[A letter written to the instructor of a distance-education course using this text] "Speaking as an aerospace engineer, this was a great course, great professor [at a different school], and great textbook. I would have never found that textbook on my own. I would not change anything with this course. It meets the demands of the Math Analysis course in a previous era... the one I grew up in. For the most part, Calculus and Pre-Calculus classes have been dramatically watered down since the 1980s. This course restores the ancient paths.
"I think this is the best math class she [his daughter] has had for her mathematical understanding. It will help her determine her path to the future.
... for students that will continue into technology fields, this is the kind of class and teacher that makes or breaks the deal. This is the class where you decide if you like mathematics enough to take calculus and head toward engineering or the sciences. In the late 70s, this class was the most important class for me too."
My name is [omitted]. As a home-schooled junior in high school this year, I used your Precalculus book for my Precalculus course (I took the course online with xxx). I would just like to thank you so much for writing that book. It changed my entire perspective on math. Up to this year, I considered math to be a distasteful medicine which needed swallowing for some unknown reason. My main passion was languages (I've taken 3 years of ancient Greek and 4 years of Latin), and I thought that languages and math could never meet. What a revelation your course was when you began to explain the language of mathematics. No text book on a language was ever written better. I quickly became enthralled with your ideas, and now I love Math. Precalculus was my favorite subject this year and I enjoyed reading mathematics even more than I did reading Vergil and Sophocles. Thank you again so much for writing this book, you will never know how much it opened my eyes.
Hi, Dr. Esty,
A few months ago, I ordered your Precalculus text, and thank goodness I did. I decided I was just too far behind the times, even though I had completed 2 semesters of calculus in 1970, to attempt a self-study of precalc, so I signed up for a precalculus course at a community college. We are using [-------]’s Precalculus text. Your text bridges a crucial gap for me. Not only do you cover the same topics as the text, your explanations of the topics and procedures are immensely helpful. For example, I had never used a graphing calculator before, and am using the TI-86 because it is used in the stats classes that are my ultimate destination. I cannot tell you how long I worked on the calculator to try to get rid of the vertical lines that arise when the calculator result is an ERROR ( as in a graph of 1/x-1, for example) . Your text explained that these are artifacts of the graphing programming. This alone saved me many confusing minutes. Comments reminding us that order matters, and your outlines of mathematical symbols and language are essential for those who are returning to math (or perhaps never "got it" in the first place). I have seen several other precalculus texts, and my overall opinion is that the ones that are oriented to the college-age and older student simply assume too much of the reader in terms of contemporary math applications. I feel quite confident that the information I am learning from your text will not be obsolete as technology pushes the field of mathematics forward.
My wishes for your every success with your fine book.
[An adult student]
"I ordered your precalculus book, and thus far it's been quite a learning experience. I've learned more in the past 3 months than I learned in 4 years of high school. .... Thanks. [an adult student]"
[Received from a student who bought my text as a supplement to a different text used in the "Precalculus" class he is taking at a different university.]
Dear Prof. Esty,
I want to make a comment regarding your first chapter. I wish every Precalc. text would start from the very basics and define exactly what we are reading. For several days I was brooding over the concept of an odd/even function, ie. f(-x) = -f(x) and f(-x) = f(x) [In his other text.] For the life of me I just could not relate this functional notation to a given table of values. I attempted to plug in the values and crank out the answer like our sol. manual did. Well, reviewing your first chapter on the definition of a function turned the light on for me. In that the functional notation is NOT an operation like an equation but rather a DEFINITION and the DEFINITION is really "f" not f(x). So f(-x) = -f(x) explains what happens to f when the INPUT is -x!
Thank you (name omitted)
Hi. I hope you remember me: I'm the high school math teacher who is using your Precalculus text with homeschoolers in a live class over the internet. I thought you might be interested in how we're doing.
I am very pleased with how the text has worked out. The kids are appreciating it in the way I hoped they would. One student in my class wants to be a Classics major in college. He REALLY appreciates the way the text emphasizes math as a language. For the first time he feels he really understands what he's learning. (Not enough to change his intended major....but we can't have everything.)
[clip] name omitted
I tutor math. I cheked your first edition out of the ASU library and its wonderful. Best Precalculus book I have seen. Please send me [the latest edition].
[clip] name omitted
[From a faculty member currently using it in summer session at another University]
Precal is going great---I gave what I thought was a reasonably difficult midterm and the grades were four A's and four B's. (I have eight students. All eight are there every day without fail!)
Once again, I love the book. I love the emphasis on graphing calculators (oh, by the way, 100% of my students have them this time around), and I love the hordes of problems, and I love the fact that lots of problems don't have nice, neat, whole number answers, and I love the true-falses and other short-answer problems ("What is the main message of this section?").
"I love teaching the text and the other instructor feels likewise. The course has been a challenge for my students. For those who have buckled down and done the requisite assigned work (and shift in conceptual focus), well, the results are very, very evident.
"What is wonderful about your text is that I am teaching many of its rudimentary concepts to my pre-algebra and algebra students. They are getting a head start!!!" -- A high school teacher
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