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135 people found this helpful

Bypmc1@st-and.ac.ukon 29 October 2000

This book was written way back in 1910 by a Fellow of the Royal Society. However, unlike Newton's works (he was also a member) this is extremely lucid.

The essence of this work is that anyone can do calculus. Moreover, since the fools that are university professors can do it, so can you or I. The book begins with an amusing prologue about the stupidity of the mathematical teaching establishment and how it likes to show off with its amazing ability by portraying calculus as a difficult art. The author had to 'unteach himself the difficulties' and undertakes to explain them as clearly as possible. And that he does. From personal experience, before reading this book my maths grades were in the toilet - almost immediately after I read and understood it, my grades trebled. This is because the book is the best explanation of calculus I have ever seen or heard of. This was also the favourite of an eminent American physicist who read this book himself, and went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1965. The concepts are reduced to their bare (understandable) bones, and built up again leading to some great understanding of the calculus, and a confidence to approach mathematics. This book really is a MUST for all A-level students of maths - you may as well throw your textbooks in the bin. Good work Mr. Thompson!!!

The essence of this work is that anyone can do calculus. Moreover, since the fools that are university professors can do it, so can you or I. The book begins with an amusing prologue about the stupidity of the mathematical teaching establishment and how it likes to show off with its amazing ability by portraying calculus as a difficult art. The author had to 'unteach himself the difficulties' and undertakes to explain them as clearly as possible. And that he does. From personal experience, before reading this book my maths grades were in the toilet - almost immediately after I read and understood it, my grades trebled. This is because the book is the best explanation of calculus I have ever seen or heard of. This was also the favourite of an eminent American physicist who read this book himself, and went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1965. The concepts are reduced to their bare (understandable) bones, and built up again leading to some great understanding of the calculus, and a confidence to approach mathematics. This book really is a MUST for all A-level students of maths - you may as well throw your textbooks in the bin. Good work Mr. Thompson!!!

8 people found this helpful

ByAmazon Customeron 25 June 2013

I navigated to this book by seaching for the 1998 edition, which I enjoyed so much I fancied a Kindle edition.

Having found the paperback versionCalculus Made Easy with images of the expected cover, showing the authors as Silvanus P Thompson and Martin Gardner, I selected the Kindle option from the available formats table.

This took me to the page for "Calculus made easy by Silvanus P Thompson" on Kindle.

The first three lines of the Product description currently say:

"Review

'Martin Gardner is one of the great intellects produced in this country.' - Douglas Hofstadter

'For more than half a century, Martin Gardner has been the single brightest beacon defending rationality and good science.' - Stephen Jay Gould</B "

Thus seeming to confirming Martin Gardiner as co-author. However this version of the book is from a 1942 reprint. The preface is dated 1911, a few years before Martin Gardner was born.

I am disappointed. The 1998 version is in modern english, but sticks to the essence of the original version. It has updated examples, not mentioning farthings and groats. The newer version speaks to you, now. In this day and age the style and content of the original version is a little distracting.

I believe this book to be a classic, whichever version you buy, but the marketing leaves a lot to be desired.

Having found the paperback versionCalculus Made Easy with images of the expected cover, showing the authors as Silvanus P Thompson and Martin Gardner, I selected the Kindle option from the available formats table.

This took me to the page for "Calculus made easy by Silvanus P Thompson" on Kindle.

The first three lines of the Product description currently say:

"Review

'Martin Gardner is one of the great intellects produced in this country.' - Douglas Hofstadter

'For more than half a century, Martin Gardner has been the single brightest beacon defending rationality and good science.' - Stephen Jay Gould</B "

Thus seeming to confirming Martin Gardiner as co-author. However this version of the book is from a 1942 reprint. The preface is dated 1911, a few years before Martin Gardner was born.

I am disappointed. The 1998 version is in modern english, but sticks to the essence of the original version. It has updated examples, not mentioning farthings and groats. The newer version speaks to you, now. In this day and age the style and content of the original version is a little distracting.

I believe this book to be a classic, whichever version you buy, but the marketing leaves a lot to be desired.

Bypmc1@st-and.ac.ukon 29 October 2000

This book was written way back in 1910 by a Fellow of the Royal Society. However, unlike Newton's works (he was also a member) this is extremely lucid.

The essence of this work is that anyone can do calculus. Moreover, since the fools that are university professors can do it, so can you or I. The book begins with an amusing prologue about the stupidity of the mathematical teaching establishment and how it likes to show off with its amazing ability by portraying calculus as a difficult art. The author had to 'unteach himself the difficulties' and undertakes to explain them as clearly as possible. And that he does. From personal experience, before reading this book my maths grades were in the toilet - almost immediately after I read and understood it, my grades trebled. This is because the book is the best explanation of calculus I have ever seen or heard of. This was also the favourite of an eminent American physicist who read this book himself, and went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1965. The concepts are reduced to their bare (understandable) bones, and built up again leading to some great understanding of the calculus, and a confidence to approach mathematics. This book really is a MUST for all A-level students of maths - you may as well throw your textbooks in the bin. Good work Mr. Thompson!!!

The essence of this work is that anyone can do calculus. Moreover, since the fools that are university professors can do it, so can you or I. The book begins with an amusing prologue about the stupidity of the mathematical teaching establishment and how it likes to show off with its amazing ability by portraying calculus as a difficult art. The author had to 'unteach himself the difficulties' and undertakes to explain them as clearly as possible. And that he does. From personal experience, before reading this book my maths grades were in the toilet - almost immediately after I read and understood it, my grades trebled. This is because the book is the best explanation of calculus I have ever seen or heard of. This was also the favourite of an eminent American physicist who read this book himself, and went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1965. The concepts are reduced to their bare (understandable) bones, and built up again leading to some great understanding of the calculus, and a confidence to approach mathematics. This book really is a MUST for all A-level students of maths - you may as well throw your textbooks in the bin. Good work Mr. Thompson!!!

ByObserveron 11 January 2004

I have a number of texts on the calculus andgeneral maths and this book, written originally in 1910, but recently edited by Martin Gardener) stands head and shoulders above all the introductory texts, for introducing calculus in an understandable way, slice by slice. Also, the book being a small paperback fits into one's pocket unlike many/most texts on calculus!!!

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ByAmazon Customeron 25 June 2013

I navigated to this book by seaching for the 1998 edition, which I enjoyed so much I fancied a Kindle edition.

Having found the paperback versionCalculus Made Easy with images of the expected cover, showing the authors as Silvanus P Thompson and Martin Gardner, I selected the Kindle option from the available formats table.

This took me to the page for "Calculus made easy by Silvanus P Thompson" on Kindle.

The first three lines of the Product description currently say:

"Review

'Martin Gardner is one of the great intellects produced in this country.' - Douglas Hofstadter

'For more than half a century, Martin Gardner has been the single brightest beacon defending rationality and good science.' - Stephen Jay Gould</B "

Thus seeming to confirming Martin Gardiner as co-author. However this version of the book is from a 1942 reprint. The preface is dated 1911, a few years before Martin Gardner was born.

I am disappointed. The 1998 version is in modern english, but sticks to the essence of the original version. It has updated examples, not mentioning farthings and groats. The newer version speaks to you, now. In this day and age the style and content of the original version is a little distracting.

I believe this book to be a classic, whichever version you buy, but the marketing leaves a lot to be desired.

Having found the paperback versionCalculus Made Easy with images of the expected cover, showing the authors as Silvanus P Thompson and Martin Gardner, I selected the Kindle option from the available formats table.

This took me to the page for "Calculus made easy by Silvanus P Thompson" on Kindle.

The first three lines of the Product description currently say:

"Review

'Martin Gardner is one of the great intellects produced in this country.' - Douglas Hofstadter

'For more than half a century, Martin Gardner has been the single brightest beacon defending rationality and good science.' - Stephen Jay Gould</B "

Thus seeming to confirming Martin Gardiner as co-author. However this version of the book is from a 1942 reprint. The preface is dated 1911, a few years before Martin Gardner was born.

I am disappointed. The 1998 version is in modern english, but sticks to the essence of the original version. It has updated examples, not mentioning farthings and groats. The newer version speaks to you, now. In this day and age the style and content of the original version is a little distracting.

I believe this book to be a classic, whichever version you buy, but the marketing leaves a lot to be desired.

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8 people found this helpful.
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ByTed Mooneyon 14 December 2010

Why aren't all maths books as good is this. Never has a finer book been written on Calculus. I heartily recommend this book to all who want to know the beauty and simplicity of Calculus. It is esseential for the beginner and equally so for the expert. 'A' level students need this book.

Ted Mooney

Ted Mooney

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ByLacion 8 July 2015

Basically it has a very similar scope but with a few extra chapters.

The difference between this book and "normal" modern textbooks is that normal textbooks don't explain how and why things work, to make the subject look more impressive like a magician who doesn't explain his tricks, thus make the writers seem cleverer. (same with teachers) This book however fully explains why the ideas make sense, to give you the best chance of understanding them. On the face of it, it sounds like you will need to learn more if you also learn the why-s, but otherwise you just need to memorise without understanding, which is far harder and takes longer.

Beware, just because you're not explicitly "taught" something at A-level, it doesn't mean it won't come up in the exam. This is what happened to me with using the chain rule on 2 separate terms. Using this book before would have saved me quite a few marks.

Don't worry about it being a century old. Calculus didn't change since then. The only difference is that he uses a few expressions that sound strange and some notations are slightly different. (use the notations they teach you at A level)

Example insight: After completing A level I didn't fully understand the meaning of ∫ and dx therefore I needed to just memorise this: ∫dx=x, After reading this book I however know that ∫ means "sum of all the..." and dx is a very small fraction of x. Now it's obvious if you sum up all the fractions of x, you will get x. Why integration works in other cases also became obvious.

