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Calculus Changing calculus textbook from Tom Apostol to James Stewart

  1. Oct 15, 2015 #1
    I read T.Apostol calculus and linear algebra in summer untill page 230.
    Now in the first year of university , the math teacher told us to study James Stewart calculus (one problem is that she said we have to read the 2nd edition because that's the version she studied during her years)
    Now i'm studying computer programming and i would love to study physics and mathematics . I don't know what to do (currently studying introduction to mechanics k&k for myself)
    Is this textbook as good as the one i used to read for going deeper into physics ?

    Sorry for bad english by the way
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2015 #2
    Stewart is a horrible textbook and Apostol is way better. Seriously, if you were able to study up to 230 pages of Apostol, and you liked it, you will be disgusted by Stewart.
    That said, it's not that Stewart will leave you underprepared for physics.
  4. Oct 15, 2015 #3
    What makes it horrible ? I had no problem with Apostol and it wasn't difficult (to understand)
    Well the level of students is really low here . I showed introduction to mechanics K&K to physics teacher (they teach halliday for physics here its uselessly too long) he said its on a much higher level than what we teach here
  5. Oct 15, 2015 #4
    Books like Stewart and others (like Larson, etc) are terrible because they hardly teach the theory, rarely go over proofs, focus nearly entirely on just how to calculate specific cases if things, and even the "applications" suck. They are cash grabs that almost make you unlearn the subject. It's quite literally just flashy books with pictures. If you want calculus with application problems, which is really only one of the "selling points" you can easily find such problems so many places elsewhere.
  6. Nov 5, 2015 #5


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    Stewart is a book for average classes, not math majors. However it has gotten worse over the years, and the second edition is probably much better than what is being offered currently, as maybe the 7th edition? I think I taught from the 2nd edition and liked it ok, for a book of that level anyway. I mean I was asked to teach from many worse books over the years. But comparing to Apostol is maybe like comparing a chevrolet to a ferrari, if that makes sense. I recommend continuing to read Apostol.
  7. Nov 6, 2015 #6
    Stewart is a book to teach students to manipulate symbols until an answer magically pops out. If you want to understand calculus find something better.
  8. Nov 6, 2015 #7
    Ask its ISBN to your teacher. If your university bookstore cannot order & receive this 2nd edition of Stewart's Calculus, inform your teacher of your decision of leaving the course, and following the same/equivalent course with another teacher, with the approval of the registrarian's office. I browsed through a copy of Calculus in 2 tomes, by T. Apostol; it is most excellent for a college-level technical diploma in computer sciences; also for a B.Sc. in computer sciences. Don't forget that to consider teaching at post-secondary levels, you ought to have a specialized baccalaureate. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Or you continue the reading of all what Apostol wrote & got published on calculus, ODEs & linear algebra. Then you enter in a bachelor degree in teaching the sciences at high-school. In the province of Quebec, too many people have a degree to teach at secondary school, except in the speciality of the sciences. Maybe the situation is similar in your region? ____________________________________________ After a 3 to 10 years of experience of work in the industry, the re-orientation to the academic/ technical education is recommendable.
  9. Nov 6, 2015 #8
    Stewart's textbook on calculus is more than a recipes book. Perhaps it is the most used manual in Canada, for the first three courses in calculus. It follows the curricula, the up to date sotware technology and the best recent method of pedagogy. Translated in french and used in France. ________________________________________________ On the other hand, Apostol's book on calculus has been translated in french, portugese and spanish, since decennaries. It has less colours and lushering gdrawings, but it has the particularity of teaching calculus, linear algebra and a good portion of ordinary differential equations, at the same time_ approppriate for honours sciences at college level or a strong technical college diploma_.
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