Top critical review
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Low level of difficulty and poor in scope - disappointing
on 6 February 2014
This vsi appears to be aimed at those with only very little, or perhaps no, prior understanding of mathematics. It does do what the title suggests in respect of introducing basic number theory, complex numbers, geometry, and Cartesian graphs. There is mention of infinity, proof, simple logic and sorting algorithms. That's about as far as it goes, however. The book is really a 'taster' for mathematics. Only very simple formulae are included that should not trouble a fifteen year old. The author has a nice way of conveying ideas but does tend to waffle in one or two places.
Now, although the book contains simple algebra, the word algebra does not itself have a place in the index and thus is not dealt with explicitly. Instead, algebra rather creeps in by the back door. There is place in the index for the word 'qualia,' however, which has to do with personal feelings of a subjective nature. Rather incongruous to include psychological terms when the emphasis should be on mathematical content and objectivity.
There is no group or set theory, for instance; no mappings or functions; no mention of differential equations. The low level of difficulty is uniform throughout.
Although nicely written, the contents do not really amount to a worthwhile introduction to mathematics. The book is set at a level well below others in the series I have read. The companion books on molecules, particle physics and thermodynamics, for instance, are a lot more worthy because they more completely cover their respective subject matter and contain conceptually more difficult material. This mathematics vsi is not in the same league.
I am sorry to say it is a job only half done and needs to be replaced with a more comprehensive offering.