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Calculus the Easy Way [Paperback]

Douglas Downing
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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E-Z Calculus (Barron's E-Z Calculus) E-Z Calculus (Barron's E-Z Calculus) 2.0 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

January 1, 2006 0764129201 978-0764129209 4th
This ingenious, user-friendly introduction to calculus recounts adventures that take place in the mythical land of Carmorra. As the story's narrator meets Carmorra's citizens, they confront a series of practical problems, and their method of working out solutions employs calculus. As readers follow their adventures, they are introduced to calculating derivatives; finding maximum and minimum points with derivatives; determining derivatives of trigonometric functions; discovering and using integrals; working with logarithms, exponential functions, vectors, and Taylor series; using differential equations; and much more. This introduction to calculus presents exercises at the end of each chapter and gives their answers at the back of the book. Step-by-step worksheets with answers are included in the chapters. Computers are used for numerical integration and other tasks. The book also includes graphs, charts, and whimsical line illustrations. Barron's Easy Way books introduce a variety of academic and practical subjects to students and general readers in clear, understandable language. Ideal as self-teaching manuals for readers interested in learning a new career-related skill, these books have also found widespread classroom use as supplementary texts and brush-up test-preparation guides. Subject heads and key phrases that need to be learned are set in a second color.

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

(back cover)
by Douglas Downing, Ph.D.

  • A user-friendly introduction to calculus in the form of a novel
  • Exercises with answers at the end of each chapter
  • Step-by-step worksheets
  • Graphs, charts, and line illustrations

  • Calculating derivatives
  • Finding maximum and minimum points with derivatives
  • Determining derivatives of trigonometric functions
  • Exponential functions, vectors, and Taylor series
  • Using differential equations
  • Much more
  • About the Author

    Douglas Downing earned B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale, and has taught economics at Seattle Pacific University since 1983. Calculus the Easy Way is part of a trilogy with Algebra the Easy Way and Trigonometry the Easy Way, all written be Douglas Downing and available from Barron's.

    Product Details

    • Paperback: 404 pages
    • Publisher: Barron's; 4th edition (January 1, 2006)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0764129201
    • ISBN-13: 978-0764129209
    • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.7 x 10.8 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
    • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    More About the Author

    Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Better than it sounds August 27, 2006
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    Forget the bad reviews, those people totally missed the point of this book. It is not meant to be a last minute study guide or answer every question about the hardest Calculus concepts. This is a book meant for those who just don't get it no matter how many times they read the stupid textbook, struggle through homework problems that barely resemble the textbook examples, and have a teacher who can't seem to explain things worth a damn.

    This book does work. Yes, it is simplified, but it does a good job of giving you a foundation on which to build upon which you will need before you can tackle the truly hard stuff.

    It is even better for those who are more interested in stories than textbooks examples that don't give you any sort of real use to the concepts. By building up in tiny steps the concepts suddenly become less daunting and a sense of fun goes a long way towards learning and understanding the subject.
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    20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Review by former scientist October 20, 2006
    My early formal education was in biology and later I attended graduate school for biochemistry. Along the way, I took classical physics, quantum physics and many other classes that required calculus. I was also a teaching fellow at a university and taught high school math, so I feel I can recognize a good text when I see one.

    This particular book is unique in that it presents calculus within the context of a story and uses problems that come up in the storyline as teaching devices for important concepts. This makes the book very engaging and shows how calculus can be applied to different types of problems.

    I also liked the balance betweeen theory and problem solving. In the past, I have found that some books focus on the theory and tell me more than I wanted to know. Others just threw problems at me without adequately explaining important theoretical concepts. I feel this book balances the two very nicely.

    While it is true that this book does not contain a lot of advanced topics or develop theories as much as others, it does teach you the "must know" concepts quickly and gets you to understand how to apply what you learn. I'm glad I knew about it in graduate school, especially when I was studying physical chemistry. If I didn't, I'm sure it would have been a much more painful process.

