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Calculus I: Early Transcendental Functions

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Ron Larson

Designed for the first semester of a three-semester engineering calculus course, Calculus I: Early Transcendental Functions, 4/e, continues to offer instructors and students innovative teaching and learning resources. Two primary objectives guided the … see full wiki

Author: Ron Larson
Publisher: Brooks Cole
1 review about Calculus I: Early Transcendental Functions

Good, close to best choice for a two-semester calculus choice

  • Jan 2, 2007
As an instructor at a small college, I am called on to teach nearly every course in the math and computer science departments. Therefore, my reasons for examining this book were to determine the suitability as a text for our calculus courses. In that regard, I found it suitable for a two-course sequence in beginning calculus.
Compared to nearly all other texts, it is quite short, on the order of 500 pages. Therefore, it does not contain enough material for a three-course sequence. The coverage is basic differentiation and integration with a final section that is an introduction to differential equations. Exercises with solutions to odd-numbered ones are included. The following is a list of positive features of this book:

*) Very little time is spent in the review of precalculus topics. In my opinion, using a lot of ink to review mathematical basics is a waste of ink. If the students don't have it by now, they shouldn't be in the course.
*) Very little time is spent in "using technology" sections. Some books try to do the Mathematica, Maple and Excel triad, showing how to solve problems using all three. While I recognize the value of technology, I also know that learning the concepts of calculus is challenging enough without throwing in the technology. If you know the calculus concepts, learning the technology is easy, but if you don't know the calculus, then the technology is of little value.
*) Proofs of selected theorems are included in an appendix. This allows instructors to pick and choose which proofs to cover and which to leave out. One criticism I have leveled against other calculus books is that proofs of the major concepts are not included. My approach is that while not all proofs should be examined, there are times when a proof should be presented and thoroughly dissected. Even though many of the calculus students will not go on in math, calculus is still a math course and math is based on proofs.
*) Several worked examples are included when every new concept is introduced.

At this point, I consider this the best calculus text available if all you are interested in is a book for a two-course sequence. However, if you would prefer one text for the standard three-course sequence, then you will have to look elsewhere.

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