Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus Phillips Thompson

Calculus Made Easy

Calculus Made Easy 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.

Details Calculus Made Easy

TitleCalculus Made Easy
Release DateOct 15th, 1998
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
GenreScience, Mathematics, Nonfiction, Reference, Calculus

Reviews Calculus Made Easy

  • Isaac
    It's still not that easy, but - as Martin Gardner explains in the introduction - this book still outshines any textbook in terms of accessibility and simplicity. 700 pages of dense, graphics filled problem sets can make a subject seem so intimidating that no one will ever want to touch it. I know I didn't. No wonder many people still look at math students as possessing a form of 'genius' that is both threatening and alienating at the same time. T...
  • Paul
    Ah, Thompson.Mad props for being the first calculus text I didn't hate, and actually being fun. I really got a feel for how important it was for Thompson to remove the intimidation from calculus. The style is conversational, even breezy. What one fool can do, another can. The invective against obscurantism in mathematics is also spot on.But let's be honest: the coverage is extremely rudimentary, and since there's no analytical treatment, the path...
  • Rod Jr.
    Of all the math books I've read, this one is by far the most exciting. Mr. Thompson was both irreverent and witty in his development of the subject.Prior to this book, I had attempted to wade through a couple of college entry-level calculus textbooks, but found the style of both authors to be obtuse and obfuscating. They may have known their subject, but this math whiz (straight "A's" in high school through Advanced Algebra & Trig) found those ot...
  • Ruchita
    This isn't all the other calculus books out there. In fact, this is a very old book (early 20th century) and it's surprising how accessible it is (I would say, more than today's books). The writer is witty and sympathetic at all times (the first chapter is called 'To Deliver You From Preliminary Terrors').
  • Roger
    This was a book that I skimmed through, rather than thoroughly digested, not least because much of each chapter consists of worked examples and exercises which I didn't attempt. I studied calculus at school, and used it occasionally at university, but I've not needed it since so this was a trip down memory lane. I was attracted to this book by its title, which struck me as unusual for 1914, when my edition was published, and its contents didn't d...
  • Wm Pope
    I have been doing some reading that requires brushing up on my integration. Integration is one of those skills that goes to rust quickly if you don't use it. Could not find my old Thomas's Calculus book and current calculus textbooks turned out to cost in the order of $300 (ouch).Got a copy of Calculus Made Easy. It turned out to not be at all what I'm looking for yet I am rating it 5 stars!If you want to learn calculus read this book first. If y...
  • Maxwell Pollack
    Pretty good. The author doesn't seem to have a consistent audience in mind. He can't decide what level of reader he's teaching.
  • Arun Mahendrakar
    I'm a software developer and have had my interests in Mathematics for quite some time now. But my knowledge about Calculus was very limited. Hence I picked up this book.The book has real simple language and of course since this a book about an advanced concept, the reader is expected to have some background in Mathematics.The author provides some examples practicing which gets the concepts ingrained in the readers' mind. I'll be honest, I didn't ...
  • Jonathan Peto
    I reread the text a few times and worked out most of the problems and feel I now understand calculus well enough to appreciate its significance and genius. I've worked my way through another calculus text because of it and am able to understand discussions about aspects of calculus in other math books as well.Wish I had this book when I was a high school student. I definitely plan to use it with my children when they are older.
  • David
    I have skipped the exercises. But the book explains lot of things in simple and elegant way. A must have for high school students and parents or teachers who wish to teach children calculus. About this particular edition, print quality is poor. Worst paper quality. Also they had put a copyright notice. Stupid! The book is out of copyright and available in project Gutenberg. Please stay away from this edition.
  • Patrick
    Although I still don't understand calculus I really enjoyed reading this book. It's fun when someone loves the subject so much. The idea of infinitesimals is much more intuitive to me than limits as well. It made me think of all the abstractions which were equally 'correct' that lost out over the years.
  • Dipesh
    Readers will surely realise this book and that in many respects the calculus is an art rather than science. an art only to be acquired , as all other arts are, by practice. :DYou can download a PDF of the 1914 edition at and you may in fact want to do that.
  • Jacqueline
