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Maths: A Student's Survival Guide: A Self-Help Workbook for Science and Engineering Students Paperback – 18 Sep 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (18 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521017076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521017077
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 4.8 x 27.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

From reviews of the first edition: '… a friendly book written in an engaging style … It also contains very full, worked solutions to the exercises, which will greatly aid self-study. The introduction contains wise guidance on how to study and understand mathematics and the author's experience as a teacher comes out through her warnings of pitfalls and common errors … it will be valued particularly by those who need to make up a deficiency in a specific topic or to remove the rust from their mathematics … working through a few sections from Olive may be the prescription to cure the problem in many cases.' Nigel Steele, Times Higher Education Supplement

'… designed as a self-study guide, and allows students to make as much use of sections of the book as they need … An important feature is that for every concept, the book returns to basics, giving clear and entertaining explanations of the background to maths … this book is a fine example of its kind and I shall certainly use it with my students in the coming year.' Geoff Auty, School Science Review

'… excellent value, and certainly worth recommending to the strugglers in your maths class or tutorial group.' Andrew King, The Observatory

'The text is unusually friendly for a book on mathematics …' Education in Chemistry

'Mathematics books are often written by mathematicians for mathematicians, which can make them inaccessible to non-mathematicians. This one, however, is not, and consequently will be accessible to Earth Science students and would be useful addition to their book collection.' Jo Scott and Charlie Bendall, Teaching Earth Sciences

'Do not let the thickness of this volume put you off exploring its contents! Between its covers is a carefully constructed progression through the major mathematical concepts required by the new college or university student of science or engineering at an affordable price. Gone … is the stuffy approach of many mathematics text books.' Journal of Biological Education

'… this is a very good book of its kind for the simple reason that the author gets across the really essential message of any teaching approach - that she is there to help the students, thinks about their needs and find ways to address them. there are some nice little 'human' touches that raise a smile … many students will warm to this book because the author clearly cares for their interests.' The Mathematical Gazette

Book Description

This friendly self-help workbook covers mathematics essential to first-year undergraduate scientists and engineers. In the second edition of this highly successful textbook the author has completely revised the existing text and added a totally new chapter on vectors.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
All the maths in this book which is directly concerned with your courses depends on a foundation of basic algebra. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 April 2001
Format: Paperback
The book begins with very simple priciples including simple algebra and dealing with fractions. From here it builds up on to more complex subject matter. Plenty of examples are given and exercises and summarys conclude each chapter, solutions are also provided. Those who have a limited knowledge of maths will find this book useful, as will those who are a little too used to using a calculator...it is exteremly helpful in the fields it covers. Perfect for those studying foundation maths, and would make a good companion for a more advanced, degree level textbook.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Sloan on 27 July 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just finished chapter 1, so my review is for my impression of the book thus far. I will try to update this review as I complete subsequent chapters.

The book is huge. The pages are as wide as A4 and a little shorter in height. There are 634 pages, including the answers and index, so a lot of material is covered.

This is exactly the type of maths book I have been looking for. I bought Edexcel GCSE Mathematics Higher and found it to be a standard secondary school maths book - adequate, not bad. I also bought Core Maths for Advanced Level because of its high Amazon rating. The authors of Core Maths have made excellent choices in the questions they ask and the order in which they are asked. Core Maths' main failing is that little explanation is given. It often gives one example question, loosely shows how the answer can be derived, and then gives 30 exercises, lots of which cannot be done from the information in the example alone. It is sometimes satisfying to figure these out for yourself, but this takes a lot of time.

Maths: A Student's Survival Guide is a self-help book designed for those teaching themselves without attending classes. It succeeds in this. The author has written down what she would say if she was sitting next to you, explaining the subject matter. Even the answers at the back of the book are explained. In the other two maths books I have, the final, simplest answers are provided, but in this book the answers mostly show the question, show each step in how to work it out, and then show the final answer. Furthermore, the author occassionally writes entire paragraphs in the answers section explaining the problem, and some common pitfalls that students tend to make.

The text itself is amazing.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ian Wild on 31 July 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm an independent maths tutor and one of my students (in fact studying for an economics degree) asked me to find a book that would give him a good grounding in maths (up through A Level to undergraduate standard). Trying to find a book that they could work from on their own was proving to be a tall order until I came across this one. This is a pretty hefty tome but it is very well laid out and very well written - as if the author was talking to you directly but without being either patronising or silly (as these books tend to be if the author tries a "chatty" style, for some reason). In fact my student thought this book so good when I lent it to them that they bought it off me and they haven't regretted it. So this review is really two very strong recommendations in one! An excellent buy for an A/S level and first year undergraduate student.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Gibb on 28 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a marvellous book which with ease will guide you through the difficulties that is mathematics. The chapters are well explained and the exercises follow in small bite size pieces. There are additional resources available on Jenny's web site. The book has helped with an Algorithms and Data structure course as well understanding the maths behind Operational Research. The next step after this book, would be Business Mathematics and Statistics A. Francis, 5th edition or above.

Overall Jenny Olive has provide a well thought out and in some parts fun book. The tone is of understanding and nothing ever foxes the reader or looks like someone has lost control of the Greek alphabet. A joy to read and it provided me with a lot of confidence in learning and applying maths.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. N. Moffatt on 5 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback
Jenny Olive is a genius in my humble view. I had looked at school maths books and found an overly simplistic, sketchy form of education.

Jenny, by contrast, teaches with great depth, clarity, passion and insight. She combines two often inversely proportional capabilities - expertise in Maths and an ability to teach it to all levels.

Her master stroke is the connectivity and multi-faceted nature employed in her book - the flow from graphs to logarithms and their use in generating equations from experimental data was so enlightening, yet just one example of the connectivity running right through the narrative. She teaches you not so much to understand maths, but to feel that you are becoming a rounded expert.

It is rare to find a book of this quality - and enormous breadth. I am personally using it to brush up on my maths in order to offer school level maths tuition, and it works perfectly for that role.

What comes across is that Jenny gives so much, yet is in the background, never making herself look smart. Yet she is truly multi-dimensionally smart to have written this book.

It is aimed at undergraduate Science and Engineering students but would serve top level school students as well.

In summary - a superlative book.
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