Spivak’s Calculus was created whilst bearing an important thought in mind: it is perhaps the first encounter a student will have with real mathematics. Therefore, it must serve as a foundation for analysis, and the student must accept that the precise and rigorous nature of the analysis is not something which one should fear – rather, it is the medium for which mathematical ideas can be expressed, developed, explored, questioned and provoked. Spivak achieves this goal very successfully.
However, as any mathematician knows: one important aspect where one can determine whether or not a mathematical text is truly worth its salt is in its problems. Spivak’s problems range from simplistic in nature requiring mainly trivial manipulations, to those which are deviously difficult, requiring a far more ingenious and inspired approach. Each nugget of the latter gives an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction – which is very much why I was drawn to mathematics in the first place. I recommend Spivak’s Calculus to any mathematician.
Judith is a wonderful children’s author, who arrived in London in 1936, as a teenage refugee fleeing Nazi Germany with her family. As well as working for the Red Cross during the Second World War, Judith had a love of art – drawing gifts for family, and later studying to become an artist. It wasn’t until her own children began learning to read that Judith wrote and illustrated her first books, and is still doing so to this day. In 2012, Judith Kerr was awarded an OBE for her services to children’s literature and Holocaust education – her trilogy ‘Out of the Hitler Time’ has been praised for giving a wonderful insight into how children saw the Holocaust and Blitz. Even her earliest works are still popular with children today, and I truly believe they will inspire children for many years to come.
I was lucky enough last year to meet Judith Kerr, at the South East London school named after her. I stuttered my thanks for her amazing work, and for inspiring my love of reading.
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