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Just-In-Time Algebra and Trigonometry for Students of Calculus (3rd Edition) [Paperback]

Guntram Mueller , Ronald I. Brent
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Just-in-Time Algebra and Trigonometry for Calculus (4th Edition) Just-in-Time Algebra and Trigonometry for Calculus (4th Edition) 4.3 out of 5 stars (6)
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Book Description

October 3, 2004 0321269438 978-0321269430 3

Strong Algebra and Trigonometry skills are crucial to success in calculus. This text is designed to bolster these skills while students study calculus. As students make their way through the calculus course, this supplemental text shows them the relevant algebra or trigonometry topics and points out potential problem spots. The table of contents is organized so that the algebra and trigonometry topics are arranged in the order in which they are needed for calculus. The exponential, log, and inverse trigonometric functions are given in the appendices, to be used as the need arises in the particular calculus text used in the course.


Topics include:

1. Numbers and Their Disguises
2. Completing the Square

3. Solving Equations
4. Functions and Their Graphs

5. Changing the Form of a Function

6. Simplifying Algebraic Expressions

7. Cyclic Phenomena: The Six Basic Trigonometric Functions
8. Composition and Decomposition of Functions
9. Equations of Degree 1 Revisited
10. Word Problems

11. Trigonometric Identities


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Guntram B. Mueller received his Ph.D. in Mathematics (Theory of Functions of Several Complex Variables) in 1971 from the University of Notre Dame. He has taught Calculus many times and is very familiar with the typical strengths and weaknesses in the backgrounds of his students. That experience is what guided him, in cooperation with Dr. Ron Brent, in writing the Just-in-Time series. His advice? Buy the book! It's got just what you need, just in time.


Ronald I. Brent is a Professor of Mathematics at University of Massachusetts, Lowell, where he has taught since 1987. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Brent is the author of many publications, including three Just-In-Time mathematics texts. His main advice to his calculus students is: “Work on your homework as if your life in this course depends upon it! Because it does!

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 3 edition (October 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321269438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321269430
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.5 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
If you have previously studied and largely understood algebra and trigonometry and just need a quick review, then this book is right for you. However, if you haven't studied these topics or didn't understand them the first time, then it will be of little value. The coverage is thorough in breadth, starting with the basics of adding and subtracting all types of numbers through logarithms, exponential functions and trigonometry. Only a few pages are devoted to each topic with exercises at the end of each section. Solutions to some of the exercises are given at the end, although in my opinion there should have been more.
While the explanations are short, to the extent that it is possible in a small number of pages, they are through in depth. In a section that I found interesting, the dy/dx notation for a derivative is used. However, knowledge of calculus is not required, the reader is simply being asked to algebraically solve for dy/dx rather than use any knowledge of what it represents. Used in the manner for which it was intended this book is an effective tool in the study of precalculus material.
Note: This book is nearly identical to the companion book, "Just-In-Time: Algebra & Trigonometry for Early Transcendental Calculus." It would be a waste of money to buy both.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book for review June 1, 2001
These guys are geniuses for presetnting complex information in a digestable, direct, witty, and accurate manner. Great for remembering forgotten trig and algebra. Awesome calc primer.
I salute a rare erudite math professor who can actually teach. Where can we find more? My school is full of passive aggressive math professors who know their stuff but cant teach.
thank you for the help
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow ... great book!! April 11, 2006
By M. Boy
This book is totally great. I've seen very few books that explain mathematical concepts as well as this. The authors actually made math look easy by providing a lot of examples and writing in a more conversational, informal style (like the style in the Idiot's Guides series). It's a lot clearer than Barron's and Cliffs. Often there is a lot of humor added in.

As the title of this book indicates, this book is intended for calculus students in college who are struggling in their courses. However, for high school students who are using this book to teach themselves new concepts or using this as a tutorial, review, etc. I would recommend this as a supplement to another text. The book is somewhat brief and does not go through the advanced and nitty-gritry areas of algebra and trigonometry. This is intended to be a remedial "catch-up" book and is not targeted specifically towards the hig school student. But high school students, teachers, and curious readers will all find this book very helpful for making hard math look simple.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, highly-focused and useful review for calculus December 2, 2003
By A Customer
I'd taken Calculus ten years ago and needed to retake it. After working through 'Forgotten Algebra', this book was a godsend. It's B.S.-free and highly focused on what you need BEFORE Calculus. If you buy the first edition used (as I did), then it's cheap.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actually good resource, but know if it is for you. January 18, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has a very specific audience, and it was written out of the total frustration of a professor who notices students are not ready for Calculus from a basic Algebra standpoint.

So in theory the target audience is high school graduates who are starting college. High School graduates who didn't really have a solid footing in key areas of Algebra. However, the real target audience is any adult learner who is going back to school and has gaps in their memory and education.

If you read Calculus books which "help you ace it", they all seem to iterate through the various little Algebra rules you should know, but they don't explain them. This book does that, and very well, and in a very concise manner.

Is this the most comprehensive book on PreCalc? Not by a longshot, but it does cover the meat of what you should know and where most students probably make mistakes with in Calculus. The fact that it is not comprehensive works in its favor, since it is not trying to be a 500 page textbook on the subject.

The organization of the book is a little odd, and the authors state that it is to match the order in which you will face the topics in Calculus. Maybe, but it is a bit odd.

The Trig part is just as thin, but it does do a better job than most books which have a basic Trig appendix in them. This actually does better than most PreCalc textbooks for one reason: it immediately teaches you that radians are the only measure of angles.

Though I did find it odd that there was no unit circle in the book, not one that I could find. ( I am correcting this, there is a unit circle. on page 96. but as I mentioned in my comment. I was
spoiled by a book that had all the standard angles marked off around it in radians. ).

This book does not give the various topics an indepth treatment, but it does fill a vital need for alot of students.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A PERFECT start to calculus November 11, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
if you were like me and either needed a math refresher before going back to college, or just didn't solidly understand trigonometry or algebra, this book is fantastic! the chapters are in an order that slowly increases levels and is simply logical. i wish i would have read this book instead of taking those classes. it's short and sweet, but satisfying. to be honest i haven't studied it cover to cover because math bores me, but it is an excellent reference guide. the chapters are actually full of dry math-humor. i like it. it has made me feel like i'm not the only person struggling with the basics and has been invaluable to me on my journey through calculus!
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