Synopses & Reviews
This is a serious - but not solemn - textbook that attempts to make a clear, conceptual understanding of calculus accessible to all liberal arts students. It presents mathematics as growing out of the classical liberal arts to form a natural bridge between the humanities and the sciences, integrating the history and pedagogy of mathematics in a way that may be of interest to prospective teachers as well. Instead of a pre-calculus review, this book offers an historical development of much of the geometry and algebra needed, emphasizing the fundamental need for students to develop a clear style of writing. Calculus is here largely restricted to the study of algebraic functions, but all the usual aspects of the interplay between functions and derivatives are covered: optimization, instantaneous rates, Newton's method, freely falling bodies, antiderivatives, integrals, areas, volumes, etc. The fundamental theorem is prominently featured and carefully treated. A brief final chapter about the intellectual climate surrounding the development of calculus offers students further insight into the place of mathematics as an element in the history of thought.
reason for delaying its study has to do with the question of mathematical maturity. * No use is made here of trigonometric, logarithmic, or expo nential functions except in occasional optional material indicating how such functions can be handled. A perceptive remark made by George P6lya suggests how we can simultaneously learn mathematics and learn "about" mathematics-i.e., about the nature of mathematics and how it is developed: If the learning of mathematics reflects to any degree the invention of mathematics, it must have a place for guessing, for plausible inference. The reader will find plenty of opportunity here for guessing. The early chapters go at a gentle pace and invite the reader to enter into the spirit of the investigation. Exercises asking the reader to "make a guess" should be taken in this spirit-as simply an invitation to speculate about what is the likely truth in a given situation without feeling any pressure to guess "correctly." Readers will soon realize that a matter about which they are asked to guess will likely be a topic of serious discussion later on."
Presenting mathematics as forming a natural bridge between the humanities and the sciences, this book makes calculus accessible to those in the liberal arts. Much of the necessary geometry and algebra are exposed through historical development, and a section on the development of calculus offers insights into the place of mathematics in the history of thought.
Table of Contents
1: Tokens from the Gods. 2: Rational Thoughts. 3: To Measure is to Know. 4: Sherlock Holmes Meets Pierre de Fermat. 5: Optimistic Steps. 6: Chains and Change. 7: The Integrity of Ancient and Modern Mathematics. 8: Romance in Reason.