on 29 December 1998
I agree with Usispaul's comments.
I only want to add that this is a wonderful introduction to mathematical thinking. It is completely engaging, and not like other textbooks. [This is a rigorous math book (not a book about math) and covers the material of first course for mathematics majors, logic, sets, relations, functions.] There are exercises (do them!) and examples.
I took math in college, but this book made me want to know MORE about mathematics.
on 20 July 1999
I first purchased this book two years ago and became really excited when I found that I had it in me to write proofs. The truth be told, I have NOT STOPPED writing proofs since being inspired by this book. It is a masterpiece and I think ANY student approaching the writing of proofs for the first time couldn't possibly go wrong with an investment in a copy of this book. I also think that professors teaching a first class in abstract mathematics would be doing a service to their students by either requiring the book or giving it serious recommendation. AWESOME!!
on 18 September 1997
The emphasis of Vellemans book on the difference between manufacturing a proof and the proof's final presentation speaks directly to the confusion of the uninitiated to proofs. It meets the (perhaps frequent) naive expectation of an invariable and immediate recognition of a polished proofs rhyme and reason. It consequently points to the often necessary autonomous efforts of the student to independantly unravel the proof of a theorem or definition.
The book moves rapidly from the necessary setential logic and truth tabels (a Wittgensteinian invention) to the chapters on proof writing and follows with chapters on functions, relations, closures, and more.