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Competetive Calculus?

  1. Aug 6, 2009 #1
    Can anyone suggest any books that I can use to prepare for competitions like Putnam or any other math competition that gives problems in calculus? Single variable would be appreciated, but if it has multi-variable too, then I don't mind. I wouldn't want to get seperate books later.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2009 #2
    Oh c'mon! How'd you guys prepare for putnam without doing calculus?
  4. Aug 8, 2009 #3
    Well I have never participated in Putnam or any other college-level competition, but since no one else has offered their advice I thought I might as well give you my thoughts.

    You will probably be hard-pressed to find a book that deals exclusively with putnam-level single-variable calculus problems. A good preparation is any of the standard rigorous books (Apostol, Courant, Spivak) coupled with standard rigorous real-analysis books (I only have experience with Rudin's PMA, but that seems fine to me). If you truly understand all that stuff and have done some general problem-solving you should be able to tackle hard problems and with enough practice Putnam problems. As for actual books; I have Berkely Problems in Mathematics which is a pretty neat collection of problems. They are not all calculus and I guess most is below Putnam-level, but still good training. For high-school-level competitions I have good experience with the stuff by Titu Andreescu and Kiran Kedlaya and while I haven't read any of their college-level books I guess the books "Putnam and beyond" and "The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition 1985-2000: Problems, Solutions, and Commentary" would be of use to you (again not exclusively calculus, but neither is the Putnam).

    Learn the theory and then practice a LOT of problems is my guess.
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