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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Introduction to Calculus
From getting up in the morning to going to bed at night, the author describes a typical day in his life, all the while concentrating on “mathematizing” various things/events/processes that he sees around him. From functions to differentiation to integration, the reader is gently guided through the nature of calculus and how it can be used to solve various...
Published 10 months ago by G. Poirier

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cannot Read in Kindle
This book is a well written book but is not understandable in Kindle because the math formulas are too small to read. The text can be enlarged but it is useless without formulas that can also be enlarged after all it is a book about math. I would highly recommend this book in print form.
Published 15 days ago by Riverboat


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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Introduction to Calculus, April 16, 2014
By 
G. Poirier (Orleans, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us (Hardcover)
From getting up in the morning to going to bed at night, the author describes a typical day in his life, all the while concentrating on “mathematizing” various things/events/processes that he sees around him. From functions to differentiation to integration, the reader is gently guided through the nature of calculus and how it can be used to solve various problems in the real world. This is all done in a most painless way; the more in-depth calculational details are relegated to appendices. Although, as pointed out by the author, the mathematical models that are developed here are crude approximations to reality, the approaches that are used are important and serve to illustrate the power of calculus.

On the down side, I did find a few errors, e.g., Galileo did not invent the telescope (as stated on p.17), the speed of light is not 11,176,920 miles per second (as given on p. 47), etc. However, I did not find many such mistakes and they do not detract from the essence of the book.

I found the writing style to be very friendly, lively, authoritative, highly accessible and quite captivating. Although any interested reader could enjoy this little book (117 pages of main text), it would likely be most appreciated by math/science enthusiasts. The book could also be used as an enjoyable complement to an introductory course in calculus.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sneaky Intro to Differential Equations, April 24, 2014
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This review is from: Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us (Hardcover)
The systems, events and measurements highlighted in this fine little book are the "everyday" part-- the calculus is not! In order to model the types of everyday experiences the author describes in fine fashion, simply taking the first or second derivative to find slope or acceleration doesn't do much. The truth is that he's subtly talking about dynamical systems-- differential EQUATIONS, not just calc as we'd see it as an isolated technique.

The real physics, engineering, biology, etc. that these equations model require matrix vectors and really advanced concepts and techniques, many of them not even able to be generalized beyond that model or problem. In fact, of the four methods used in dynamical systems (analytic, qualitative, numeric and the newest family member stochastic/statistical), most are incapable of modeling anything but the simplest versions of the underlying "reality." We can't, for example, specify the design of an airplane wing analytically, so we use qualitative (graphs, for example) and numeric ("guesses" with computer algorithms), which as we engineers would say, gets us "close enough."

I just didn't want you misled into thinking that the calculus itself was everyday or simple. The author does a wonderful job of hand holding us through the foundations. There is a lot of value in this in: 1. Getting us "ready" for advanced applications 2. Giving us a fun glimpse at why calc is so important 3. Giving us an intuitive feel for why we model in the more advanced form. Every High School student interested in math should read this, even though the true topics are advanced undergrad and grad level! The author actually makes this possible, which is a rare feat. If you're an AP math student, you'll get this easily, and the appendix will transition you to undergrad. The sneaky part is that the solutions to the calculus described here are quantities, whereas the real-life modeling dynamical systems equations have functions as solutions. This is normally not taught in High School, at least in the US (I teach bright HS kids math online).

If you're an autodidact or math enthusiast, you'll enjoy this regardless of your level, as there is a very broad collection of applications, and the author explains them in enough detail to whet your appetite for more. Highly recommended for the right reader. I also had no problem with the formulas (they aren't that detailed, and have no nasty page breaks) on my Kindle. If I were home schooling, I'd definitely get this as a "motivator" to teach why math is so important to "real" life. Realistically, it is the brain that uses these equations to cross a street, not necessarily our everyday mind! You won't be doing calculations after reading this (except unconsciously) to decide where to sit in a movie. Honestly, most "users" of these techniques are engineers and physicists, but even an 11 year old child is doing advanced calc when s/he rides a bike!!! Pretty astonishing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, August 20, 2014
This review is from: Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us (Hardcover)
A humorous insightful book that respects the intelligence of its reader. The author has adroitly balanced insight into the concepts and the calculations behind them with the clever use of an appendix. For those who learned calculus many years ago, it is a refreshing read that will give you insights that you wish you had learned when you first approached calculus. If you are just learning the subject, this is an invaluable read as you will understand the meaning behind all of those calculations that you preform (unlike most of the lame word problems that you find in the typical textbook).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars √ Use Calculus to Calculate Time Wasted Tweeting, August 4, 2014
This review is from: Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us (Hardcover)
This is a well-written, whimsical way of seeing calculus at work in our everyday life. The author describes many commonplace objects and actions, then shows how calculus actually underpins the foundation. For example, the author shows how we can use calculus to model worker productivity, and how much time is lost goofing around on the Internet, instead of doing real work.

