Essential Calculus

Essential Calculus presents the important aspects of calculus in an easy to understand, informal manner. A unique feature of the book is a section on Motivational Problems, problems that are presented early in the book and that give the reader an idea of the type of problems that calculus, and the reader of the book, are able to solve.

Here is a review of the book that was posted to

"A fresh approach to teaching Calculus, July 15, 2010
By Robby "Rob" (Houston Texas)
This review is from: Essential Calculus with Motivational Problems (Paperback)

This is a nice little book for an introduction or review of Calculus, using the intuitive method of infinitesimals. Dr Smither actually wrote the book for his son, who is very bright, but has not had Calculus as yet. The examples are clear and carefully worked out. They are "real world" examples to maintain student interest. About the only gripe I might have is the introduction of complex variables early on. While these are an interesting application of analysis, they might intimidate students who are not familiar with the concepts.

There are some good physics principles worked into the problems as well, which might make the book useful as a supplemental text to a basic physics course.

Rob B"

Attached below is a short preview of the book which includes the table of contents and the chapter with the Motivational Problems.

The book is available from Amazon:

Essential Calculus (

and from Create Space:

Essential Calculus (

Please use the Contact link above to send me comments about the book.


Bob Smither, Ph.D.

Preview.pdf275.84 KB