1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Calculus Reviewing Multivariable calculus to skip in college

  1. May 21, 2017 #1
    Hi, I'm asking for a friend who will be majoring in chemical engineering.

    We have already taken Calculus I, II, and III under a course offered by a local community college. Admittedly, it was taught from stewart's series of calculus books, and we did exactly zero proofs in the class, and all the homework and tests were computations. My friend got an A+ in the class, which is more or less the 99th percentile, so she is pretty solid with computations.

    She is going to UC Berkeley next year, and is considering using the college credits to skip multivariable calculus. We both would like to read a textbook to review multivariable calculus over summer and refresh our minds (we didn't do any math senior year, since we finished all the math classes by our junior year).

    She is definitely less interested in the theoretical aspects of mathematics than the math inclined people on this forumould be, so probably lean away from suggestions like Apostol, spivak, etc. But since chemical engineering majors have to take ODEs, PDEs, and linear algebra anyways, I don't think it would be bad to have a soft introduction to reading and writing proofs in the books, but, again, nothing hardcore math-major like spivak.

    I am currently looking at Gilbert Strangs Calculus textbook for her. Would it serve her purposes well?


  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2017 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You could try:


    Which is a really good resource to know about in any case. It may be short on proofs for you, but take a look anyway. It's free!
  4. May 21, 2017 #3
    Marsden and Tromba: Vector Calculus.

    A better suggestion would be the book by Hubbard and Hubbard. Hubbard can be quite formal tho...
  5. May 21, 2017 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    man up and email this question to her future professors at berkeley. but they may not answer, as in the bad old days some berkeley profs i met were pretty unhelpful. another suggestion is to look more deeply into what is in stewart, since that is her familiar book. i.e. there are some proofs in there, in appendix or elsewhere, and reading those requires less wasted repetition than starting a whole new book. stewarts books also went throgh severak editions, getting progressively less rigorous, so an earlier edition of stewart, (2nd?, 3rd?, i forget) might have more proofs.

    another thought is that it can be a mistake to skip classes at a high level elite school like berkeley. you may be missing out on a really excellent multivariable clc class there, and may even put yourself in jeopardy by not being as well prepared as they expect. community college is really not the same as berkeley preparation.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted