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Rigorous precalculus text needed

  1. Jun 20, 2010 #1
    Hi, I wish to enter AP calculus first thing in my final High school year, and so I am Essentially skipping some precalculus content, and wish to learn/review Pre-calculus by myself. I need a book that is not application heavy, and does not rely on graphing calculators, and is overall more mathematically rigorous than the traditional high school precalculus book.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2010 #2
    I suppose Israel M Gelfand's books would suit you. I think Trigonometry and The Method of Coordinates would be what you're looking for. You may also want to get his algebra book too.
  4. Jun 21, 2010 #3
    Principles of Mathematics by Allendoerfer is great, you'll get what you want there
  5. Jun 21, 2010 #4
    I don't know how rigorous you would want, but I used Larson and Hostetler Precalculus 4th edition. I have taken calculus I and II at the college level, and I am currently taking Calc III during summer school.

    I wanted to brush up on trig identities and trig functions, and the unit circle and all of that, so I went through that book. After having taken calc I and II, I must say.... the Larson book was amazing, but I did not appreciate it at the time. Calc I and II would have been MUCH easier for me if I had actually learned the material in the book. It should give you a solid grounding in a lot of calculus topics.

    When I took the class in high school I didn't understand the relevance of the topics in the book, and I didn't learn it thoroughly. This caused me many problems in calc I and II.

    Good luck!

    PS, it is a good 800 pages or so, but almost every topic is relevant to your study of calculus!

    Also, you can probably find it for like 5 dollars on amazon used.
  6. Jun 21, 2010 #5
    I think overall, you should be fine no matter what precalculus book you use. If you're fairly strong in math, you should be able to make the transition without too much trouble, as precalculus is essentially a slightly expanded algebra II. Or algebra II is a slightly simplified precalculus. If you've taken algebra II, I think you'll be fine just going over any book for main ideas. And as ctg7w6 did, you should probably know your trig fairly well, as some calculus requires it.
  7. Jun 22, 2010 #6


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    swokowski and cole's Precalculus. Good difficulty of problems and applications as well.
  8. Jun 24, 2010 #7
  9. Jun 27, 2010 #8
    Thnx for all the recommendations, I think I am going with the Axler book, prelude to calculus, as well as reading some of the books by Israel M. Gelfand . Thank you all:smile:
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