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Why are there so many versions of Thomas' Calculus?

  1. Sep 7, 2011 #1
    I'm just starting my first semester of Calculus and am wondering why there are so many versions of this book. I've been told that the single variable version will only get me through the first two semesters and the full book (the one just titled Thomas' Calculus) would get me through calc 1-3. But then there's multivariable and early transcendents. What are those? Is the full book just single variable and another book combined? :confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2011 #2


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    Calculus 3 = Multivariable calculus in a number of schools, so the full book = single variable edition + multivariable edition.

    "Early Transcendentals" is an alternate full edition where the topics are presented slightly out of order. Note that there also exists a "Early Transcendentals, Single Variable" edition, which is an alternate single variable edition with the topics presented slightly out of order.

    There is also a series entitled "University Calculus," where Thomas is listed as a coauthor. The presentation is "streamlined" (so I guess they correspond to the books entitled "Essential Calculus" by other authors). They too have a number of versions:
    - University Calculus, Early Transcendentals
    - University Calculus, Alternate Edition
    - University Calculus, Early Transcendentals, Single Variable
    - University Calculus, Alternate Edition, Single Variable
    - University Calculus, Early Transcendentals, Multivariable
  4. Sep 8, 2011 #3


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    Good grief. I used a version of Thomas in 1962. Surely whoever "Thomas" is, he's not still actively involved in the books?
  5. Sep 8, 2011 #4


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    He passed away in 2006 at age 92.
  6. Sep 8, 2011 #5
    Ah, okay, thank you. I guess they're just revising his book without him, them, because Thomas' Calculus 12 came out in '09.
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