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Topic: calc. reform (LH&E Text)
Replies: 1   Last Post: Jun 11, 1997 3:24 PM

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Stephen J. Miller

Posts: 46
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: calc. reform (LH&E Text)
Posted: Jun 11, 1997 3:24 PM
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I taught AP Calculus using the "Calculus: Early Transcendental
Functions" version of Larson, Hostetler, and Edwards. I found it to be
one of the best calculus texts I have taught from. Unfortunately,
without much supplementary material, I don't believe it is appropriate
for the new AP Calc course description. I have not decided what text to
use next year. I'm still considering LH&E, but Key Curriculum's
"Calculus" by Foerster is quite appealing.

Below are some random thoughts I have of LH&E:

1. The discussion of limits, limit properties, and evaluation of limits
is very good. Quite a few examples, and it does discuss, although not
heavily, the epsilon-delta formal definition. The book uses tables of
values, graphs, and algebra to study limits.

2. The presentation of derivatives is quite good. It does get rather
heavy into the algebraic manipulation of finding derivatives using the
limit definition. (This isn't necessarily a bad thing!) The
presentation of the product and quotient rules and the chain rule is

3. There are many purely mathematical examples and exercises, as well as
applied examples and exercises. I also teach AP Physics and I noticed
many good physics related examples.

4. The book uses graphs (many are screen dumps from graphics utilities)
to support various concepts, including Rolle's Theorem and the MVT. Good
discussion of applications of the derivative.

5. The book has a very strong introduction to antiderivatives, and the
definite integral is approached adequately (I've seen better
presentations, but this is fine). I don't like their approach to Riemann
Sums and using summation formulas to find areas. My students found it
very confusing. I usually supplement here.

6. I like the fact that differential equations are covered fairly early
in the text (chapter 5, with Transcendental Functions).

7. Purely mathematical applications of integration (area between curves,
volumes of revolution) are covered rather nicely. However, physical
applications (work, and fluid pressure and force) leave quite a bit to be
desired (this is where I also supplement).

In general, I like the text. The reason I'm considering changing books
is that Foerster's book takes a novel approach that I think I (and my
students) would enjoy. If you want a text that is seriously into the
algebra, I think LH&E is the way to go. Foerster's book isn't as heavy
on the algebra, but by no means dismisses it.

Hope this helps. If any of my random thoughts need elaboration or
clarification, feel free to contact me.

Steve Miller
Head, Dept. of Mathematics
The Barrie School
Silver Spring, MD wrote:
> Does anyone have an opinion on "Calculus" by Larson, Hostetler, and Edwards,
> as an AP Calculus text?

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