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Calculus, 4th edition fourth Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately today, due to the somewhat misguided AP movement, which is oriented to standardized test performance rather than understanding, almost all mathematically talented high school students take calculus before college, receiving significantly inferior preparation to what they would receive in college. The result is that many top colleges where the Spivak type course originated, no longer see the need to offer it.
This means that gifted freshmen at schools such as Harvard and Stanford are now asked to begin with an advanced honors calculus course for which Spivak is the ideal prerecquisite, although those same schools do not offer that prerecquisite. Thus if you are a high school student hoping to become a mathematician and planning to attend many elite colleges, almost the only way to be adequately prepared for an honors level mathematics program is to read this book first. It may be that a book like Stewart or even Calculus Made Easy, is useful as a first introduction to calculus, but it will not get you to the level you need for a course out of Apostol vol. 2, or Loomis and Sternberg.Read more ›
Figuring that I'd received a decent mathematical background, I tried studying math at a higher level 5 years ago when I left medical practice. Strichartz was dense and I spent hours puzzling over notation in the first edition (until I found that some of the most confusing parts were actually errors not all of which were corrected in the second paperback edition). I made it about half way through -- it just seemed too abstract. Abbott's book was also quite good, but again pure analysis is about the logical structure underneath mathematics (something I certainly was trying to understand).
Having read the rave reviews of Spivak's book in this forum, I bought it (along with the answer book), and have spent the last 8 months going through it, and doing about 3/4 of the problems. It is marvellous. The exposition is clear and friendly (as are Strichartz and Abbott) -- something not seen in the math books of the 50s (although Spivak's first edition goes back to 1968). Almost nothing is assumed (except the properties of the rational numbers).Read more ›
On the other hand, Spivak serves as excellent preparation for one's first real analysis course: ideally, read through this book (and, crucially, do ALL the exercises) the summer before introductory analysis, and you'll be in great shape to tackle the likes of Rudin's "Principles of Mathematical Analysis." In the process, you'll also build a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the material covered in first-year calculus.
Spivak's book is also a wonderful re-introduction to mathematics for those who've been away for a while. It's very well suited to independent study, and Spivak is an excellent teacher.
The book is carefully written, chatty but not informal, conversational but not overly long-winded. The exercises are challenging, but provide additional insight into the material and, more importantly, deepen your understanding and build your problem-solving and proof-writing skills. With patience and diligence they're all quite solvable by anyone who has, or who is serious about cultivating, a little mathematical maturity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Classic. Best Calculus book I've ever used. Author's writing style makes a tough topic like calculus easy to understandPublished 3 months ago by Oldman
The textbook is required by my prof. Surprisingly, it's actually interesting to read.Published 3 months ago by Ano0901
Having evaluated various Calculus texts over the years, my standout text has been a relatively old (editions from late 1970s to late 1980s) and unknown calculus text (Calculus and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by wjw
After 7 years of math in high school, decided to get deeper in the subject. Bought this book and studied it in combination with Mit Ocw lectures (calculus 1 and calculus revisited)... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Daniel Lombo Bernardo
Different than the typical "American" style calculus book, i.e. more in line with what we would call Analysis, and refreshingly so. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dave
This book contains a fascinating chapter (Chapter 17) which shows how Kepler's laws lead mathematically to Newton's law of universal gravitation. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Rick Ferraro
This is by no means a Calculus textbook in the sense of being a book that would help you get through Calculus 1, 2 or 3. Read morePublished 6 months ago by J. RABINOWITZ