Skip to main content
\(\newcommand{\dollar}{\$} \DeclareMathOperator{\erf}{erf} \DeclareMathOperator{\arctanh}{arctanh} \newcommand{\lt}{<} \newcommand{\gt}{>} \newcommand{\amp}{&} \)

PrefaceHow to Use this Text

Because the text is free, any professor or student may use the electronic version of the text for no charge. For reading on laptops or mobile devices, the best electronic version to use is the .html one at gvsu.edu/s/0uo, but you may also download a full .pdf copy of the text from gvsu.edu/s/0vM, where there is also a link to a print-on-demand option for purchasing a bound, softcover version for under $25. Other ancillary materials, such as WeBWorK .def files, an activities-only workbook, and sample computer laboratory activities are available upon direct request to the author via email at boelkinm@gvsu.edu. Furthermore, because the text is open-source, any instructor may acquire the full set of source files, which are available on GitHub.

This text may be used as a stand-alone textbook for a standard first semester college calculus course or as a supplement to a more traditional text. Chapters 1–4 address the typical topics for differential calculus, while Chapters 5–8 provide the standard topics of integral calculus, including a chapter on differential equations (Chapter 7) and on infinite series (Chapter 8).

Electronic Edition

Because students and instructors alike have access to the book in electronic format, there are several advantages to the text over a traditional print text. One is that the text may be projected on a screen in the classroom (or even better, on a whiteboard) and the instructor may reference ideas in the text directly, add comments or notation or features to graphs, and indeed write right on the text itself. Students can do likewise, choosing to print only whatever portions of the text are needed for them. In addition, the electronic versions of the text includes live .html links to java applets, so student and instructor alike may follow those links to additional resources that lie outside the text itself. Finally, students can have access to a copy of the text anywhere they have a computer. The .html version is far superior to the .pdf version; this is especially true for viewing on a smartphone.

Note.In the .pdf version, there is not an obvious visual indicator of the live .html links, so some availalable information is suppressed. If you are using the text electronically in a setting with internet access, please know that it is assumed you are using the .html version.

Activities Workbook

Each section of the text has a preview activity and at least three in-class activities embedded in the discussion. As it is the expectation that students will complete all of these activities, it is ideal for them to have room to work on them adjacent to the problem statements themselves. As a separate document, we have compiled a workbook of activities that includes only the individual activity prompts, along with space provided for students to write their responses. This workbook is the one printing expense that students will almost certainly have to undertake, and is available upon request.

Community of Users

Because this text is free and open-source, we hope that as people use the text, they will contribute corrections, suggestions, and new material. The best way to communicate such feedback is by email to Matt Boelkins. I also have a blog at opencalculus.wordpress.com, at which we post new developments, other free resources, feedback, and other points of discussion.