    given that i am a science nerd you dont have to be to take on this book. calculus is a beautiful theory that doesnt involve interpretation....awww life made simple. its odd in a sense that math can make more sense when numbers with finite value become letters that can reach infinity. ironic? see for yourself. plus it will make you feel smarter!
  • Charlie
    It is difficult rating a text book. I do know that I will buy this book for all my children when they are taking Calculus. Though it was written in 1910, it is amazingly understandable. One thing I enjoyed about working my way through this book was that the exercises given at the end of the chapters was exceedingly difficult.
  • Allyn
    This book got me through calculus after I slept through the first 5 weeks and realized I didn't know what was going on anymore. It's a clear, simple but practical look at calculus and without it I probably would have became a liberal arts major.
  • Arron
    Available for free on project Gutenberg as a beautifully typeset PDF, this amazing little book presents the most fundamental ideas of the calculus in a surprisingly approachable way. It's certainly light on rigor, but for an introductory primer,that's not such a terrible thing.
  • Jason Rubenstein
    If you want to learn calc, or need a refresher, this book is indispensable.
  • Ken Van Allen
    When I first saw this book, I thought that one might as well call a book "Levitation Made Easy". My judgement of the cover notwithstanding, Thompson does manage to demystify an intimidating topic.
  • Logan Kennedy
    Calculus made easy is one of the best science and math books that I have read to date. Silvanus Thompson did an amazing job with explaining a possibly complicated subject with great detail and made each point crystal clear. It also helps with the countless examples that he gives and works out to show you how each problem is done. Not only that, Martin Gardener wrote an amazing preface and reviewed the entire book. This preface helps you understan...
  • Billy
    This book definitely makes calculus easy, by presenting it with simple enough concepts that are then backed up by the mathematics needed to understand them. Calculus is first introduced with integrals, to first teach infinitesimals and why they are interesting. It then follows the standard pattern of teaching differentiation first, building up the formulas, until it then applies the knowledge to integration and the different methods for it.I myse...
  • Paulo Glez Ogando
    I read the second edition, dated 1914. It's a good book for beginners in maths, so here you can learn a little bit of basic calculus (differentation and integration). There are no theorems in this book, only basic definitions and main ideas explained. And, especially, an awful lot of examples and exercises (both solved and proposed).The book has very plain language, as far as possible, but you have to have certain mathematical background. But it ...
  • Chai Zheng Xin
    Good introduction book to the concepts of calculus. If you are looking for a refresher to high school level calculus or a introductory read, this is the book for you. However, if you want an exhaustive reference book or a textbook suitable for college level engineering or mathematics, there are better books out there because this book lacks rigour and does not dive into deeper, more advanced topics and applications of calculus.Overall, it serves ...
  • Arnaud Wolff
    Nice book, often funny, and the concepts are explained very clearly.Of course, as the title presumes, this is a very short introduction to the basics of calculus (differentiating and integrating), and the book clearly has its limits. But for someone that wants to be cleared from the misconceptions that we can have regarding calculus, this book is useful."What one fool can do, another can".
  • Donald
    Good, this is making a comeback. How refreshing to see that calculus can be taught in 200 something pages instead of the modern bricks. This cuts to the bone and is well written. Its available for free with Project Gutenberg. share it with young people before its too late.
  • Oleksandr Bilyk
    10 years later after university it is difficult to remind how to do all this stuff. Honestly, personally, i may solve only basic things from all chapters. I'm happy to have this legendary book as my first Math book read from cover to cover.
  • Ethan Hulbert
    Best math book I've ever read. I learned calc in high school and hated it. Learned it again in college and hated it. Turns out I just hated how it was taught to me. This book fixed that and was a ton of fun to read.
  • Dan Perik
    Presented the concepts quite simply and readably. The choices for initial examples and exercises were sometimes more complex than they needed to be, bringing in complexities unrelated to what was being taught. But all in all was a helpful book.
  • Ellen Kock
    Amazing. Distills calculus down to its essence in a beautiful way. Makes me remember why I loved studying calculus. How making that jump from learning trigonometry and algebra to learning calculus is a profound experience.
  • Kevin Yee
    Silvanus P. Thompson is a cool dude.