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Spivak v. Anton v. Stewart v. Kline v. Apostol v. Adam. Which is the best?

  1. Aug 11, 2009 #1
    Let me further specify: Which of the following texts would be the best for understanding REAL WORLD applications of calculus, and approaching it in a practical manner? Okay, so maybe Spivak and Apostol can be removed from the list as they are a rigorous theoretical approach. How about the rest? Is there a better book than the ones listed? I studied Spivak and understood the theoretical side of Calculus. It was extremely entertaining! I enjoyed it. But I also want to learn the applications of calculus, which Spivak doesnt really go into... I was thinking about Anton or Stewart... any suggestions?
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  3. Aug 11, 2009 #2


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    Courant also has a lot of applications, but if you already studied Spivak it would be a bit time wasting. I don't know Anton and Stewart. Maybe it's better to just pick up a physics book and do only applications?
  4. Aug 11, 2009 #3


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    If you've already studied and understood calculus at the level of Spivak, it seems the books you're looking at may be a bit too elementary for you. After all, most of them are introduction calculus books when what you want is calculus applications. A quick amazon search turns up these books, which might interest you:



    The dover book has the advantage of being very cheap, so even if a lot of it is review for you it's not that much of a loss.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Aug 11, 2009 #4
    Well if you took to time to actually look at some of the problems in any of the books you seemed to have pulled haphazardly into a list, you would realize that the exercises in a text such as Stewart (including the applications) are easily doable if you have seriously studied Spivak (i.e., you did not just read the text, or a few chapters of it).
  6. Jun 27, 2011 #5
    My question is very simple. I just want to know which calculus textbook is better, Stewart books or Howard Anton books. I'm not asking about any particular edition but rather a general question about the better explanations of the subject by two different authors.

    1) which author's text is most widely used in college/universities? (that is not because you like that book or not)

    2) which is the best from these two authors? (from your personal experience) that is nothing to do with either that book is more popular than other.

    Please don't suggest any other books, take my question as a comparison between two authors on the same subject.
  7. Jun 27, 2011 #6


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    when you ask a question so narrowly as to preclude our giving you any useful information, you discourage us from responding.
  8. Jun 27, 2011 #7
    Ok sir, I'm extremely sorry. you can give me your suggestions.. i appreciate your concern.
  9. Jun 27, 2011 #8
    I must apologize that I won't be answering your question.

    If you already know the materials in Spivak, then I would pick any of these books, and read only the chapters that deal with applications. For example, Stewart has a chapter on optimization problems using the theory differentiation, and a chapter that deals with applications of integrals (e.g. in physics, biology, probability, etc). But that's only a small portion of the text. And I imagine that other standard calculus textbooks (e.g. the ones like Stewart) are pretty much the same.

    If you want to go further, I also suggest you to study linear algebra and vector calculus as soon as possible. Once you have them down, you should be able to study differential equations, Fourier analysis, numerical analysis, probability, statistics, and well, many subjects that apply calculus that are useful. I think learning those subjects are much more interesting than simply reading the application chapters on Stewart, but it also requires a lot of work.
  10. Jun 28, 2011 #9


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    One comment, I'll say. Apostol is a favorite for all quantitative scientists (i.e. engineers, economists...). I see it cite all the time when scientist wants to refer to a specific theorem from mathematical analysis.
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