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Has anyone read A Tour of the Calculus ?

  1. May 14, 2007 #1
    Has anyone read "A Tour of the Calculus"?

    by David Berlinski? I read it and I really enjoyed the way he helped to link the ideas of the Calculus with real-world situations. I was wondering if someone could recommend a similar type of book about elementry algebra? My girlfriend really enjoys mathematics, but seems to be having a lot of conceptual trouble. I think it is due in part that she still needs to focus so much brain power on the actual math operations that the physical/conceptual stuff doesn't have room to cross over.
    Any ideas would be great. She is very interested in Chemistry, but she will definitely need to get a firm grasp on her Maths.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2007 #2
  4. May 15, 2007 #3
    Not me, but thanks for recommending the book, I'll check it out.

    What level of math education does your girl have?
  5. May 15, 2007 #4
    I read the book and liked his interesting insights. He seemed, for example, to see himself there with Dedekind as he discusses his line cut. He want to size up the greats as the might appear in person,as well as their discoveries--as if he was there beside them.

    I don't think there is a similar type of book by anybody else. There are many introductory books on Algebra, however.
  6. May 15, 2007 #5


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    Calculus makes an engaging topic, because it involves many concepts with which everyone is immediately familiar: speedometers in cars as an example of instantaneous velocity, etc.

    Algebra just doesn't have nearly as many prose-worthy sorts of concepts. Nearly all of it just comes down to using a balance, and adding or removing the same amount of weights from both sides.

    - Warren
  7. May 15, 2007 #6
    Makes sense. Thanks for the thoughts.

  8. May 16, 2007 #7
    for calculus why don't you check out ia maroon
    a nice book
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