Customer Reviews


185 Reviews
5 star:
 (84)
4 star:
 (33)
3 star:
 (19)
2 star:
 (17)
1 star:
 (32)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


65 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top two precalculus texts available
There is a mind-numbing sameness to precalculus and calculus textbooks, and this book is more of the same. The coverage starts with real numbers, exponents, expressions and solving equations. The basic principles of functions, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions, solving systems of equations, sequences, series, counting and probability,...
Published on March 14, 2005 by Charles Ashbacher

versus
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bizarrely unhelpful textbook.
While I am not an expert in mathematics, I usually do not have a difficult time figuring out problems based on the textbook alone. The explanations in this work read rather muddily; the structure of the content can be confusing; the examples seem insufficient towards applying the concepts learned. There were quite a few times where the problems given did not honestly...
Published on January 28, 2012 by 漢慶


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

65 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top two precalculus texts available, March 14, 2005
There is a mind-numbing sameness to precalculus and calculus textbooks, and this book is more of the same. The coverage starts with real numbers, exponents, expressions and solving equations. The basic principles of functions, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions, solving systems of equations, sequences, series, counting and probability, analytic geometry and limits follow this. I personally can do without the chapter on limits, when I teach precalculus, I am hard pressed to cover the other material. There is plenty of time to cover limits in calculus and it provides a better context. There are a large number of exercises at the end of each section and solutions to the odd-numbered ones are included in an appendix. As appears to be the case with many books, some of the exercises could have been left out with no decline in quality. At times I suspect there is the mathematical equivalent of an "arms race" to see how many exercises can be included at the end of a chapter.

The previous paragraph could be used to describe nearly every precalculus text on the planet, so it fits into the category of obvious, but necessary. Therefore, the key point is what makes this book different from the competition. The answer is not much. The approach is the standard statement of the new material followed by a series of worked examples, which is also the fundamental strategy used in all lower level math books. Short biographical asides of some of the major historical figures in mathematics are interjected on a regular basis. I like that, but wonder how often the students read them. What is different about this book is that the quality of the writing is somewhat better than most. In a field where there is very little to differentiate the texts, that is enough to make me rank this book in the top two precalculus books that are available.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book for someone not having done math for 40 years, August 19, 2010
By 
This review is from: Precalculus: Mathematics for Calculus, Fifth Edition (Hardcover)
I'm in my 60's and have not studied math in school for over 40 years. This was my first math book for college since the 60's. I found it easy to read, clear, and too the point. I was able to understand it. That says a lot. Math has always been hard for me, so this book is well done if I can learn from it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bizarrely unhelpful textbook., January 28, 2012
By 
漢慶 (Montebello, California United States) - See all my reviews
While I am not an expert in mathematics, I usually do not have a difficult time figuring out problems based on the textbook alone. The explanations in this work read rather muddily; the structure of the content can be confusing; the examples seem insufficient towards applying the concepts learned. There were quite a few times where the problems given did not honestly reflect the explanatory material of the chapter. Some of the answers provided in the back seem to be incorrect given the explanations. Considering the cost of the text, the quality of presentation falls short of the money spent. I would strongly recommend against the use of this textbook as either a collection of exercises for classroom use or a method for self-study. Hopefully the publisher will work towards creating a stronger, friendlier text for the next edition.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very accurate..., March 12, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I thought at first maybe I had the wrong edition or something, but no... fifth edition it is. Some chapters the answers don't match up with the questions in the book i.e. it will say #107 when it's really the answer to #95, #109 is #97 etc. Some of the chapter test answers are just the wrong problem (some have slight mistakes, like copied down wrong. Others are just a completely different problem). I really expect more than this. I'm going down to the bookstore tomorrow to see if it's just my copy (as none of the other reviewers here seemed to notice). Otherwise I'm contacting the publisher.

On the bright side, the problems which ARE correct have been tremendously helpful. Just as an answer guide should. The only reason it's earned two stars.

I should really give it one, because after all... this IS MATH and accuracy is of utmost importance!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so good., July 10, 2012
This book is one of the worst math text that I have had the pleasure of using. The explanations are poor and I have to google the material for better examples and explanations. If it was the last available reference in a post apocalyptic earth it would work, but not effectively. With so many other quality texts on amazon choose another for one independent study. However, if you need it for class buy it, scan the HW problems, and send it back then promptly purchase another book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont expect any help, February 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
this is by FAR the worst math text i have ever had the misfortune of being forced to use (university of new mexico). there is absolutely no explanation of principals in terms that even come close to being understandable. the only examples available for review are the most basic explanations possible and shed no light AT ALL on how to solve more elaborate problems. of course the author would make the argument that the user of this text is supposed to know the basics of the principals in the book, to which I would say, the purpose of a book is to LEARN, whether i should or shouldnt already know something is not the point. get used to seeing "heres a problem" and "heres the answer" with no explanation on how to get there. useless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, January 3, 2007
I found this product relatively useful. There were a few sections where the answers could have held more detail--mostly in the first few chapters--but by the third I found that the work-throughs for the problems helped me immensely in understanding the mathematics involved.

Even though it only explains half the problems, it's still a great help. I would recommend buying this to other pre-calculus students.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Precalculus -, September 12, 2003
By A Customer
I'd say it's a rather interesting book, especially concerning the set of problems at the end of each chapter. Covers basics of linear algebra and preparation for calculus, with reasonable amount of problems and examples. Clear prose. Warns about mistakes to avoid.
Brief biographies of prominent mathematicians are introduced in the margin sometimes. Occasionally refers to external sources that you may find interesting.
I'm giving it 5 stars because this book is rather non-traditional. The authors undoubtedly wanted to introduce it as an interesting subject and does cover needed preparatory material for calculus.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very understandable and interesting, a rarity in math texts., June 15, 1999
By A Customer
The book is easy to read and interesting. I am able to teach high school students out of this book, but it has enough depth to still be useful to a first year university student. It has good write-ups on the predominant mathematicians. It's the best pre-calc book I've come across.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First rate service. CD leaves much to be desired., September 15, 2008
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Your service was first rate and the book was delivered in a very reasonable amount of time. The book was in excellent condition for the price I paid, about half of new.

The author gives you lots of practice problems and because I bought the "instructors" edition I got the answers to all of the problems. I find it helpful when learning math, if you're having trouble, to look at the answer and "reverse engineer" the problem. Sometimes doing it this way, in combination with the examples, will give you clues as to how you should work the problem. If the answer that you are headed towards does not look like the answer in the book, you can analyze your work and figure out what you are supposed to do.

If you are someone like me who has not taken a math course for a few years, or if you have always had trouble with higher math like I have, you would be well served to refer to a book from an earlier level of math for additional help, such as my old Algebra 2 book. (I always keep my old math books.)

The author tends to use a lot of shortcuts without explaining that he has done so. If a user of this book, is not proficient in math this can serve to confuse and frustrate the user.

The CD, while it does have lots of good practice problems and the practice test routines are cool, has little in the way of examples. I really don't see the sense in having so many practice problems on the CD when the book itself is crammed full of practice problems. I think the CD would have been better if it explained more of the actual problems from the book.

The last two math books I used had, "CD" or "video tape" icons beside some of the problems that indicated that the problem was worked out on the CD. The "precalc" had no CD problems from the book and only a handful of "video tape" problems.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Precalculus: Mathematics for Calculus, Fifth Edition
Precalculus: Mathematics for Calculus, Fifth Edition by James Stewart (Hardcover - October 20, 2005)
$283.95 $215.81
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.