A Tour of the Calculus [NOOK Book]

Overview

In its largest aspect, the calculus functions as a celestial measuring tape, able to order the infinite expanse of the universe. Time and space are given names, points, and limits; seemingly intractable problems of motion, growth, and form are reduced to answerable questions. Calculus was humanity's first attempt to represent the world and perhaps its greatest meditation on ...
See more details below
A Tour of the Calculus

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price

Overview

In its largest aspect, the calculus functions as a celestial measuring tape, able to order the infinite expanse of the universe. Time and space are given names, points, and limits; seemingly intractable problems of motion, growth, and form are reduced to answerable questions. Calculus was humanity's first attempt to represent the world and perhaps its greatest meditation on the theme of continuity. Charts and graphs throughout.


From the Hardcover edition.

In its largest aspect, the calculus functions as a celestial measuring tape, able to order the infinite expanse of the universe. Time and space are given names, points, and limits; seemingly intractable problems of motion, growth, and form are reduced to answerable questions. Calculus was humanity's first attempt to represent the world and perhaps its greatest meditation on the theme of continuity. Charts and graphs throughout.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Berlinski (Black Mischief: The Mechanics of Modern Science, LJ 2/15/86) presents an unconventional work on the foundations of calculus. It is in part an informal history of the subject, the author inrerweaves the historical fragments with expository sections that explain the concepts from a modern viewpoint. He gives special attention (very appropriately) to the concept of limits and to several of the fundamental theorems that underpin calculus. He also shows how differential calculus deals with rates of change and how integral calculus works to determine areas under curves. Writing in a breezingly informal style, the author includes a plethora of humorous asides as well as a number of clearly fictitious anecdotes. At times his prose gets a bit too ripe, but the overall effect is to make the book quite readable. The work should be especially useful for providing perspective to college and advanced high school students currently learning calculus. Recommended for all public and college libraries.-Jack W. Weigel, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor
Gilbert Taylor
Even those who flailed through calculus class sense the power and perfection of that branch of mathematics, and Berlinski rekindles the interest of lapsed students in this pleasing excursion through graphs and equations. Berlinski's goal is to explain the mystery of motion and the area and volume of irregular shapes, issues that gave rise to Leibnitz and Newton's invention of calculus. He makes his points one concept at a time, but not so dryly as asking and answering, "What is a function?" No, with dashes of biography or images of his walking around old Prague (to illustrate continuity), Berlinski tangibly grounds the abstract notions, so that attentive readers can ease into and grasp the several full-blown proofs he sets forth, as of the mean-value theorem. Though the math-shy won't necessarily jump to the blackboard to begin differentiating and integrating polynomial equations, Berlinski's animated presentation should tempt them to sit forward and appreciate the elegance of calculus--and perhaps banish recollections of its exam-time terrors.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307789730
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/27/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 415,516
  • File size: 5 MB

Table of Contents

Introduction xi
A Note to the Reader xv
The Frame of the Book xvii
Chapter 1 Masters of the Symbols 3
Chapter 2 Symbols of the Masters 9
Chapter 3 The Black Blossoms of Geometry 16
Chapter 4 Cartesian Coordinates 21
Chapter 5 The Unbearable Smoothness of Motion 30
Chapter 6 Yo 35
Chapter 7 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Line 40
Chapter 8 The Doctor of Discovery 44
Chapter 9 Real World Rising 54
Chapter 10 Forever Familiar, Forever Unknown 61
Chapter 11 Some Famous Functions 75
Chapter 12 Speed of Sorts 92
Chapter 13 Speed, Strange Speed 106
Chapter 14 Paris Days 118
Chapter 15 Prague Interlude 129
Chapter 16 Memory of Motion 155
Chapter 17 The Dimpled Shoulder 173
Chapter 18 Wrong Way Rolle 190
Chapter 19 The Mean Value Theorem 198
Chapter 20 The Song of Igor 217
Chapter 21 Area 244
Chapter 22 Those Legos Vanish 252
Chapter 23 The Integral Wishes to Compute an Area 268
Chapter 24 The Integral Wishes to Become a Function 274
Chapter 25 Between the Living and the Dead 282
Chapter 26 A Farewell to Continuity 304
Epilogue 311
Acknowledgments 313
Index 315
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2006

    Before you pick up that textbook...

    ...read this book! Undoubtedly the best book on mathematics I've read. Hugely entertaining in its whimsical style. Read it if you want to know exactly WHY you are studying calculus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 1, 2003

    Amazing book for anyone interested in math

    This book is for ANYONE interested in math. I am 14 and I LOVED this book. Now I am looking for some real calculus textbooks. A must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 13, 2000

    A Must Read

    I have read, and re-read 'A Tour of the Calculus' several times; each time gleaning something new are more subtle than the last. Berlinski has extracted and distilled the essence of the alculus, the continuum, and indeed that of 'real' numbers and functions. I was inspired by this book to revisit elementary analytic functions, this time from an elevated view. How function approximation leads to orthogonal function spaces to fourier series/transform (a special case) to wavelet transforms (the true general case). An outstanding work by Berlinski; at times I laughed out loud when reading the anectdotes, especial about the waiter in Prague - 'nicht da'. Doesn't exist... I heartily recommend 'A Tour of the Calculus'; if you don't find it enlightening and entertaining, you're probably a college professor at a public university :o).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 13, 2011

    Worst Book I Ever Read

    I LOVE math. But this book was more prose than interesting content.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 13, 2011

    Phenomenally written

    As an old but devoted student of mathematics and science, I was easily drawn to this book by title and synopsis. Neither hinted at what a master of language, of storytelling, of visual creation Mr. Berlinski is. In addition to a wonderful tour, a revisiting of the calculus I enjoyed in my youth, he provided the gift of pleasurable excursions in history, biography, and philosophy. I was brokenhearted when the last page was turned.

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

    Posted March 30, 2004

    Calculus BY a Poet?

    In college thirty years ago, I took a notorious 'gut' course, 'math for poets'. I never thought I would end up reading a book about math written BY a poet...Berlinski is absolutely fabulous, explaining the relationship between calculus and real world applications with great literacy and humor. Make no mistake - this book is NOT a simplification of calculus (I doubt such a thing would be possible). Rather, it is, as its title states, a 'tour', a fanciful, insightful, reasonably accessible introduction to calculus and an appreciation of its power and beauty. And that beauty is what this book is all about.

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

    Posted March 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)