The strongest part of this book is the professor's very clear and humorous writing style. It really makes a tough subject more fun. My favorite part was the professor's explanation of why Edison lost out on his D.C. power transmission lines. Edison's lines could only traverse 2 miles, whereas A.C. lines could travel hundreds of miles. Prof Fernandez clearly explains how induction is easily used to step-up/step-down the voltage of AC lines, whereas Edison was stuck with his "low" voltage 120 volts DC.

To top off the book, there are very complete appendices, with extended information on various equations discussed in the main body.

Minor nit: Surprised to see some misspelled words. Not significant, but a bit surprising.

√ All in all, a fun book by a witty writer. Recommend!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a fun book if you ever wondered what calculus is good ..., September 1, 2014
By 
Luther (San Diego, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us (Hardcover)
This is a fun book if you ever wondered what calculus is good for. His presentation is so clever that, as he says, you can skip the equations and appendices and still see how calculus is all around us. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

However, his uncritical enthusiasm for Einstein has led him astray:

On p. 111, he says, ". . . Albert Einstein managed not only to prove Newton wrong, but also to replace his theory of gravity with a much more correct one."

He should have a conversation with the guys at NASA and ESA: "Today the world's space agencies, such as NASA and ESA, still use Newton's laws of motion and gravitation to work out the most effective trajectories for spacecraft," (p. 55, IN PURSUIT OF THE UNKNOWN, Ian Stewart, Basic Books, 2012).

Also on p. 111: "These 'gravitational waves" are one of the hallmarks of Einstein's theory (predicted by him a year later in 1916)."

Apparently, gravitational waves don't exist. See NEW SCIENTIST, 7 February 2015, "Big Bang Discovery crumbles to dust," p. 10.

Fernandez should have stayed with math and avoided Einsteinian physics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, interesting, and fascinating!, August 18, 2014
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Anyone who reads this book will understand the big ideas of calculus and how they are applied to our lives. Calculus is an interesting and powerful topic to study. It is interesting in its history and development as well as in its ideas and meanings. Students often cry out to their mathematics teachers, “but when will I ever use this?!!?” Oscar Fernandez aims to answer this question! I highly recommend this book for students and teachers of mathematics, parents, and those that are interested in thinking about how mathematics helps to explain the world in which we live.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A series of mathematical explanations for everyday events, December 17, 2014
This review is from: Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us (Hardcover)
As he goes through his day, Fernandez looks at ordinary events and concocts mathematical explanations for what happens. Everything from the cooling of hot beverages in the morning to the rate of the transmission of the common cold to estimating wait times when a train is stalled are examined and explained using calculus. I counted over 30 subtitles in the TOC, so the breadth of topics is considerable.
To his credit, Fernandez pulls no formulaic punches in his descriptions, when a differential or integral, no matter how complex, is needed he uses it. This is very refreshing; one thing that I find annoying about math books is when the author exhibits a case of "equation shyness," an unwillingness to include equations in the text for fear of turning off readers (and reducing royalties). Yet, the topic being explained cannot be fully understood any way other than with the use of one or more equations.
If you are a math teacher looking for some everyday phenomena that are explained using calculus to liven up your course, then this is the book for you. There are many selections; you will have no trouble finding something you can use. If you are looking for a good math book, (with math included), then this one will certainly work for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 14, 2014
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Full of insightful illustrations to help students connect to abstract ideas that affect them each in "real life."
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another beautiful Calculus book; W. Sawyer and Kline Morris also have super nice Calculus and Math books for non mathematicians., June 5, 2014
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Unique in that the book runs like a story and makes us see Calculus in every aspect of our daily life. Style is relaxed and easy.
In Calculus books, a problem is posed and Calculus is used to solve it. But in this book, you are amazed to bump into Calculus at every turn in life. You understand and fall in love with Calculus in a totally new fashion. The complex formulae are in the appendices
in order to avoid stumbling blocks that would detract from the train of thought.
I loved the author's dedication of his book to his mother, wife, and daughter, in Spanish.

Pierre Ghassibi, MD
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cannot Read in Kindle, February 16, 2015
This book is a well written book but is not understandable in Kindle because the math formulas are too small to read. The text can be enlarged but it is useless without formulas that can also be enlarged after all it is a book about math. I would highly recommend this book in print form.
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Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us
Everyday Calculus: Discovering the Hidden Math All Around Us by Oscar E. Fernandez (Hardcover - April 13, 2014)
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