Terence Tao, "Analysis I"
2006 | pages: 420 | ISBN: 8185931623 | PDF | 26,1 mb
This text originated from the lecture notes I gave teaching the honours undergraduate level real analysis sequence at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2003. Among the undergraduates here, real analysis was viewed as being one of the most difficult courses to learn, not only because of the abstract concepts being introduced for the first time (e.g., topology, limits, measurability, etc.), but also because of the level of rigour and proof demanded of the course.
Because of this perception of difficulty, one was often faced with the difficult choice of either reducing the level of rigour in the course in order to make it easier, or to maintain strict standards and face the prospect of many undergraduates, even many of the bright and enthusiastic ones, struggling with the course material. Faced with this dilemma, I tried a somewhat unusual approach to the subject. Typically, an introductory sequence in real analysis assumes that the students are already familiar with the real numbers, with mathematical induction, with lementary calculus, and with the basics of set theory, and then quickly launches into the heart of the subject, for instance the concept of a limit. Normally, students entering this sequence do indeed have a fair bit of exposure to these prerequisite topics, though in most cases the material is not covered in a thorough manner. For instance, very few students were able to actually define a real number, or even an integer, properly, even though they could visualize these numbers intuitively and manipulate them algebraically. This seemed to me to be a missed opportunity. Real analysis is one of the first subjects (together with linear algebra and abstract algebra) that a student encounters, in which one truly has to grapple with the subtleties of a truly rigorous mathematical proof. As such, the course offered an excellent chance to go back to the foundations and thorough construction of the real numbers.
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