##### Chasing the Scream The Firs...

Taking pages from Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo...

*By Adonis Monahan*

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I transferred to a few different schools by the time I finished my degree, which often meant having to retake units that wouldn’t transfer over, making me very familiar with this calculus textbook. Almost every professor uses this book — for good reason.

Stewart uses formal notation for all equations, and while this makes it a little difficult to digest sometimes, it helps tremendously with understanding the proof and derivation.

He provides a decent amount of example problems with simple-enough-to-follow steps laid out. Some problems are only meant to demonstrate the technique while others actually show real-world application — a very useful thing for engineering students like me who moan on and on about “what’s the point of this?”

The author groups together all critical equations and final derivations in red boxes — a real lifesaver when you’re making notes or searching for something; your eyes skim down to the red, ignoring all of the irrelevancy in black.

He does the same with important ‘tips’ and ‘notes.’ I wouldn’t recommend his ‘Differential Equations’ chapter if you’re looking for anything more than a cursory glance, though. There are entire books written on ‘Diffy Qs’ for a reason — he just included a cute summary in there just so that the book wasn’t lacking it.

Now, the problem sets at the end of his chapters; they’re something else. The last few problems in every chapter are nightmares if you don’t understand the material, but bloody good practice if you plan on applying the math. One of my professors liked fishing exam problems out of the book and they are a good challenge even if yours doesn’t.

I would recommend finding the solution manual or a having a Chegg account if you do plan on problem-solving from it extensively, though. Some of them are real head-scratchers.

Overall, it’s a very good, solid reference for your calculus needs — at least it was for me while studying engineering. Once you get used to his notation and organization the book becomes your best friend.

Updated 2 years ago