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Taking calculus and have hard time understanding the textbook. Help .

  1. Jan 14, 2012 #1
    Taking calculus and have hard time understanding the textbook. Help plz.

    My textbook is called Calculus:One Variable by Salas (10th Edition)
    I'm at University of Toronto in Canada. My course is named MAT137.
    A lot of students in my course don't read the textbook. They only do exercises. They say things like, "I don't understand what the books says." or "Just do exercises" or "Practice a lot"
    I feel frustrated with explanations because I have such a hard time understanding concepts.
    I,too, often just do exercises but I think I want to get some good understanding over the subject. Personally, I dislike the textbook because I think there isn't enough explanation.
    Thanks. Please let me know. I will provide more details to you replies.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2012 #2

    mathwonk

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    Re: Taking calculus and have hard time understanding the textbook. Help plz.

    how can they understand the book if they dont read it? dont imitate those imbeciles, read the book. and try the little book by elliot gootman as a supplement.
     
  4. Jan 15, 2012 #3

    chiro

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    Re: Taking calculus and have hard time understanding the textbook. Help plz.

    Hey appplejack and welcome to the forums.

    Understanding usually doesn't come straight away.

    The best advice I would give you is to find other books, articles, blogs and so on that discuss this kind of thing. You could also ask specific questions on this forum as other people have done: this is done on a highly regular basis here and is a great source for this kind of information.
     
  5. Jan 15, 2012 #4
    Re: Taking calculus and have hard time understanding the textbook. Help plz.

    I will 2nd this and what mathwonk said. When I don't understand something (which is often :tongue: ) I go with a 'many perspectives' approach. I pick up 3 or 4 books (from the library since I am not rich) on the same subject and take a pencil and paper and try to re-derive what each author is saying. One author might go with a 'formal' derivation, where another might go with an 'intuitive' or 'pictorial' derivation and I make it my job to reconcile all of the approaches.

    The internet is also a great resource as is this forum. If you have questions about calculus homework, ask in the Homework Help forum. If you have conceptual calculus questions, ask in the Calculus forum.
     
  6. Jan 15, 2012 #5
    Re: Taking calculus and have hard time understanding the textbook. Help plz.

    Just adding something to previous answers, yes its really useful to check various books and stuff, but eventually you have to pick one and study it seriously, maybe two will work, at most. Ive seen it many times (happened to me last semester) you take like 4 different books and guess what, its impossible to cover them completely, imagine going through Apostol, Courant and Spivak, just no way you are gonna do it. Anyway for one variable calculus, check Purcell or thomas Finney for some good explanations, remember: attempt the problems, an hour or so of daily work and youll be ready to go, also if you want to check One variable calc done more rigorously (as in preparing for some serious math) check any of the aformentioned books, though I specially recommended Spivak.
     
  7. Jan 15, 2012 #6
    Re: Taking calculus and have hard time understanding the textbook. Help plz.

    Thanks guys. I'm going to use this website more actively.
     
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