #5
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  7. Aug 27, 2011 #6
    Which parts did you find the most confusing? Do you have a harder time applying the techniques or understanding the concepts? What is your major?
  8. Aug 27, 2011 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I recommend the paperback Calculus by my friend and colleague, Elliot Gootman. It was written exactly for people like you, who are taking calculus and struggling with it. It costs $10 new on Amazon where it has 22 reviews, 19 of them 5 stars, ( two 4 stars and one 3 stars). (And the 3 star review is for an error in a link provided by Amazon, not for Gootman's book.)

    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  9. Aug 27, 2011 #8
    This book looks great... I like the way he words things. thank-you
  10. Aug 27, 2011 #9
    I just downloaded it, it looks ok..Any and all help will awesome. O and Khan academy is awesome, I found out about it to late last semester. Thanks for the help.
  11. Aug 27, 2011 #10
    Currently I am an Aerospace Engineer, but that might change to a different engineering or some form of science like physics which I love. Calculus wasn't hard, if I a year to learn it like in high school well I would of had no problem. It was more the speed at which we were learning and the fact that I wrote it off, didn't try my hardest because before that I had never seen calculus. It was a mistake. The thing I had trouble with I'd say was applying the techniques. I had a real hard time with exponents such as:
    y=2^sin(Piex) or y=e^-5x times cos3x.
    I didn't fully understand discontinuous problems such as:
    Explain why the function f(x)= x^2-x/x^2-1 if x can't=1 and 1 if x=1 is discontinuous at x=1. Sketch the graph of the function?
    Sketch graphs too like this too. : sketch the graph of tan example of a function f such that-
    f(0)=3, limit as x approaches 0- f(x)=4, limit as x approaches 4+ f(x)= infinity, etc like 5 more of that variation all in one graph.
    Here is another one,The limit as h approaches 0 cos(pie+h)+1/h represents the derivative of some function f at some point x=a. state an f and a.
    Then just finding the serivative of functions 7= x^2 + 4x+3/ squareroot x.
    of course show x^3-15x+c=0 has at least one root in the interval [-2,2].
    Hospital rule also.
    That's about it.
  12. Aug 27, 2011 #11
    Another awesome book, cool.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook