- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd (25 Mar. 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0434098442
- ISBN-13: 978-0434098446
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 3.3 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,922,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Tour of the Calculus Hardcover – 25 Mar 1996
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From the Inside Flap
Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe.
"An odd and tantalizing book by a writer who takes immense pleasure in this great mathematical tool, and tries to create it in others."--New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
David Berlinksiwas born in New York City. He received a B.A. degree from Columbia College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He has taught mathematics and philosophy at universities in the United States and France." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
At least the technical stuff is basically good. I liked his description of what continuous-ness is all about, and the (presumably fictionalised) accounts of teaching the material to small classes are quite entertaining.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
This won't make you an expert in calculus. It's a tour, as the title says, not an in-depth course. However, Berlinski does a wonderful job of making the material continuously engaging by interweaving history, practical application, and theory. He starts with an excellent ground rule: prove no theorems. You must take everything he says on faith (but you can switch to a calculus textbook any time if your faith wavers ;). That brush-clearing maneuver gets the reader out of the mess of mathematical rigor, revealing the beauty of calculus.
Although I studied calculus years ago, this was a great reminder of the fundamentals. I also learned a great deal about the people behind The Calculus -- Newton, Leibnitz, et al -- that I never knew before. A great gift book for your intelligentsia friends.