Written by Steve Kennedy, MAA Books Beat is a column written for MAA FOCUS. Extraordinary Book on Ordinary Differential Equations appears in the April/May 2014 issue.
These changes are rooted in the calculus reform movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s, the easy access to powerful computing and visualization, and the rise of dynamical systems theory and its accompanying qualitative point of view.
The calc reform movement taught us to explain everything from graphical, numerical, and symbolic perspectives. Computing, of course, made it possible to do this in effective ways, especially the numerical and graphical bits. Dynamical systems provided entirely new ways of thinking about the evolution and bifurcation of systems.