6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
too clever by half,
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This review is from: Concepts of Modern Mathematics: 8 (Paperback)
This book claims to require only basic algebra and a smattering of trigonometry. I've completed first year university maths and I can quite honestly say, what rubbish. Often you can work out his reasoning, after a good ten minutes thinking through what he could possibly mean, but just as often it is quite unclear how he gets from one statement to the other. Like many of the so-called "popular" mathematicians, Prof Stewart relies on reviews by other mathematicians who think he has a clever way of expressing familiar concepts. If you are not very fluent indeed in algebra and trigonometry, you will not understand much of what this book says. I think it is quite funny thinking of a class load of young mothers keen to help their kids at school sitting through any one of these lectures. No doubt they would not be there if they did not have some sort of feel for maths, but I cannot see ordinary people getting much out of this.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Nov 2009 00:16:50 GMT
Just because you can't cope with the coursework, don't blame Ian Stewart... (Heh heh).
Posted on 10 Jan 2010 20:52:00 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jan 2010 20:52:39 GMT
R. M. Boers says:
The book by Ian Stewart is, to my opinion, very insightful and I recommend it to anybody who wants a better idea on what math is all about.
I am a math teacher at pre-university level. Students who consider studying mathematics sometimes read the book and they are very positive about it.
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2010 15:56:37 GMT
E. Clarke says:
Well done, you and your students. Trouble is the book says it is aimed at parents of ordinary kids studying ordinary maths in secondary schools today. It does not succeed in this aim, though I can see it has value for people like yourself and those thinking of studying mathematics.
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Aug 2011 11:14:34 BDT
I am a parent of a kid studying ordinary math (although no decent parent should consider his / her child 'ordinary', imho). The book succeeds just fine, I'd recommend it.
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