From the PROLOGUE. CONSIDERING how many fools can calculate, it is surprising that it should be thought either a difficult or a tedious task for any other fool to learn how to master the same tricks. Some calculus-tricks are quite easy. Some are enormously difficult. The fools who write the textbooks of advanced mathematics -- and they are mostly clever fools -- seldom take the trouble to show you how easy the easy calculations are. On the contrary, they seem to desire to impress you with their tremendous cleverness by going about it in the most difficult way. Being myself a remarkably stupid fellow, I have had to unteach myself the difficulties, and now beg to present to my fellow fools the parts that are not hard. Master these thoroughly, and the rest will follow. What one fool can do, another can.
Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson and Martin Gardner has long been the most popular calculus primer, and this major revision of the classic math text makes the subject at hand still more comprehensible to readers of all levels. With a new introduction, three new chapters, modernized language and methods throughout, and an appendix of challenging and enjoyable practice problems, Calculus Made Easy has been thoroughly updated for the modern reader.
Calculus Made Easy is a book on infinitesimal calculus originally published in 1910 by Silvanus P. Thompson, considered a classic and elegant introduction to the subject. The original text continues to be available as of 2008 from Macmillan and Co., but a 1998 update by Martin Gardner is available from St. Martin's Press which provides an introduction; three preliminary chapters explaining functions, limits, and derivatives; an appendix of recreational calculus problems; and notes for modern readers. Gardner changes "fifth form boys" to the more American sounding (and gender neutral) "high school students," updates many now obsolescent mathematical notations or terms, and uses American decimal dollars and cents in currency examples.
This book is intended for science and engineering majors who are required to take calculus and are looking for a more intuitive way of understanding it. This is a non-rigorous infinitesimal approach which focuses on differentials of variables that represent physical quantities rather than derivatives as limits of of mathematical functions. In science variables are related in equations so this is the focus rather than on dependent and independent variables of functions. These methods were originally conceived by G. Leibniz over 300 years ago and have been used successfully by scientists ever since.