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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars17
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 9 June 2013
Keith Devlin makes mathematics interesting. This is something none of my maths teachers achieved when I was at school. If you think you are not very good a maths don't worry this book will awake a hidden interest in the subject. I read it because I took the Coursera course on the Introduction to Mathematical Thinking. So if you would like to think like a mathematician or, as in my case aspire to, then this book is essential reading.
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on 28 May 2013
A good and accessible introduction to mathematical reasoning, with exercises to test your comprehension. It covers logic and mathematical proof, and does not require much previous mathematical knowledge, so it is accessible to lay readers as well as people studying maths at school or university.
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on 12 March 2013
I have the print copy but decided to get the EBook for my Kindle Fire. Firstly this is an excellent introduction to logic and mathematical proof. However, being a 'mathematical' text there are a lot of Greek characters - some of which do not reproduce on the Kindle Fire - leaving a series of empty squares. Strangely enough this is not reproduced on my Kindle for Ipad app. Other than that flaw it woukld get 5 stars.
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on 24 September 2013
A great companion for the coursera coure. Would recommend it to anyone interested in maths. The course is unique and you will find yourself having a productive/enjoyable time. The textbooks merely makes the course easier for visual learners.
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on 25 October 2015
This is an excellent and inexpensive companion to Prof. Keith Devlin's Coursera course.

Here, "mathematical thinking" refers to the kind of formal logic that one might find early-on in an undergraduate mathematics course, but don't be put-off by that as it doesn't mean you need much of a background in high school mathematics; it's basic, logical, deductive reasoning expressed formally in mathematical shorthand. It's a valuable practical tool for everyday thinking and this ought to be taught in our primary schools as a foundation for many other things - and not just maths and sciences.

In this respect, Devlin's book is a concise and inexpensive alternative to Burger & Starbird's "The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking" (another book associated with an excellent on-line course). While Burger & Starbird is lavish, it's also very expensive.

While it seems that school mathematics is increasingly about learning how to "turn a handle" to do things in a hurry and without much real insight, Devlin places particular emphasis on taking things slowly in order to think about and understand the concepts. The exercises are an essential part of the book and although there are no solutions, you'll mostly know when you have the right answer if you've understood what's going on - and if you don't, then go back and think about it; as Devlin says repeatedly: don't rush!. In addition, Devlin's Coursera on-line course is very well worthwhile (and free) and discusses many of the problems.
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on 7 October 2013
This is an execellent Introduction to Mathematical Thinking, not only to those who want to og for a major in mathematics, but also for others who can benefit from this en everyday life by improving aqnalytical thinking.
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Not an easy book for a generalist reader. It has obviously been written to stimulate interest in the subject but in my case it was rather less than successful. In particular the author's deliberate refusal to give any suggested answers to the questions raised was most irritating - unnecessarily unhelpful as one could not tell whether one had properly grasped the point(s) under consideration. Overall I found it disappointing although, to be fair, this may have been due to my maths being somewhat rusty!
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on 15 September 2013
Looking to develop my mathematical skills to a higher level (beyond that which I left off after my school years) this book provides that much needed bridge to further study. His approach challenges the reader and encourages deeper thinking. Would highly recommend reading this book in conjunction with his Coursera course of the same name.
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on 27 January 2015
Not as friendly as I had hoped!
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on 7 March 2014
I bought this because I really enjoyed the start of the Corsera course but did not have time to peruse it. Hopefully I will have more time with the book
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