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Distinguishing Features of
Finite mathematics &
Applied calculus 5e
Stefan Waner & Steven R. Costenoble

To view sample excerpts from the texts, click on the thumbnail pictures on the right.

Bridging Traditional and Reform
Within a framework of fairly traditional topics, the books incorporate important features of the various calculus reform projects,
    Reform Elements
  • Thorough integration of graphing, spreadsheet, and on-line technologies.
  • Focus on applications using real data
  • Emphasis on mathematical concepts through the extensive use of conceptual exercises and pedagogical techniques such as the Rule of Four (numerical, geometric, algebraic, and communication-oriented approaches to concepts).
  • Through our Internet site, we now add a Fifth element: interactive discourse. The student can now go on-line and take a quiz, play a game tutorial or interact with more helpful regular tutorial, play a zero-sum game against the computer, or watch a visual simulation of a Markov process or a limit. The possibilities are endless, and the site continues to grow and evolve.
    Traditional Elements
  • Inclusion of almost all the topics found in more traditional texts.
  • While the books are technology-oriented, the organization of the material has been planned to ensure that students equipped with nothing more than a scientific calculator will not find themselves at a significant disadvantage.
  • The texts are carefully structured and tightly organized for easy navigation and reference, and we have taken pains to be mathematically precise in all our definitions and statements of results.
  • Abundance of practice and drill exercises
  • Large numbers of application exercises to choose from

Options in Technology
The use of graphing calculators and computer software has been thoroughly integrated throughout the discussion, examples, and exercise sets, beginning with the first example of the graph of an equation in Chapter 1.
  • Flexibility in Choice of Technology
    We incorporate all of the following technologies: graphing calculator (based on the TI-83/84), computer spreadhseet (based on Excel), and more than 20 online utilities offered on this Web site. As a result, the text can be used in a classroom devoted to a single technology mode (for instance, graphing calculators only) or in a setting where instructors and students can choose different technologies for different topics.
  • Margin Technology Notes
    For the first time in 5e we include margin notes to support all examples that use technology. These notes provide quick outlines of the more detailed step-buy-step instructions in the end-of-chapter technology guides, and are ideal references for students already accustomed to the use of technology.
  • End-of-Chapter Technology Guides
    Each Chapter ends with detailed Technology Guides for the TI-83/84 and Excel that walk the student step-by-step through all the technology-based examples discussed in the chapter.
  • Influence of Technology on Material
    The focus on technology plays an important conceptual and pedagogical role in our presentation of many topics. For example, our discussion of the operations of arithmetic in Chapter 0 includes a careful discussion of formula syntax for technology. Our discussion of mathematics of finance includes descriptions of using technology to solve problems normally requiring techniques not normally covered in finite mathematics courses. Our treatment of curve sketching was written with the graphing calculator option in mind, and we have used a flexible approach that can be adapted to the increasingly popular practice of using graphing calculators to draw the graphs and then using calculus to explain the results. (On the other hand, instructors who prefer "by-hand" sketching can simply ignore technology and use the text in a more traditional manner.) Some of the real power of technology is seen in the chapter on applications of the integral, where we guide the student in the use of technology to analyze mathematical models based on real data, make projections, and calculate and graph moving averages.

Exercise Sets
We regard the strength of our exercise sets as one of the best features of the Fifth Edition. Our comprehensive collection of exercises provides a wealth of material that can be used to challenge students at almost every level of preparation, and includes everything from straightforward drill exercises to interesting and rather challenging applications. We have therefore included, in virtually every section of every chapter:
  • Applications Based on Real Data
    A most striking distinguishing feature of these texts is the diversity, breadth and sheer abundance of examples and exercises based on real and referenced data from business, economics, the life sciences and the social sciences.. This focus on real data has contributed to the creation of a book that students in diverse fields can relate to, and that instructors can use to demonstrate the importance and relevance of calculus in the real world.
  • Expanded in 5e: Communication and Reasoning Exercises
    These are exercises designed to broaden the student's grasp of the mathematical concepts, and include exercises in which the student is asked to provide his or her own examples to illustrate a point, to design an application with a given solution, or to spot the error in a fictitious calculation, as well as "fill in the blank" type exercises and exercises that invite discussion and debate and have no single correct answer.
  • Technology Exercises
    Our technology exercises have been designed for all three types of technology discussed in the books: graphing calculator, Excel, and Web site technology tools, often in relation to real data where by-hand computation would be difficult.
  • Revisited Themes
    Many of the scenarios used in application examples and exercises will be revisited several times throughout the book. Thus, for instance, students will find themselves using a variety of techniques, from graphing through the use of derivatives to elasticity of demand, to maximize revenue in the same application.
  • Graduated Difficulty Level and Exercise Hints
    Exercises that are somewhat more advanced, not based wholly on examples, or sometimes require a student to think "outside the box" are designated as "more advanced" (marked with orange triangles) while exercises that are more difficult are designated as "challenging" (marked with black diamonds; click on the graphic to the right to see examples of all three types of exercise.) Hints are often included that relate exercises to specific examples.
  • Further Expanded in 5e: Chapter Review Exercise Sets
    The chapter review exercise sets have been expanded with the addition of many more basic skills exercises and applications. All the applications in the chapter review exercises revolve around the various business and other exploits of fictitious online seller, and CEO John O'Hagan. The diligent reader will be able to track the college career of John O'Hagan's son Billy-Sean, puzzle through the various corporate spy scenarios in the game theory chapter, and also speculate about John O'Hagan's sometimes dubious business decisions.
  • Humor
    Scattered throughout all the exercise sets you can find some scenarios that are tongue-in-cheek references to current events or, on occasion, just plain absurd. We hope that these will elicit a chuckle or two.

