Biography of Richard Courant
Richard Courant was born in 1888 in a small town of what is now Poland, and died in New Rochelle, N.Y. in 1972. He received his doctorate from the legendary David Hilbert in Göttingen, where later he founded and directed its famed mathematics Institute, a Mecca for mathematicians in the twenties. In 1933 the Nazi government dismissed Courant for being Jewish, and he emigrated to the United States. He found, in New York, what he called "a reservoir of talent" to be tapped. He built, at New York University, a new mathematical Sciences Institute that shares the philosophy of its illustrious predecessor and rivals it in worldwide influence.
For Courant mathematics was an adventure, with applications forming a vital part. This spirit is reflected in his books, in particular in his influential calculus text, revised in collaboration with his brilliant younger colleague, Fritz John.
Biography of Fritz John
Fritz John was born on June 14, 1910, in Berlin. After his school years in Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland), he studied in Göttingen and received his doctorate in 1933, just when the Nazi regime came to power. As he was half-Jewish and his bride Aryan, he had to flee Germany in 1934. After a year in Cambridge, UK, he accepted a position at the University of Kentucky, and in 1946 joined Courant, Friedrichs and Stoker in building up New York University the institute that later became the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He remained there until his death in New Rochelle on February 10, 1994.
John's research and the books he wrote had a strong impact on the development of many fields of mathematics, foremost in partial differential equations. He also worked on Radon transforms, illposed problems, convex geometry, numerical analysis, elasticity theory. In connection with his work in latter field, he and Nirenberg introduced the space of the BMO-functions (bounded mean oscillations). Fritz John's work exemplifies the unity of mathematics as well as its elegance and its beauty.
Richard Courant's classic text Differential and Integral Calculus is an essential text for those preparing for a career in physics or applied math. Volume 1 introduces the foundational concepts of "function" and "limit", and offers detailed explanations that illustrate the "why" as well as the "how". Comprehensive coverage of the basics of integrals and differentials includes their applications as well as clearly-defined techniques and essential theorems. Multiple appendices provide supplementary explanation and author notes, as well as solutions and hints for all in-text problems.
Some features of the text:
* The text is completely self-contained and starts with the real number axioms;
* The integral is defined as the area under the graph, while the area is defined for every subset of the plane;
* There is a heavy emphasis on computational problems, from the high-school quadratic formula to the formula for the derivative of the zeta function at zero;
* There are applications from many parts of analysis, e.g., convexity, the Cantor set, continued fractions, the AGM, the theta and zeta functions, transcendental numbers, the Bessel and gamma functions, and many more;
* Traditionally transcendentally presented material, such as infinite products, the Bernoulli series, and the zeta functional equation, is developed over the reals;
* There are 385 problems with all the solutions at the back of the text.
Review from the first edition:
"This is a very intriguing, decidedly unusual, and very satisfying treatment of calculus and introductory analysis. It's full of quirky little approaches to standard topics that make one wonder over and over again, 'Why is it never done like this?'"
-John Allen Paulos, author of Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper
This affordable softcover reprint of the 1994 edition presents the diverse set of topics from which advanced calculus courses are created in beautiful unifying generalization. The author emphasizes the use of differential forms in linear algebra, implicit differentiation in higher dimensions using the calculus of differential forms, and the method of Lagrange multipliers in a general but easy-to-use formulation. There are copious exercises to help guide the reader in testing understanding. The chapters can be read in almost any order, including beginning with the final chapter that contains some of the more traditional topics of advanced calculus courses. In addition, it is ideal for a course on vector analysis from the differential forms point of view.
The professional mathematician will find here a delightful example of mathematical literature; the student fortunate enough to have gone through this book will have a firm grasp of the nature of modern mathematics and a solid framework to continue to more advanced studies.
The most important feature...is that it is fun—it is fun to read the exercises, it is fun to read the comments printed in the margins, it is fun simply to pick a random spot in the book and begin reading. This is the way mathematics should be presented, with an excitement and liveliness that show why we are interested in the subject.
—The American Mathematical Monthly (First Review)
An inviting, unusual, high-level introduction to vector calculus, based solidly on differential forms. Superb exposition: informal but sophisticated, down-to-earth but general, geometrically rigorous, entertaining but serious. Remarkable diverse applications, physical and mathematical.
—The American Mathematical Monthly (1994) Based on the Second Edition