Catalog Code: GEMS
Print ISBN: 978-0-88385-561-4
376 pp., Hardbound, 2007
List Price: $53.95
MAA Member: $43.00
The first half of Calculus Gems, entitled Brief Lives, is a biographical history of mathematics from the earliest times to the late 19th century. The author shows that science—and mathematics in particular—is something that people do, and not merely a mass of observed data and abstract theory.
The second half of the book contains nuggets that Simmons has collected from number theory, geometry, science, etc., which he has used in his mathematics courses.
The Early Moderns
The Mature Moderns
Answers to Problems
George Simmons has the usual academic degrees (Caltech, Chicago, Yale), and taught at several colleges and universities before joining the faculty of Colorado College in 1962, where he was Professor of Mathematics. He is the author of Introduction to Topology and Modern Analysis (1963), Differential Equations with Applications and Historical Notes (1972, Second Edition, 1991), Precalculus Mathematics in a Nutshell (1981), Calculus with Analytic Geometry (1985, Second Edition, 1996 and with Steven Krantz, Differential Equations: Theory, Technique, Practice (2006).
If we may begin with a sweeping generalization, calculus is to mathematics what grammar is to literature: it is the necessary tool for the proper expression of ideas. But if students spent their time diagramming sentences and learning syntax, and occasionally applied their skills by writing practice letters to congress, they might be excused for thinking that literature has no beauty and little relevance to their lives. In Calculus Gems, Simmons provides the mathematical equivalent of Shakespeare, Browning, and Nash: important and enjoyable mathematics, accessible to those who have studied the basic tools of the subject. Continued...