Friday, November 1, 2013

Betty Mayfield Reviews Calculus: Modeling and Application

Betty Mayfield reviews Calculus: Modeling and Application by David Smith and Lang Moore in the November issue of The American Mathematical Monthly.

Sit back. Relax. Close your eyes. Now imagine that you are picking up a calculus textbook. Feel its mighty heft. Open it to see the formulas inside the front cover, the table of integrals at the back of the book, the solutions to odd-numbered exercises. Scan the table of contents for the familiar topics, in the familiar order. Flip open to a page at random and admire the colorful graphics, the theorems helpfully boxed and shaded, the examples carefully worked out. Note the many exercises you may assign to your students. Resist the urge to call the university bookstore and ask how much they are charging this semester for this impressive tome.

Now imagine a completely different kind of text—different both in content and delivery. In fact, you are reading it on your iPad. That book might be David Smith and Lang Moore’s Calculus: Modeling and Application (CMA), available through the MAA Bookstore as an electronic text. It is a direct descendent of The Calculus Reader [2], one of the more popular texts to grow out of the calculus reform movement of the 1990s [1], and it retains much of the flavor of that earlier book. Its emphasis is on the use of authentic real-world problems to motivate learning new mathematics; on the use of technology for graphing, computation and exploration; and on collaboration among students as they discover patterns and construct their own mathematical knowledge.

Read the full review here.

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