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How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide Paperback – July 15, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0716731603 ISBN-10: 0716731606

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How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide + How to Ace the Rest of Calculus: The Streetwise Guide, Including MultiVariable Calculus (How to Ace S) + The Calculus Lifesaver: All the Tools You Need to Excel at Calculus (Princeton Lifesaver Study Guide)
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Product Details

  • Series: How to Ace
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books (July 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716731606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716731603
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Imagine calculus is a solid old house built on good foundations. When the time comes to sell it to a new owner, a lick of brightly colored, cheery paint can do wonders. This is what Adams, Hass, and Thompson have done in How to Ace Calculus."—Keith Devlin, Dean, School of Science, St. Mary's College (CA), Senior Researcher, Stanford University, and author of The Language of Mathematics

"This is a marvelous, user-friendly introduction to the basic ideas of calculus. It is effective, humorous and eminently practical. The book that 100,000 calculus students have been searching for is finally here."—Ron Graham, Chief Scientist, AT&T Labs, former President of the American Mathematical Society, and author of Concrete Mathematics: A Foundation of Computer Science

"Can a calculus book be lighthearted and engaging? Surprisingly, yes, and here is one that does the job."—Thomas Banchoff, Professor of Mathematics, Brown University, President-Elect of the Mathematics Association of America, and author of Beyond the Third Dimension

"This book is dangerously clear, direct, and funny. It should be suppressed before it jeopardizes the time-tested function of the calculus sequence to befuddle and filter surplus students."—William Thurston, Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Davis, Fields Medalist, and former Director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

"Comic opera meets college math in this amusing and edifying roller coaster of an introduction to calculus."—Ivars Peterson, author of The Mathematical Tourist

About the Author

Colin Adams is Professor of Mathematics at Williams College. He is the author of The Knot Book and winner of the Mathematical Association of America Distinguished Teaching Award for 1998. Joel Hass is Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at Davis, and Abigail Thompson is also Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at Davis. Both have held fellowships from the Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

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Customer Reviews

This book really make me not wanting to go back read anything from big caculus books that weight like a brick.
yrch21
I used this book in my Calculus I class last semester (Fall 2000) and part of Calculus II and it really helped me out.
W. Mason
Using this book, I was able to understand all the concepts very clearly and Calculus was believe it or not, EASY!
James

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

278 of 293 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a math professor at a large state university. Like math departments everywhere, we depend on calculus students for our very existence. Students who fail Calculus, or repeat customers as we like to call them, are of course the most highly appreciated of all.
An otherwise good student, given the right combination of obscure lectures and unreadable texts, may pay for the same Calculus course 2, 3 or even 4 times. The Streetwise Guide is too thin and too cheap. Moreover, the writing style gives ordinary students what they need to master Calculus the first time they take it. In other words, this book is a threat to mathematics departments everywhere.
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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
My dad bought me this book the summer before my senior year in high school (this year) - I looked at it and thought, "yeah, right." I'm a humanities person, I got a C in my last term of Pre-calculus, and I didn't think some book was going to help. However, once my AP Calc class started, I thought "hey, might as well give it a try." That was the best idea I've had in a long time. Mr. Adams and friends explain the concepts so clearly that I have to wonder what the authors of standard calculus texts were thinking when they wrote their books. Not only do I have an A- in the class, I have a much better understanding of what we're actually learning than the students who used to do better than me by just following all the formulas. In short, I am acing calculus, and (this is very hard for me to admit) enjoying it as well. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who panics at the thought of calculus.
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121 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Yu-Jin Chia TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 14, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unless you're a mathematician, it is probably a rare thing when you find a math book that you would enjoy reading in your free time. It is utterly inconceivable that you would find a CALCULUS book that you wouldn't mind for some light night reading.
Believe it or not, inconceivable does not imply impossible, and here is the proof in hard copy. I HATE calculus and I found this book both easy to understand and actually amusing! It was an excellent refresher for my 2nd (and surprisingly successful) attempt to pass calculus II. I really wish I'd had this thing earlier, when I was slaving away through first-quarter calculus. For anyone who is taking calculus or wants to review, I give this book my highest recommendation. Now, if only these folks would write a full-length textbook!
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By W. Mason on April 6, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am horrible at math. I used this book in my Calculus I class last semester (Fall 2000) and part of Calculus II and it really helped me out. With this book and a lot of determination I was able to get an 'A' in Cal I and, depending on how my final exam turns out, it looks like I might get an 'A' in Cal II. I am completely convinced I would not have done as well with just my text book alone. I was impressed that all though the book was 1/5 the size of my Calculus text, everytime I stumbled in class I was able to flip right to the section I was having problems with and it explained almost everything in a clear and relevent manner. Some of the humor in the book is a bit of stretch and there were a few topics on which I wish the book contained a bit more information. Particularly the chapter "Fancy Pants Techniques of Integration." I really could have used a little more help on Trigonometric Substitutions, Misc Substitutions, and Partial Fractions. Other than that, this book is easily one of the best educational supplements I've ever purchased. I have "How to Ace the Rest of Calculus" on order now. I hope it gets to me before the end of the semester.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jason E. Rice on June 19, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am heading back to school to finish up a Mathematics degree. Been away from school for a while, and even though I've completed Calc I, II and III (over 8 years ago), Calc is the prereq for my remaining advanced math courses. What to do?!?

Found this little gem three weeks ago, ordered it, and finished it tonight (an hour or two each night, and still living my life)! Given the textbook racket that seems to have become more costly than courses - not to mention filled with sometimes _too_ much information - I'm happy to say that this book is cleverly written, to the point, yet thorough with the principles and explanations of the general principles of Calculus.

I recommend this book to anyone who is:

a) about to take a beginning Calculus course
b) in need of an excellent refresher on the topic
c) would like to learn Calculus for fun, in a fun way!

Thanks goes out to the previous reviewers, and to the authors for taking the time to care about the student by setting the egos aside (next week it's on to How to Ace: the Rest of Calculus)!
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is aptly subtitled, as so much of the advice could have been written by knowledgeable students rather than three mathematics professors. The second chapter gives you sound advice regarding how to choose a calculus instructor and what the different academic ranks often mean. While students learn this very quickly through informal channels, it is surprising to read three professors publicly stating that the instructor is the single most determining factor as to whether you enjoy or hate calculus. Of course it is often true and we all know it. Many professors view teaching undergraduates as some form of penance and it shows in the quality of their teaching. Furthermore, although things are changing a bit, working hard to instruct well is often negatively reflected in a tenure decision. The remainder of the book is a combination of a relaxed, joking style and sound advice that is part of the standard exam speech given by many teachers.

* Arrive on time.
* Read the problems carefully.
* Check your work.
* Don't erase in a panic.
* Try for partial credit.

However, presented in the form of jokes, it is possible that the message will penetrate a little deeper.
The authors also do one other very admirable thing. Rather than try to boost sales by deleting or grossly simplifying mathematical expressions, all of the major formulas of first year calculus are here, and in the same form as they appear in standard calculus texts. However, the approach is much more relaxed, which makes it more understandable than a formal text. In the days when I was teaching calculus, so many of the problems that students had was a consequence of being intimidated by the formal structure of the text and the rigor of the proofs.
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