Calculus for Cats

( 4 )

Overview

This is an introduction to the concepts and vocabulary of calculus, for people about to take their first calculus course. No exercises to solve, this is a book to simply read. If you enjoyed Algebra Unplugged, by the same authors, and found it useful, this is the book to send you even farther down the road to mathematical enlightenment.

Calculus For Cats starts from the logical premise that cats are really aliens who have taken over our planet...
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Calculus for Cats

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Overview

This is an introduction to the concepts and vocabulary of calculus, for people about to take their first calculus course. No exercises to solve, this is a book to simply read. If you enjoyed Algebra Unplugged, by the same authors, and found it useful, this is the book to send you even farther down the road to mathematical enlightenment.

Calculus For Cats starts from the logical premise that cats are really aliens who have taken over our planet and forced humans to do their bidding. Think about it. It explains a lot. To keep humans in their place (providing expensive food, warm laps and lovely curtain-toys) they must keep us ignorant of some of the more elegant mysteries of the universe, like calculus. While discussing the pursuit of linear mice and quadratic mice, the authors speak in language that even a dog could understand as they unravel the processes encountered in a first year course. It’s a book of concepts, not a book of problems and solutions. What is a derivative and why would I want one? What is a slope, a logarithm, what do the letters e and u mean to the cult of the mathematically blessed, etc. Before traveling to an exotic land, wise tourists learn the simple phrases and customs. Why risk inadvertently insulting the local warlord or militia, right? The smart tourist want every insult to be intentional.

Same deal with math. If you’re going to take a calculus class it helps to understand the terms ahead of time too. Do you want to be the only rookie who doesn’t laugh at the instructor’s minima/maxima joke? If you know someone about to take calculus, this book is the ideal gift. If you know someone struggling with calculus, this could be the code book they desperately need. And if you know someone who’s already getting an A in calculus, hey, it couldn’t hurt. If you know someone who has very little chance of ever taking a calculus course, consider this book the duct tape and plastic sheeting of mathematical emergency preparedness. It costs so little, and if they ever need it, they will thank you profusely.

Perhaps less obvious, this is the ideal gift for that person on your list who has absolutely no interest in math but has an obsession with all things feline. They’ve already got the cat salt and pepper shakers, they’ve already got the cat-shaped clock, they wear tabby slippers and sleep on Garfield pillows. One might despair finding that perfect gift no one else has thought of. Or that their pet hasn’t already destroyed.

We guarantee, they don’t have a calculus book for their cat yet. But you must hurry. We both know it’s just a matter of time.
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Editorial Reviews

American Mathematical Monthly
“An “alternative” (to put it mildly) treatment of first-semester calculus, emphasizing chatty explanations, de-emphasizing calculations, and entirely omitting exercises; studies what calculus is about rather than how it’s done. Some discussion is helpful (e.g., a clear description of variables and their relations); some is misleading (“Finding … derivatives . . . is the central task of calculus.”) Tone will strike some as friendly, others as relen
blurb from the back of the book
“”Calculus for Cats is not a “how to book, it’s a “what is it?” book, and a darned fine one at that. Amdahl and Loats have found a witty approach that explains the fundamental ideas clearly and simply without talking down to the reader. Definitely a “two thumbs up.”

Keith Devlin, Stanford University, NPR’s “Math Guy” author of The Language of Mathematics, Making the Invisible Visible, and Life by the Numbers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780962781551
  • Publisher: Clearwater Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Pages: 178
  • Sales rank: 782,599
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.46 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenn Amdahl is the author of There Are No Electrons: Electronics for Earthlings; Joy Writing: Discover and Develop Your Creative Voice; The Land of Debris and the Home of Alfredo; and Jumper and the Bones. He is the co author (with Jim Loats) of Algebra Unplugged and Calculus for Cats. He owns Clearwater Publishing Company and lives in Broomfield, Colorado.

Jim Loats, Ph.D, is a professor of mathematics at Metro State College in Denver, where he is widely acclaimed for teaching future teachers how to teach math. He lives in Denver.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    Missing something

    Special characters dont show up & formulas are so small as to be unreadable. Bad formatting ruins an otherwise pretty good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    Formulas don't enlarge like the text does in the Nook format..

    Formulas don't enlarge like the text does in the Nook format.. I'm very disappointed. Wish I knew if it is Adobe's or the pubisher's fault.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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