    Lastly, higher mathematics DOES NOT come very naturally to me. This was a helpful tool for someone like me and is likely to be for you if you are at all intimidated by difficult mathematical concepts.
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    16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars This book was my ticket back into math. September 18, 2001
    ...I had taken two years of calculus about 15 years before I decided I wanted to know again what I had once known. My old calculus text book looked threatening so I went to a local bookstore to see what was available. To my surprise, I found "Calculus The Easy Way" by Downing. It was in story book form, with cartoons, and humor. Unlike many texts, before it explains a mathematical concept, it relates a practical need for it. "Calculus The Easy Way" hits the concepts lightly, while managing to be the most user friendly book on calculus that I have ever seen. However, I did not care for the section on volumes of revolution, or what little was included on related rates. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Outline Series "Calculus" does a much better job in these areas. But I was able to go to the latter due to having read the former. After perusing these two inexpensive paperbacks, hardcover calculus texts no longer appeared ferocious.
    In "Calculus The Easy Way," you won't get much depth. I doubt that depth is one of the intended functions of the book. It may better be described as a tool by which to access the subject with the least amount of pain, and the greatest amount of pleasure. It helps you make a beachhead. If you want more, there are other books that will take you inland. As an additional resource, which is packed with examples, including detailed solutions, you might want REA's "Calculus Problem Solvers." Try not to be the captive of any one book because another book may explain a particular concept in a way that speaks more clearly to you. A used bookstore is an affordable source of many different treatments.
    I once wrote to Professor Downing pleading that he write a second, more advanced calculus book, and use his considerable talent to render other esoteric subjects understandable. I don't recall having received a reply. But if you are seeing calculus for the first time, or if you want to review, you could hardly make a better, more enjoyable choice.
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    8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A great teacher September 11, 2006
    I had a teacher in high school AP calculus who came into class, wrote the assignments on the board, and sat down and punched holes in paper while we had to read the textbook ourselves and figure out Calculus. Needless to say, it wasn't the best way to learn, except that it forced us to try to learn it ourselves. At some point I felt really lost, so I went to the bookstore and bought this book, and worked through it on my own, more out of interest in the fairy tale than the formulas. Toward the end of the school year, we had an academic competition, and with pretty much the knowledge from this book, I qualified with a superior rating on my exam for the state level competition. I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling with calculus and needs something more concrete to make sense of all the weird symbols and abstract formulas.
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    6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great for understanding October 10, 2005
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    The best book for actually learning calc. This book will not give you the practice you need to succeed at the mechanics of calc, but it will help you understand it. The unique style of story telling makes the topic easy to grasp. I would suggesst getting this with a book that has many practice problems like Schaum's Outlines. Also, Harcoutt-Brace does an outstanding job with their College Outline Series.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to teach calculus to a young, bright kid who loves math
    I mentored my son in math until sometime in high school. This turned out to be a great way to introduce him (in 7th grade) to the concepts of calculus. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by jim1952
    5.0 out of 5 stars My first introduction to calculus (in the 1980s!).
    I found this book on my dad's shelf back in highschool. (An earlier edition ... roughly 1985). I fell in love. Read more
    Published 6 months ago by George P. Burdell
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Easy Way
    Great Book to help a student learn Calculus. CalculusThe Easy Way it is the way to learn. You got to get yours
    Published 17 months ago by NGJ
    5.0 out of 5 stars THANKS
    Published 19 months ago by Margaret A. Jackson
    5.0 out of 5 stars very reader frendly.
    This book makes it fun and enjoyable to learn about a very intimidating subject, I would highly recommend for people who are intimidated by this subject, it is helping me learn at... Read more
    Published on April 12, 2011 by zmkr788
    5.0 out of 5 stars Best for learning outside the classroom
    I am a PhD math student and also a professional tutor and I learned Calculus from this book, before I actually took it in high school. Read more
    Published on December 30, 2010 by Patrick F. Barrow
    3.0 out of 5 stars Great for those who don't need a traditional calculus course
    This is a good book for someone who wants to know what calculus is and how it works. It is not rigorous enough for the standard high school AP class or challenging enough for the... Read more
    Published on December 15, 2010 by Nathan Tan
    1.0 out of 5 stars Calculus if you already know calculus
    If you need to learn Calculus form scratch don't buy this book. It is fun reading but there is too little explanation and hardly any examples of the problems they assign at the end... Read more
    Published on August 29, 2010 by Dan G. Simpson
    5.0 out of 5 stars Improved AP Calculus Score
    I came across this book in high school. In my senior year I had a rather serious case of mono that kept me home for months. Read more
    Published on June 16, 2010 by MomToThree
    4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but
    This is a pretty good Calculus book. Most but not all of the problems have good explananations. I have found several glaring mistakes with the answers in the back and also in the... Read more
    Published on November 9, 2009 by John A. Ruggiero
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