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# The Calculus of Friendship: What a Teacher and a Student Learned about Life While Corresponding about Math

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*The Calculus of Friendship*is the story of an extraordinary connection between a teacher and a student, as chronicled through more than thirty years of letters between them. What makes their relationship unique is that it is based almost entirely on a shared love of calculus. For them, calculus is more than a branch of mathematics; it is a game they love playing together, ...more

## Get A Copy

Hardcover, 184 pages

Published
August 1st 2009
by Princeton University Press
(first published July 5th 2009)

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Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time as an educator knows about the special relationship that can develop between a teacher and a student, which can be especially striking when the relationship evolves and the student becomes the teacher. I know that I have former teachers -- as well as ...more

That may be so, but if you remove all of the math problems from the text, the remainder is mostly the author kicking himself for poor social skills and lacking a spine as he rarely makes a decision without confiding in his mother or a brother. .

My undergraduate calculus skills were never profound in the first place and are now pretty much extinct almost forty years ...more

I was impressed with the organization. The topics for each ...more

*The Calculus of Friendship*. It's a beautiful, poignant story of the intense, special, and evolving relationship between student & teacher. It is also an amazing writing accomplishment that successfully combines math and memoir. While I can't say that I completely understand all the math, the mathematics only adds to this story rather than detracting from it. It shows the true elegance & ...more

On its face, this book is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY. Mathematical and human in equal parts. The premise is that the author, Steven Strogatz, a distinguished mathematician (dynamical systems and such), has carried on a 30-year correspondence with his high school calculus teacher ...more

Some of them which I enjoyed are:

1. The evaluation of \sum_{k=1}^\ ...more

My husband has math friendships like the one portrayed here, and I chose this book for that aspect. I was hoping for a lot more relationship and a little less math. I could ...more

Dans le Calcul de l'amitie, l'auteur, Steven Strogatz narre la relation epistolaire qu'il a maintenue avec son prof de maths au lycee pendant ...more

**wants**to read. After hearing Steve talk about the book on an NPR program, and then hearing him read from it at one of the downtown bookstores, she was sold. The reason, of course, is that for her, the book was mostly about the evolution of a friendship of mathematical conversations between a teacher and a student. Ultimately, that turned out to be the main attraction for me as well -- I have a couple ...more

Jan 16, 2016
Gail Hernandez
added it

I only understood .05% of the calculus. I hope my math savvy friends get more out of it. I learned more about calculus though, which was my goal.

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Steven Strogatz is the Schurman Professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University. A renowned teacher and one of the world’s most highly cited mathematicians, he has been a frequent guest on National Public Radio’s Radiolab. Among his honors are MIT's highest teaching prize, membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a lifetime achievement award for communication of math to
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“Yet in another way, calculus is fundamentally naive, almost childish in its optimism. Experience teaches us that change can be sudden, discontinuous, and wrenching. Calculus draws its power by refusing to see that. It insists on a world without accidents, where one thing leads logically to another. Give me the initial conditions and the law of motion, and with calculus I can predict the future -- or better yet, reconstruct the past. I wish I could do that now.

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