Date: Jan 15, 2013 1:50 PM
Author: Richard Hake
Subject: Re: Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary Life Before 5th<br> Grade?
With no apologies for cross posting - see e.g. "Cross-Posting -
Synergistic or Sinful?" [Hake (2005)].
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In response to my post "Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary
Life Before 5th_Grade?" [Hake (2013)], math guru
<http://bit.ly/Xbd0ye> Dave Renfro (2013a) in his Math-Teach post
wrote [bracketed by lines "RRRR. . . "; slightly edited; my insert
at ". . . .[[insert]]. . . . "]:
In my previous post "Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary
Life Before 5th_Grade?" [Renfro (2013b)] I wrote:
". . . the fact that Hans Ohanian, author of "Einstein's Mistakes"
[Ohanian (2009)], thought to recommend Courant's book to his wife,
literature major Susan Ohanian <http://www.susanohanian.org>, strikes
me as really naive and out-of-touch. I'd like to say I'm stunned to
find that a Ph.D. in physics would think Courant's book was
appropriate for her, but unfortunately I'm not."
It occurs to me that it's easy to make a hit-and-run criticism like
this, and a bit difficult to offer an appropriate alternative. To
this end, I think the following books would have worked better for
1. Silvanus Phillips Thompson, "Calculus Made Easy", 2nd edition, 1914. FREE at
2. David Berlinski, "A Tour of the Calculus", 1997.
I reference "A Tour of the Calculus" [Berlinski (1997)] in my post
"Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary Life Before 5th Grade?"
In my opinion, some other calculus texts (had they been available at
the time) that might have worked better than Courant's book [e.g.
Courant & John (1998)] for Susan Ohanian are:
3. "Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach" Kline (1998).
4. "Basic Calculus: From Archimedes to Newton to it's Role in
Science" [Hahn (1998).
5. "Applied Calculus" [Hughes-Hallett et al. (2009)].
Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles: <http://bit.ly/a6M5y0>
Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs: <http://bit.ly/9nGd3M>
"Mathematics is the gate and key of the sciences. . . .Neglect of
mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since he who is ignorant
of it cannot know the other sciences or the things of this world. And
what is worse, men who are thus ignorant are unable to perceive their
own ignorance and so do not seek a remedy."
Roger Bacon (Opus Majus, bk. 1, ch. 4) <http://bit.ly/dzjbWv>
REFERENCES [URL shortened by <http://bit.ly/> and accessed on 15 Jan 2013.]
Berlinski, D. 1997. "Tour of the Calculus." Random House, publisher's
information at <http://bit.ly/ZLSHJo>. Amazon.com information at
<http://amzn.to/11sZIUv>, note the searchable "Look Inside" feature.
An expurgated Google book preview is online at <http://bit.ly/UI4kPC>.
Courant, R. & F. John. 1998. "Introduction to Calculus and Analysis,"
Vol. 1, Springer, originally published in 1965. Amazon.com
information at <http://amzn.to/MqvtkP> note the searchable "Look
Hahn, A.J. 1998. "Basic Calculus: From Archimedes to Newton to it's
Role in Science." Springer. Amazon.com information at
<http://amzn.to/LaakMh>. For a review see the late physicist David
Hake, R.R. 2005. "Cross-Posting - Synergistic or Sinful?" Post of 1
Nov 2005 08:37:12-0800 to
ITFORUM and AERA-L. Online at on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at
Hake, R.R. 2013. "Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary Life
Before 5th Grade?" online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at
<http://bit.ly/10sYmKl>. Post of 13 Jan 2013 16:52:01-0800 to AERA-L
and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being
transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog
"Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/RQkucu> with a provision for
Halliday, D. 1999. Review of Hahn (1998), Phys. Today 52(4): 74;
online to subscribers at
<http://bit.ly/LbalBm>. Halliday wrote:
"The author, a professor of mathematics at the University of Notre
Dame, has used this book in a two-semester calculus sequence 'for
arts and letters honors students' and a one-semester course of
'elementary applications of the calculus for regular arts and letters
students and architecture majors.' It seems to me that the book is
very suitable for such courses. It is perhaps less suitable for a
course in which the aim is to learn calculus as a tool and the desire
is 'to get on with it,' without exploring historical byways."
Hughes-Hallett, D., P.F. Lock, A.M. Gleason, D.E. Flath, S.P. Gordon,
D.O. Lomen, D. Lovelock, W.G. McCallum, B.G. Osgood, A. Pasquale, J.
Tecosky-Feldman, J. Thrash, K.R. Rhea, & T.W. Tucker. 2009. "Applied
Calculus." Wiley, fourth edition, publisher's information at
<http://bit.ly/Kl2qQz> Amazon.com information at
<http://amzn.to/KiDnvH>, note the searchable "Look Inside" feature.
For other books by Hughes-Hallett, et al. see <http://amzn.to/HWUcQV>.
Kline, M. 1998. "Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach."
Dover. Amazon.com information at <http://amzn.to/LsOYKC>, note the
searchable "Look Inside" feature. First published in 1967.
Ohanian. H.C. 2009. "Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of
Genius." W.W. Norton, publisher's information at
<http://bit.ly/13quVq3.>. Amazon.com information at
<http://amzn.to/11qwxlb>, note the searchable "Look Inside" feature.
See also Weinberg (2005).
Renfro, D.L. 2013a. "Re: Do We Learn All the Math We Need For
Ordinary Life Before 5th Grade?" online on the OPEN! Math-Teach
archives at <http://bit.ly/V2aR9q>. Post of 15 Jan 10:23 AM (the
MathForum fails to specfy the time zone).
Renfro, D.L. 2013b. " Do We Learn All the Math We Need For Ordinary
Life Before 5th Grade?" online on the OPEN! Math-Teach archives at
<http://bit.ly/W4bLB5>. Post of 14 Jan 4:27 PM (the MathForum fails
to specfy the time zone).
Weinberg, S. 2005. "Einstein's Mistakes: Science sets itself apart
from other paths to truth by recognizing that even its greatest
practitioners sometimes err," Physics Today, November, pp. 31-35;
online as a 336 kB pdf at <http://bit.ly/VSyoLL>>