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Topic: On Reform, Part 1
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talmanl@mscd.edu

Posts: 1,838
Registered: 12/6/04
On Reform, Part 1
Posted: Jun 23, 1997 11:43 AM
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Jerry Rosen recently posted a list of what he perceives to be deficiencies he
finds in the Harvard Calculus text (HC).

I should like to shift the discussion from HC, which I think that Jerry
mistakenly uses to epitomize a monolithic reform that simply does not exist.
Therefore, instead of addressing Jerry's deficiencies in the context of HC, I
will discuss the way in which *this reformer* believes we should handle those
things in our calculus courses.

Jerry's list (which I will not re-post, in order to keep message lengths
within reasonable bounds) can be broken down into four distinct classes:
Underemphasis on Algebra (which is item 7), into which I place also partial
fractions (item 12) and related rates (item 14); Missing, Defective, or
Inappropriate Definitions [exponentials & logs (3), limits (13), continuity
(15), and the Riemann integral (16)]; Missing, Defective, or Inappropriate
Theory [the Quotient Rule (4), the Intermediate Value Theorem (7),
differentiability implies continuity (8), the Mean Value Theorem and its
consequences (9)]; and Un-, or Inappropriately Treated Topics [convergence
tests for series (5), L'Hopital's Rule (6), polar coordinates (10), parametric
equations (11)].

Jerry has also complained that HC is a poor reference. I have addressed that
complaint elsewhere, and I will not repeat those remarks.

Because Jerry's list is long and I have much to say, I will distribute my
remarks through a series of shorter notes. Those who, for whatever reason,
don't want to plow through them can delete them without much pain.

--Lou Talman

(to be continued)




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