Calculus: Concepts and Contexts (Stewart's Calculus Series)
Stewart's CALCULUS: CONCEPTS AND CONTEXTS, FOURTH EDITION offers a streamlined approach to teaching calculus, focusing on major concepts and supporting those with precise definitions, patient explanations, and carefully graded problems. CALCULUS: CONCEPTS AND CONTEXTS is highly regarded because this text offers a balance of theory and conceptual work to satisfy more progressive programs as well as those who are more comfortable teaching in a more traditional fashion. Each title is just one component in a comprehensive calculus course program that carefully integrates and coordinates print, media, and technology products for successful teaching and learning.
Fails epically at its fundamental responsibility: teaching
By CrunchyCookie - October 1, 2010
Of the 18 math textbooks I've used in my academic lifetime, this is the worst by a mile. Let's start with the unforgivable flaw: it does a terrible job explaining mathematical concepts. Mr. Stewart seems to assume absolute mastery of all material involved (often high-level algebra and trigonometry) -- an assumption that causes him to frequently skip or combine steps in explanations, which can leave you scratching your head at how the hell he arrived at the conclusion (sometimes he even seems to assume you know the very thing he's supposed to be teaching you). I found that reading the intro & examples for any given section gives adequate training to solve the first 10 or 20 problems, but for the remaining 30 you're on your own, stuck there staring blankly at the page, frustrated at having no educational resource to turn to. If you want to survive whatever class force-feeds this textbook down your throat, you'd better hope to end up with a professor who's clear and helpful enough to... read more
By Rose - December 4, 2011
This textbook is absolutely terrible at explaining and teaching calculus. Each chapter starts off with a complex, mathematical definition. Okay, that's fine, but it never explains in layman's terms how on earth we're supposed to adapt this definition to problems. I'm not a self-taught genius! I'm a student! Explain, explain, explain! After the definition, there are a couple examples, but these are more useless than helpful. Very rarely are steps shown in the examples to walk you through the steps. Even if I look up techniques I already know, I'm still confused by this textbook's way of instructing.
If you want to pass calculus, you're going to need a great instructor, not this book. It's horrible for studying and is really only good for the homework problems, if you have the solutions manual (which you have to pay even more for). This textbook is just lazy, a waste of money, and will only confuse you further. Avoid if at all possible.
Why Settle For Mediocre?
By J. Jensen - April 18, 2011
This book is honestly quite terrible. Other reviewers generally concur, with a few exceptions every now and then that point out some of its good qualities. This is a very difficult book to actually learn from. The provided instructions provide only a narrow track which you must follow. You are told what the rules are, but not what they are not. When you encounter a problem in the homework that does not fall into the neat little mold that the author provides then you will be lost. And good luck trying to find the info in the book. It seems that I constantly have the feeling that I am playing catch-up. Bits of information are resurrected from earlier chapters that send me scrambling for definitions.
This scrambling gets old fast, so I started paying closer attention to what is actually in this book, and I can tell you honestly, there's alot, but it doesn't amount to much. He is constantly leaving out definitions, provides little context to what are the most important... read more