Hi, while I see this question has been beaten to death I don't feel I know the answer for myself. I've been looking at picking up a calculus text of Apostol or Spivak while I go back this fall. I'll be taking the second half of first year calculus starting september (integration, diff. equations, infinite sequences and series) and then courses in linear algebra and discrete mathematics in January. I previously went to university for a year and a half and did the first class in first year calculus (fall of 07), but the program I was in at the time didn't have any other math classes (much to my regret). Prior to that I had completed Calculus AP AB (06) and really enjoyed math.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

I'd been lost for awhile as to what I wanted to do and study. I decided to take a distance course on "Finite Mathematics" which was pretty simple (although some aspects of linear programming and game theory that it covered were incredibly tedious since it was all done by hand), but it taught me how to work with matrices (my high school curriculum never went beyond simple linear systems despite being in the "pure" math stream). Most importantly, it made me realize just how much I'd missed math plus it got me self-teaching linear and more advanced algebra concepts and helped when I started working with transformations in programming 3d graphics (something I've been working on).

My calculus is more than a bit rusty at this point, but I opted to go back and start with the second calculus course anyways. I realized though when I went back to my text (Thomas Calculus 11th ed.) how frustrating it is to read through topics that are explained half-heartedly and run into all kinds of poorly defined assumptions. I need to know and work out the nitty-gritty details or it doesn't stick. I need to turn it inside out, and this text doesn't help me do that with the way it's presented. I'm currently reviewing epsilon-delta notation and it jumps around and just seems to throw things in. It has nice diagrams which help on the intuition side, but the way it approaches many things just seems so arbitrary - it's like I'm trying to form this mental mindmap and rather than being this logical web it's a mishmash of concepts that are thrown together (frankly I suck at memorization without the deeper logical/intuitive side to back it up).

I know it's getting pretty close to the start of classes, but my instructor recommends Stewart and from what I understand it's no better than Thomas (I'm taking the class at a small institution with a bunch of people who are mainly engineering transfers). I intend on continuing on in mathematics and would like a really good foundation, especially since I feel like the previous university course I took didn't do the topic much justice, and the high school course had major holes. I'll also be taking physics both semesters.

At first I was leaning towards Spivak, but after reading the way the material is presented I'm thinking about Apostol. Starting with integration would fit better with the course I'm taking anyway. I'm still not entirely sure though. Anyone with any suggestions?

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# Looking for a calculus text

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