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Calculus: Early Transcendental Functions

Robert T. Smith and Roland B. Minton
Publisher: 
McGraw-Hill
Publication Date: 
2007
Number of Pages: 
1261
Format: 
Hardcover
Edition: 
3
Price: 
0.00
ISBN: 
0-07-322973-3
Category: 
Textbook
[Reviewed by
Fernando Q. Gouvêa
, on
03/25/2006
]

There's a numbing sameness to most calculus books. In part, that's inevitable: how many paths are there through this particular garden? Given that one must visit the usual tourist spots, there is little space for being really original.

Minton and Smith aren't. This is basically a competently-executed, fairly standard calculus textbook. Like everyone else these days, the authors emphasize multiple representations (graphical, numerical, symbolic, verbal, physical...). They include lots of technology-oriented exercises. There are worked examples, color graphics, pretty little pictures, little historical asides, and "applications". Problems and examples take up more space than the actual text, and are responsible for most of the book's considerable bulk. (Nothing unusual there, of course, as calculus texts go.)

It is good to see an attempt (in boxes labeled "beyond the formulas") to discuss how one should think about the mathematics, and also good to see some open-ended assignments that involve writing and/or exploration. Beyond that, this strikes me as plain-vanilla.


Fernando Q. Gouvêa is professor of mathematics at Colby College, where he has taught second-semester calculus more times than he can count.

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