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Sherman K Stein

Strength in numbers

Many people have been turned off mathematics by the memorisation of seemingly meaningless facts in school. In Strength in numbers : discovering the joy and power of mathematics in everyday life Sherman K Stein shows that it doesn't have to be this way. He gives an easy to follow explanation of some of the key areas of school mathematics, including why minus × minus equals plus, pythagoras's theorem and the area of a circle. He even gets on to look at calculus. But my impression is that this book isn't really aimed at those who are currently struggling with learning this mathematics at school.

In fact I feel that today's schoolchildren, with their experience of computers and the like, would find Stein's approach rather old-fashioned. Rather, throughout the book Stein links what he is doing to his experiences as a teacher, and it is clear he is aiming at those who are responsible for shaping children's education. He looks at the importance of mathematics in employability, he criticises the common representation of mathematics as a difficult subject, and he looks at reforms in mathematical teaching and where they have led. Any mathematics teachers would do well to read this book, but most of all it would be of benefit to parents, for whom it gives plenty of mathematics based activities to do with their children.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0471329746
Salesrank: 5170704
Weight:1.05 lbs
Published: 1999 Wiley
Marketplace:New from $89.37:Used from $2.00
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 272 pages  
ISBN: 0471152528
Salesrank: 3340609
Weight:1.32 lbs
Published: 1996 John Wiley & Sons
Marketplace:New from £18.00:Used from £2.77
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0471329746
Salesrank: 2547193
Weight:1.05 lbs
Published: 1999 Wiley
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 104.33:Used from CDN$ 5.01
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Product Description
An engaging survey of the fundamental concepts of mathematics and the many ways math is used in everyday life. This is a stimulating and simple reintroduction to all the math we all learned in high school but have forgotten, using many examples of how math applies to the real world. Highlights the math topics that are most relevant to everyday concerns, such as how statistics can be misleading and how interest on savings accounts accrues at different interest rates. Also explores the most fundamental mysteries and amazing properties, such as why two negative numbers multiplied together make a positive number and why fractions can be easily multiplied but not easily added. Uses a multitude of examples from real life such as how extremely large numbers are used to write unbreakable computer codes and how the slope of a curve is used by biologists to calculate the rate of growth of species. It walks the reader step by step through simple solutions to each problem explored.