# Understanding Calculus - books?

1. Jul 15, 2005

### εllipse

Understanding Calculus -- books?

I know how to work highschool level calculus and such, but I don't feel like I have a very intuitive understanding of it. Can anyone suggest any books that maybe go through the history and explain it in an intuitive manner?

2. Jul 15, 2005

### neurocomp2003

STEWART...i believe its the standard for cdn universitys.

3. Jul 15, 2005

### quasar987

Stew is the man. Though I never looked at the much praised Courant.

4. Jul 15, 2005

### εllipse

Thanks. I assume you are talking about James Stewart's Calculus? On Amazon I see he has a few other texts on calculus, including Calculus: Concepts and Contexts. Do you know which one you're talking about?

5. Jul 15, 2005

### neurocomp2003

Calculus: Early Transcendentals i believe thats the names...or intro to calc...my edition has a integral sign..and black/blue the next edition i think was a bit greenish...

6. Jul 17, 2005

### Noxerus

Thomas' Calculus.

7. Jul 17, 2005

### quasar987

I was talking about concepts & context.

8. Jul 17, 2005

### mathwonk

stewart is a good regular calculus book, and courant is an honors level book. i recommend as old an edition of stewart as you can find, say 2nd if possible, as they are "dumbed down" in every succeeding edition.

9. Jul 17, 2005

### Cyrus

I have 2nd edition and its great! (concepts and contexts) Although I hear some recomend spivak, eh mathwonk

Last edited: Jul 17, 2005
10. Jul 17, 2005

### mathwonk

again, spivak is on another level above stewart, a no nonsense honors calculus book.

honors books: spivak, apostol, courant, kitchen.

ordinary good books: stewart, edwards penney, cooke - finney - thomas, thomas,... lots of others.

then there are inferior ordinary books, whose name is legion....

then there are unpretentious good books with limited objectives: silvanus p. thompson, elliot gootman,...

11. Jul 17, 2005

### Cyrus

But none with such pretty pictures of the guggenheim as stewart

12. Jul 17, 2005

### fourier jr

calculus: a physical & intuitive approach by morris kline

13. Jul 17, 2005

### quasar987

I stick by my opinion that if you're gonna use an intuitive book, use it simultaneously witha rigorous one. Like spivak, apostol, courant, kitchen, according to wonk.

I gotta check out that Spivak book that everyone's talking about as being great.

14. Jul 30, 2005

### cscott

Is it a good first calculus book?

15. Jul 30, 2005

### fourier jr

the spivak text is the most hardcore of any of all the calculus texts i think. if you're not very prepared I would say it isn't a great first book.

16. Jul 30, 2005

### shmoe

I think Spivak is a great start for those aiming for a math degree more challenging than your standard major (specialist, honors, whatever you want to call it), though a very motivated math major might do well with it. I'd be wary of unleashing Spivak on your average begining calculus student though. It would still be fine supplement for the less dense texts.

17. Jul 31, 2005

### MathematicalPhysicist

but why the first editions of books are better than the latest ones?
arent the latest editions more updated than the ones from the past century?
im asking specifically about courant's and fritz's classic series which have in the past 5-7 years got its reedition at springer publishing company.

18. Jul 31, 2005

### cscott

by "it" I meant Stewert's Concepts and Contexts... didn't realize I had quoted a sentence with both books named.

So to clarify: Is stewert's book a nice intro textbook?

Thanks.

Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
19. Aug 11, 2005

### MathematicalPhysicist

20. Aug 11, 2005

### lurflurf

There is nothing to update. What is in the older books is correct. Some topics might go in or out of fashion. The earlier editions were written with a clear purpose. Newer editions often are not. Often newer books will cite previous editions of themselves something like "I made this hard to understand so I could save ten pages for silly stuff I wanted to add see last edition for clear explanation". If the first edition was quite good tinkering is almost sure to make things worse. Lets play new book old book.

New book:has computer and calculator use tips
Old book:has sliderule use tips or only refers to hand calculations
Nb: Lacks important results
obas a few results of limited use nowdays
nb:Is obscure and bloated
ob:has clear and concise style
nbas many trivial problems (now w/ 10000 exercises!!!)
nb:$200 brand new ob:$5 used