Up-To-Date Pedagogy
We would like students to read this book. We would like students to enjoy reading this book. Thus, we have written the book in a conversational and student-oriented style to encourage the development of the student's mathematical curiosity and intuition. Some unique features of our pedagogy include:
  • Question-and-Answer Dialogue
    We frequently use informal question-and-answer dialogues that anticipate the kind of questions that may occur to the student and also guide the student through the development of new concepts.
  • Quick Examples
    Most definition boxes include one or more straightforward examples that a student can use to solidify each new concept as soon as it is encountered.
  • FAQs
    These are collections of "frequently asked questions" and answers at the end of many sections whose purpose it is to answer common student questions and reinforce new concepts (Click on picture opposite to see a sample.)
  • Before We Go On
    Most examples are followed by supplementary interpretive discussions under the heading "Before we go on." These discussions may include a check on the answer, a discussion of the feasibility and significance of a solution, or an in-depth look at what the solution means.
  • Communication and Reasoning Exercises
    These are exercises designed to broaden the student's grasp of the mathematical concepts. They include exercises in which the student is asked to provide his or her own examples to illustrate a point or design an application with a given solution. They also include "fill in the blank" type exercises and exercises that invite discussion and debate. These exercises often have no single correct answer.
  • Unique Pedagogical Devices
    As instructors, we have all seen students encounter conceptual barriers in finite mathematics and calculus classes. We list a few we are sure you have encountered, and outline how we deal with them:
  • Word Problems: Students unable to translate stements into mathematical equaitons
    In the chapters on systems of linear equations and linear programming, we carefully coach the student to reword each statement in a specified way that translates easily into symbols
  • Differentiation Tequniques: Students unable to decide which rule to use where
    In the chapter on techniques of differentiation we describe a "thought experiment" to lead the student to a valid hierarchy of derivatives rules.
  • Counting arguments: Students unsure of how to organize information
    In the chapter on sets and counting we discuss "decision algorithms:" the student is urged to pretend he or she was going through all the steps in constructing, say, a poker hand of a specified type. The resulting sequence of decisions is then translated into a counting algorithm quite mechanically.
  • Matrix Row Operations: Students going around in circles getting nowhere in reducing a matrix
    Our dicussion of setting up row operations describes a detailed, step-by-step procedure for students to follow in setting up the appropriate row operations and ways to check the status of the computation.

Combining the Text and Web site
Our powerful Web site can be used in several ways:
  • As a Computer Classroom Instruction Medium
    Our on-line section-by-section tutorials cover a large and expanding number of topics in the books, and provide a convenient medium for in-class instruction. Through the numerous interactive features built in to the tutorials, along with the on-line utilities, students can participate actively in the classroom rather than passively as note-takers. The tutorials are designed to outline the main features within particular sections, preparing the student for a more in-depth reading of the textbook.
  • Game tutorials as in-class randomized quizzes
    The "game tutorials" are challenging tutorials with randomized questions that that work as games (complete with "health" scores, "health vials" and an assessment of ones performance at the end of the game) are offered alongside the traditional tutorials. These game tutorials, which mirror the traditional "more gentle" tutorials, randomize all the questions and do not give the student the answers but instead offer hints in exchange for "health points," so that just staying alive (not running out of health) can be quite challenging.
  • As a home study and review medium
    In addition to the tutorials, the student can use our detailed chapter summaries which serve as a supplementary "mini-text" complete with links to related pages, additional examples, on-line utilities, and interactive elements. Alternatively, the student can use the chapter true-false quizzes to test conceptual understanding of the material.
  • As a Collection of Technological Tools
    To support the use of technology, we offer a comprehensive array of on-line utilities: graphing and function evaulation utilities, regression and finance tools, matrix algebra and matrix pivoting tools, statistics utilities and graphers, and specialized utilities for linear programming, Markov processes, and game theory. As indicated in the text, these utilities can be used in place of, or along with, graphing calculators and spreadsheets.
  • Spanish A parallel Spanish version of the entire Web site is gradually being developed. All of the Chapter summaries and many of the tutorials, game tutorials, and utilities are already available in Spanish.
  • To learn more about the Web site, click here.


Case Studies
Every chapter begins with the statement of an interesting problem scenario that is returned to at the end of that chapter in a section titled "Case Study." This extended application uses and illustrates the central ideas of the chapter, and can be used as a reading project, group project, or take-home test. The themes of these applications are varied, and they are designed to be as non-intimidating as possible. Thus, for example, the authors avoid pulling complicated formulas out of thin air, but focus instead on the development of mathematical models appropriate to the topics.

Some examples of Case Studies are the solution of the "diet problem" using linear programming, an analysis of adjustable rate and subprime mortgages, the use of marginal analysis to design a strategy for regulating sulfur emissions, and the use of Benford's Law to spot fraudulent tax returns. These applications are ideal for assignment as individual or group projects, and it is to this end that we have included groups of exercises at the end of each.


Last Updated: December, 2009
Copyright © 2009 Stefan Waner and Steven R. Costenoble

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