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Calculus for Dummies

Calculus for Dummies 



  • Mark Ryan


  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1st edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764524984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764524981
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds


Book Description

The mere thought of having to take a required calculus course is enough to make legions of students break out in a cold sweat. Others who have no intention of ever studying the subject have this notion that calculus is impossibly difficult unless you happen to be a direct descendant of Einstein.

Well, the good news is that you can master calculus. It’s not nearly as tough as its mystique would lead you to think. Much of calculus is really just very advanced algebra, geometry, and trig. It builds upon and is a logical extension of those subjects. If you can do algebra, geometry, and trig, you can do calculus.

Calculus For Dummies is intended for three groups of readers:

  • Students taking their first calculus course – If you’re enrolled in a calculus course and you find your textbook less than crystal clear, this is the book for you. It covers the most important topics in the first year of calculus: differentiation, integration, and infinite series.
  • Students who need to brush up on their calculus to prepare for other studies – If you’ve had elementary calculus, but it’s been a couple of years and you want to review the concepts to prepare for, say, some graduate program, Calculus For Dummies will give you a thorough, no-nonsense refresher course.
  • Adults of all ages who’d like a good introduction to the subject – Non-student readers will find the book’s exposition clear and accessible. Calculus For Dummies takes calculus out of the ivory tower and brings it down to earth.

This is a user-friendly math book. Whenever possible, the author explains the calculus concepts by showing you connections between the calculus ideas and easier ideas from algebra and geometry. Then, you’ll see how the calculus concepts work in concrete examples. All explanations are in plain English, not math-speak. Calculus For Dummies covers the following topics and more:

  • Real-world examples of calculus
  • The two big ideas of calculus: differentiation and integration
  • Why calculus works
  • Pre-algebra and algebra review
  • Common functions and their graphs
  • Limits and continuity
  • Integration and approximating area
  • Sequences and series

Don’t buy the misconception. Sure calculus is difficult – but it’s manageable, doable. You made it through algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Well, calculus just picks up where they leave off – it’s simply the next step in a logical progression.  

Book Info

Text explains the rules, definitions, and formulas of calculus in a fun and easy way. Includes a tear-out cheat sheet. Softcover. 

From the Back Cover

Features the rules, definitions, and formulas you need to know

Conquer your fear of calculus the fun and easy way®!  

Confused by the complexities of calculus? This easy-to-understand guide takes the mystery out of key calculus concepts such as limits, differentiation, and integration. You’ll ease into the basics with clear explanations, clever shortcuts, and real-life examples to help you – and you’ll discover that calculus isn’t so tough after all.

The Dummies Way

  • Explanations in plain English
  • "Get in, get out" information
  • Icons and other navigational aids
  • Tear-out cheat sheet
  • Top ten lists
  • A dash of humor and fun

About the Author(s)

Mark Ryan has taught pre-math through calculus for more than a decade. He is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 



Excellent calculus companion for high school and college, September 22, 2003

In the tradition of the "For Dummies" series, "Calculus For Dummies" offers its readers with the advantage of clearly understanding critical ideas in calculus.

The book starts off with a refresher for algebra and such and then eliminates any fears of limits the reader might have. The fundamental idea of a limit (without the advanced delta-epsilon notation) allows the reader to thoroughly understand the backbone of calculus.

Differentiation is treated in detail with examples in power rule, chain rule, quotient rule, and applications (which the reader will have absolutely NO problem with after reading this book).

The concept of integration is explained so that the reader may see the fundamental principles of infinite summation of rectangles of miniature area. "Calculus For Dummies" has a strong presentation of integration techniques (especially integration by parts and the LIATE method pneumonic device) as well as trigonometric, volume and surface area, substitution, and indefinite integration.

Lastly, "Calc for Dummies" concludes with a discussion of infinite series. The book explains each of the 10 methods covered and also offers tips as to which method to use for a specific occasion.

All in all, a tremendously well-written book for those taking Calculus for the first time, those who need a companion for their current calc class, as well as those wishing for a refresher. "Calculus For Dummies" is very readable and allows the reader to understand the beautiful language of calculus without the rigors of proofs most calc textbooks have.