1. May 9, 2005

2. May 9, 2005

### saltydog

Got it. The triple integral is introduced on page 1000. How appropriate.

3. May 9, 2005

### mathwonk

Unfortunately he seems to have been one of the pioneers of watering down the calculus in US college texts. For this he is being praised today.

4. May 9, 2005

### arildno

Oh dear, oh dear!
Do you praise his passing then?

5. May 9, 2005

### mathwonk

no, he had a nice face. but i take exception to the false praise of his calculus book being promulgated today. the book itself has not passed away, and may live forever. i would prefer having the good mr. leithold back, instead of his book.

Last edited: May 9, 2005
6. May 9, 2005

### saltydog

What's a good Calculus text?

7. May 9, 2005

### mathwonk

depends on what you want from it. if you want both to understand and learn a lot of calculus, the classic is by courant, the more modern versions are by spivak and apostol.

the classic engineer's calculus book is by george b. thomas of mit, but not what passes under his name today in the 10th or 12 th edition with finney's name on it or cooke's. the almost original version of thomas is still available i believe as the "alternate" edition.

for playing around, learning a few techniques, helping get over difficulties, there are little handbooks, like silvanus p thompson's, and elliot gootman's.

although some people like them i recommend avoiding books with phrases like "for dummies" or "streetwise" in the title.

8. May 9, 2005

### saltydog

Thanks. I'll check out Courant and Apostol as I seem to recall frequent references here to both.

9. Jun 19, 2007

### wmac

Sorry to bring up this old thread. Mathwonk is a rare person in that he both remembers the author and different from other people, has a total negative opinion about the famous book. I needed a more detailed comment of him on why he thinks so. (as detailed as possible for you)

I finished my BS in Electronics almost 10 years ago in a relatively good university (2nd in my country). I went to industry and until recently that I started to do my masters in computer science; I had nothing to do with Math. I became IT manager in a bank but finally left the job to go after my dreams of becoming a university professor.

We used Calculus from Leithold for our Calculus 1-2-3 12 years ago. I liked the book very much at that time. It was such a pleasant experience to learn from it that I wanted to refresh my calculus knowledge using the same book.

The book in my opinion covered most of calculus subjects and had easy to difficult step by step problems. Each problem added something to previous one and finally you would be able to solve more difficult problems using techniques learned from previous ones. Concepts were described so simple that you could understand them without even going to the class. I got relatively good scores because I tried to understand concepts discussed in leithold and solve most of the problems.

Now this is the problem: My major was not math but I always suspected that something is wrong. I always ask myself:

- why my performance was so bad in "Engineering Math" and "Advanced Engineering Math"?

- I once started a MSc in Electronics but the heavy math in different courses (advanced signals and systems, discrete signal processing, neural networks, advanced engineering math ... which needed good understanding and capabilities in concepts like complex integration, differential equations, vectors, Fourier and Laplace transforms, ...) forced me to give up the course. This failure made me so upset for 2 years that I decided to forget electronics for ever. (I should mention that in electronics related courses I was among 3 best students in university).

Now your comment was a spark on my mind. I suddenly seem to understand the reason of my failures. I seem to understand what those Math professors have done to us by choosing a simple text (which I always until today thought, is the best calculus book). I am sorry to say that those who have made us underestimate math have ruined our life. I am very sorry that I believed in those lecturers and I am sorry that I have understood this after such a long time. They easily choose a simple book so that they can put all students (from different schools) in a single class. (different schedules could be selected but all science and engineering were in the same Math 1-2-3 classes)

Now I need some advice to recover my failure in Math and Mental damage caused by it. Would you please suggest me how to start again with Math so that I can be able to follow difficult technical books in my field? (exact book names for each level is much appreciated)

Regards,
Mac

Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
10. Jun 19, 2007

### mathwonk

well it sounds as if leithold was a good introductory text for you to elarn to solve problems. to learn theory it seems you need something else. do not worry, you are not harmed by leithold, but you are now ready for the next phase of your education. just pick up one of the books mentioned above and relearn from a higher perspective.

best wishes.

11. Jun 20, 2007

### wmac

Very sorry to bother again.

I currently have below books. What do you think about them?

- Stewart 4th ed
- Schaum's: Advanced Calculus, Calculus, Differential Equations, Complex variables, Linear Algebra

My Requirements:
- I am currently doing Simulation and Modeling for my masters by research (agent based simulation of crowds) .
- I need to prepare myself for PHD studies. I think I might do image and signal processing using neural nets in PHD.
- I am interested to work on simulation and modeling of physical systems like particles etc. later.

Thank you for your time and help.

12. Jun 20, 2007

### Winzer

Math Wonk,

What is your opinion on James Stwart Calculus and Context 3? How does it compare to spivak and apostol?

13. Jun 20, 2007

### mathwonk

i liked stewart second edition. but courant is better. stewart is nowhere near spivak and apostol. he is trying to compete with edwards and penney. what is context 3?

14. Jun 20, 2007

### Winzer

It is kind of like the edition of the book. I ask because I use this book in my engineering Calc II class, would you say it is appropriate?What does it lack from Spiviak?

On the side I would really like some formal Calc form Spivak and apostol. Are their books that are any cheaper on that level?

15. Jun 22, 2007

### mathwonk

courant and john is comparable to courant, and often available much cheaper. in the past in this very thread in afct i have given actual sites with copies and prices.

heres another one: Introduction to Calculus and Analysis, Volume 1
Courant, Richard; John, Fritz
(Niceville, FL, U.S.A.) Price: US$22.00 [Convert Currency] Quantity: 1 Shipping within U.S.A.: US$ 3.75