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Worst Textbook Ever
on February 9, 2013
The college I am taking classes through required this book. Why, I don't know. They must receive monetary incentive from the publisher. The concepts are arranged well enough, but I expect more straightforward depth from a text book. Often in an example the authors leave it to the student to work through the mechanics of a calculation, usually utilizing a technique that is new to the student. "We leave it as an exercise to prove that..." or "Can you think of a reason that f(x) is undefined <1?". That would be well and good if they eventually offered an explanation, but they don't. Also the authors seem to think it's trivial to make a leap from the simple to overly complex. Any student returning to Calculus after a few years break will find that jump frustrating.
The exercises at the end of each section have plenty of depth. So much so that there isn't always an odd numbered problem that is similar to the even numbered problems (nor an example in the section text for that matter). This leaves the student going to another source for to work through a problem. This is a text book, it should be the only source that I ever need.
The Student Solution Manual is riddled with missing exponents, and dropped coefficients. Plus it almost never provides enough steps to show the student how to work through the problem. And of course it only covers the odd numbered problems.