This book outlines an elementary, one-semester course that exposes students to both the process of rigor, and the rewards inherent in taking an axiomatic approach to the study of functions of a real variable. The aim of a course in real analysis should be to challenge and improve mathematical intuition rather than to verify it. The philosophy of this book is to focus attention on questions which give analysis its inherent fascination.
This new edition is extensively revised and updated with a refocused layout. In addition to the inclusion of extra exercises, the quality and focus of the exercises in this book has improved, which will help motivate the reader. New features include a discussion of infinite products, and expanded sections on metric spaces, the Baire category theorem, multi-variable functions, and the Gamma function.
Reviews from the first edition:
This is a dangerous book. Understanding Analysis is so well-written and the development of the theory so well-motivated that exposing students to it could well lead them to expect such excellence in all their textbooks. ... Understanding Analysis is perfectly titled; if your students read it that's what's going to happen. This terrific book will become the text of choice for the single-variable introductory analysis course; take a look at it next time you're preparing that class.
-Steve Kennedy, The Mathematical Association of America, 2001
Each chapter begins with a discussion section and ends with an epilogue. The discussion serves to motivate the content of the chapter while the epilogue points tantalisingly to more advanced topics. ... I wish I had written this book The development of the subject follows the tried-and-true path, but the presentation is engaging and challenging. Abbott focuses attention immediately on the topics which make analysis fascinating ... and makes them accessible to an inexperienced audience.
-Scott Sciffer, The Australian Mathematical Society Gazette, 29:3, 2002
About the Author
Stephen D. Abbott is Professor of Mathematics at Middlebury College. He is a two-time winner of Middlebury's Perkins Award for Excellence in Teaching (1998, 2010). His published work includes articles in the areas of operator theory and functional analysis, the algorithmic foundations of robotics, and the intersection of science, mathematics and the humanities.