Any suggestions on a good text to use for teaching an introductory Real Analysis course? Specifically what have you found to be useful about the approach taken in specific texts?
Anyone that thrusts baby Rudin - as so many departments do, sadly, in an act of either callous indifference or elitist zealotism - on beginning analysis students with no prior experience with rigor is committing an act of inhumanity against a fellow human being. Let's face it: Calculus just ain't what it used to be and Rudin is going to be a buzz-kill for any but the best students. I personally have never liked Rudin even for good students. Rudin seems more interested in showing how clever he is then actually teaching students analysis.
My recommended texts:
- For average students,who have never seen proofs before, I strongly recommend Ross' Elementary Analysis:The Theory Of Calculus.
It's gentle, complete and walks the reader through a careful presentation of calculus containing many steps that are usually omitted or left as an exercise. It can also be used for an honors calculus course: I've had friends that have used it for that purpose with great success. Spivak is a beautiful book at roughly the same level that'll work just as well.
- More advanced, but I think well worth the effort, is Kenneth Hoffman's Analysis In Euclidean Space, which I reviewed for the MAA online a few months ago when Dover reissued it.
It's an amazingly deep and complete text on normed linear spaces rather then metric or topological spaces and focuses on WHY things work in analysis as they do. This is the kind of book EVERYONE can learn something from and now that it's in Dover,there's no reason not to have it.
- Lastly, for honor students on their way to elite PHD programs, we now have a wonderful alternative to Rudin and I'm shocked no one's mentioned it at this thread yet: Charles Chapman Pugh's Real Mathematical Analysis, which developed out of the author's honors analysis courses at Berkeley.
It's terse but written with crystal clarity and with hundreds of well-chosen pictures and hard exercises. Pugh has a real gift that's on display here. He knows exactly how many words it takes to clearly explain a concept-NOT ONE WORD MORE AND NOT ONE WORD LESS. I've never seen any author who does this as effectively as Pugh. The many, many pictures greatly assist him in this task: all of them serve some purpose, none are throwaways just to fill space. Even if it's just to make a joke(see the cornball pic in chapter one showing a Dedekind cut,ugh).
Oh, almost forgot my personal favorite: Steven Krantz's Real Analysis And Foundations. If I was ordered to teach real analysis tomorrow, this is probably the book I'd choose, supplemented with Hoffman. Krantz is one of our foremost teachers and textbook authors and he does a fantastic job here giving the student a slow build-up to Rudin-level and containing many topics not included in most courses, such as wavelets and applications to differential equations. What's most impressive about the book is how it slowly builds in difficulty. The early chapters are gentle, but as the book progresses, the presentation and exercises become steadily more sophisticated. By the last chapter, the presentation is a lot like Rudin's. I would strongly consider this text if I was trying for self study.
Anyhow, those are my picks.
Look no further than Spivak's completely amazing Calculus. I have taught analysis courses from this book many times and learned many things in the process. One example is the wonderful "peak points" proof of the Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem. The exercises are really good too.
I'm currently taking an introductory course in real analysis at the University of Glasgow. The set text is "Calculus" by Spivak. Totally deserving of its reputation. It's a great read with loads of exercises of varying degrees of difficulty. I also dip into a few others on a regular basis:
- "Calculus", Vols. 1 and 2 by Apostol - a bit drier than Spivak but the exposition is spot on. Great coverage of topics in linear algebra too.
- "A First Course in Mathematical Analysis" by Burkhill - an oldie but a goldie. Surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet.
- "Introduction to Real Analysis" by Bartle and Sherbert - formal, well laid out.
- "Fundamentals of Mathematical Analysis" by Haggarty - a bit more hand holding. A great first text for self study I would say.
I do not know if it fits in the US curriculum, but to my mind the best book for mathematics undergraduates to learn analysis is Analysis I by Amann/Escher. I used to learn with it in my first 3 semester analysis courses (in Germany). I also quite liked Stephen Abbott's Understanding Analysis, but in hindsight it is not rigorous enough.
Amann/Escher approach each subject from a very general view. For a novice this is most times a bit harder than comparable textbooks, but it pays off. The amazon preview of the English version by Chris Moore sums it up well.
Analysis I is the first in a 3 volume series up to measure theory and Stokes' theorem. It fits quite nicely with the first 3 analysis courses at German/Austrian/Swiss universities.
If nowadays a non-math student comes in my office and is interested in real math, I recommend reading the first chapter of volume I about types of proof and elementary logic to get a first glimpse on how mathematics works.
I can only recommend to have a look at this series.
I'd recommend Hardy's Course of Pure Mathematics. Now in it's 101st year it still remains relevant to modern readers. It takes it bit longer to get to core of real analysis (e.g. limits, continuity, &c., &c.) than perhaps other similar texts do, which tends to make it more suitable as an introductory book, but there's enough there to engage those wanting explore the subjects in more detail.
I was introduced to real analysis by Johnsonbaugh and Pfaffenberger's Foundations of Mathematical Analysis in my third year of undergrad, and I'd definitely recommend it for a course covering the basics of analysis. I'm not sure if it's still in print (that would certainly undermine it as a text!) but even if it isn't, it would make a great recommended resource or supplementary text.
I'm using Analysis: With an Introduction to Proof by Steven Lay in my course right now, and from a student's perspective, it's been really good - clear explanations, and a tone of writing that doesn't seem too uptight. I can't speak to other books, but I've enjoyed this one so far!
I recommend this book: Principles of Mathematical Analysis (by W.Rudin)
By studying this book, you're gonna be able to achieve an accurate, as well as, an abstract view of concepts like continuity or Riemann-Stieltjes Integral ...
By the way, Mathematical Analysis (by Tom M.Apostol) is a FANTASTIC book for one who wants to start the course. I personally taught this book once and the result was great.
My favourite has always been Introduction to Analysis by Edward Gaughan. I just found out the AMS published the 5th edition. It contains, besides the standard calculus theorems, a very nice introduction to topology of the real line through the study of continuous functions.
I can say that reading this book as a text in my undergrad course largely contributed to myself becoming an analyst.
Might not be a textbook but a very good supplement to a textbook would be the following book Yet Another Introduction to Analysis by Victor Bryant.
As a prerequisite the book assumes knowledge of basic calculus and no more.
Moreover, the book has solutions to all of the exercises.
This book may be a better starting point for some people.
I'm not a fan of the Pfaffenberger text. For example, look at the proof of the chain rule. The proof sticks to the "derivative as slope" idea, and so has to consider the special case where one derivative is zero. This isn't very elegant, and causes confusion in what should be a straightforward proof -- IMO when students are first being exposed to something as elementary as analysis, simplicity should be an overriding concern.
Apostol, Buck and Bartle, those are texts that I like pretty well. Or the lecture notes used at the University of Alberta for their honours calculus sequence Math 117, 118, 217, 317 (available on-line) -- pretty well based on Apostol.
There's a few subtle issues going on here. Some departments view analysis as something people learn after they go through a service-level calculus sequence. Some departments treat calculus as part of an analysis sequence -- ie students only see calculus through the eyes of analysis. What book you choose is largely determined by what path your department is comfortable with.
We use Fundamental Ideas of Analysis from Michael Reed and have been very pleased. It's pretty nice as a 1 semester course for undergrads and has some nice lead ins to other areas where analysis tools are useful.
Here is a new addition to the literature of books treating Calculus more rigorously than usual:
The How and Why of One Variable Calculus by Amol Sasane, published by Wiley in August 2015.
A google preview can be found at
and some sample material from the book can also be found on the publisher's website for the book, at: