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Cameos for Calculus: Visualization in the First-Year Course

Cameos for Calculus: Visualization in the First-Year Course

Roger B. Nelsen

Print ISBN: 978-0-88385-788-5
Electronic ISBN: 978-1-61444-120-5
186 pp., Hardbound, 2015
List Price: $50.00
Member Price: $37.50
Series: Classroom Resource Materials

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A thespian or cinematographer might define a cameo as “a brief appearance of a known figure,” while a gemologist or lapidary might define it as “a precious or semiprecious stone.” This book presents fifty short enhancements or supplements (the Cameos) for the first-year calculus course in which a geometric figure briefly appears. Some of the Cameos illustrate mainstream topics such as the derivative, combinatorial formulas used to compute Riemann sums, or the geometry behind many geometric series. Other Cameos present topics accessible to students at the calculus level but not usually encountered in the course, such as the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality, the arithmetic mean-geometric mean inequality, and the Euler-Mascheroni constant.

There are fifty Cameos in the book, grouped into five sections: Part I Limits and Differentiation; Part II Integration; Part III Infinite Series; Part IV Additional Topics, and Part V Appendix: Some Precalculus Topics. Many of the Cameos include exercises, so Solutions to all the Exercises follows Part V. The book concludes with References and an Index.

Many of the Cameos are adapted from articles published in journals of the MAA, such as The American Mathematical Monthly, Mathematics Magazine, and The College Mathematics Journal. Some come from other mathematical journals, and some were created for this book. By gathering the Cameos into a book we hope that they will be more accessible to teachers of calculus, both for use in the classroom and as supplementary explorations for students.

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About the Author

Roger B. Nelsen was born in Chicago, Illinois. He received his B.A. in mathematics from DePauw University in 1964 and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Duke University in 1969. Roger was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, and taught mathematics and statistics at Lewis & Clark College for forty years before his retirement in 2009. His previous books include Proofs Without Words, MAA 1993; An Introduction to Copulas, Springer, 1999 (2nd ed. 2006); Proofs Without Words II, MAA, 2000; Math Made Visual (with Claudi Alsina), MAA, 2010; The Calculus Collection (with Caren Diefenderfer), MAA, 2010; Icons of Mathematics (with Claudi Alsina), MAA, 2011; College Calculus (with Michael Boardman), MAA, 2015; and A Mathematical Space Odyssey (with Claudi Alsina), MAA, 2015.