The difference between this book and "normal" modern textbooks is that normal textbooks don't explain how and why things work, to make the subject look more impressive like a magician who doesn't explain his tricks, thus make the writers seem cleverer. (same with teachers) This book however fully explains why the ideas make sense, to give you the best chance of understanding them. On the face of it, it sounds like you will need to learn more if you also learn the why-s, but otherwise you just need to memorise without understanding, which is far harder and takes longer.

Beware, just because you're not explicitly "taught" something at A-level, it doesn't mean it won't come up in the exam. This is what happened to me with using the chain rule on 2 separate terms. Using this book before would have saved me quite a few marks.

Don't worry about it being a century old. Calculus didn't change since then. The only difference is that he uses a few expressions that sound strange and some notations are slightly different. (use the notations they teach you at A level)

Example insight: After completing A level I didn't fully understand the meaning of ∫ and dx therefore I needed to just memorise this: ∫dx=x, After reading this book I however know that ∫ means "sum of all the..." and dx is a very small fraction of x. Now it's obvious if you sum up all the fractions of x, you will get x. Why integration works in other cases also became obvious.

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ByDannystapleson 15 April 2012

You might think that a book on calculus is going to be a snooze fest. I actually ENJOYED reading this book. How is that possible you ask? Well apart from being very easy to read, it also gives you examples and works through the maths in a nice way. He isn't trying to impress you with the standard Maths books do but actually provides useful information that can be used for the harder stuff later on. It is laying the foundations if you like.

I would imagine that this book would work better if you use it alongside another text book. So if you have problems with the Product Rule for example read this book, try the worked examples and then go onto another book and try some more examples. Only through repetition and practice will you nail calculus.

Calculus is as hard as the situation in which it is utilised. Calculus can be used to find the maximum area of a rectangle of sides a and b which is rather simple. It can also be used to work out the inner workings of space-time and that IS difficult. You just need to understand that you need to learn to crawl before you can walk and run. This book will give you the confidence to take the next step.

I highly recommend this book, plus it is relatively inexpensive but if you can find a second/third hand one then I'd do that.

I would imagine that this book would work better if you use it alongside another text book. So if you have problems with the Product Rule for example read this book, try the worked examples and then go onto another book and try some more examples. Only through repetition and practice will you nail calculus.

Calculus is as hard as the situation in which it is utilised. Calculus can be used to find the maximum area of a rectangle of sides a and b which is rather simple. It can also be used to work out the inner workings of space-time and that IS difficult. You just need to understand that you need to learn to crawl before you can walk and run. This book will give you the confidence to take the next step.

I highly recommend this book, plus it is relatively inexpensive but if you can find a second/third hand one then I'd do that.

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5 people found this helpful.
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ByPetroxxxon 18 April 2012

This book is what it says it is: Calculus made easy (well, at least, understandable with a little effort!). I bought it used and clearly the first owner had not opened it much - it was like new. But I really enjoyed the book and have gained a valuable understanding of calculus from it.

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3 people found this helpful.
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ByBig Redon 14 July 2016

I'd been trying to find this for years, especially as I'm a bit of a physics geek. Yeah! Science b&*%h. Ok, so I'm also a fan of Breaking Bad. This really does help with calculus, although I'd hesitate to call to easy. If it's something you struggled with at school, or just heard about it from studies about Newton, give it a go. At this price (under £2) you can't go wrong, even if it's just in the book case, or propping up a table, it makes you look clever just having it in your home.

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ByRogue-Trooperon 8 October 2015

I got the kindle version but am contemplating getting a hard copy as lap tops can be bulky on restaurant tables and Ipads can be tempting for light fingered louts. I only wish that my maths teacher had explained things as well as this book does. We were never told where or when you would ever use Calculus, basically, learn it then take an exam in it.

I found the explanation of minutes and seconds illuminating, one often wonders where parts of our language is derived from. I do recommend this book (or Kindle), wholeheartedly, even for people like me that grew Mathophobic tendencies 40 years ago, through the temper tantrums of sadistic, closet foot fetishist Maths Teachers. I also note that 3 out of the 5 reviews I wanted to compare notes with haven't even bothered to leave a review, I mean............."Thank You"............what's that supposed to mean.

I found the explanation of minutes and seconds illuminating, one often wonders where parts of our language is derived from. I do recommend this book (or Kindle), wholeheartedly, even for people like me that grew Mathophobic tendencies 40 years ago, through the temper tantrums of sadistic, closet foot fetishist Maths Teachers. I also note that 3 out of the 5 reviews I wanted to compare notes with haven't even bothered to leave a review, I mean............."Thank You"............what's that supposed to mean.

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ByWayneon 2 July 2014

I struggle with books that advertise themselves as "made easy" when the subject matter at hand is not easy. I don't think single variable calculus is particularly advanced but it does require detailed presentation in order to be useful, I'm not sure why you would use this book when you could as easily skim through a more advanced text and just skip of the derivations. This book would be great for anyone with a decent background in pre-calculus that has some time on their hands and wants to work through the key ideas of single variable calculus but I would recommend a more advanced text for anyone looking to learn the subject properly.

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