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Posted April 26, 2010
Not the most helpful
This book advertises itself as a self teaching guide, however it approaches the subject as if the student has already had Calulus 1-3. Especially in the chapter on proofs, step-by-step instructions are really a misnomer. I struggled following the logic of the steps or would follow steps 1 and 2, but the next line would be "in conclusion" or "as you can see", but it hadn't been explained how we arrived at this conclusion. Also in the proofs chapter were unexplained annotations. If you're writing a book and introducing a new symbol, it would be very beneficial to label the symbol and tell what it symbolizes. The author explains some symbols but not others. There are exercises at the end of each chapter, but sometimes the answers given don't match the figures given in the problem (i.e. problem says 3/5, answer says we were given 2/5). One chapter utilized English sentences to mimic the patterns of if-then statements. However, these did not always keep the same rules from sentence to sentence. Sometimes the author would use "always" or "is sufficient for" but would not stay consistent when writing the converse or contrapositive of these sentences.
The layout between and within chapters is logical. It flows in a way that allows the reader to move from topic to topic.
This book might be helpfel for someone who has already had discrete math and didn't understand the method the professor used to teach it. This book might be a sufficiently different teaching style so that you could understand it the second time. Or, it might be good for someone, like I said, who's had multiple college calculus classes already. This book assumes a higher level of mathematic understanding. Someone with only college algebra under their belt might struggle with this book based upon the author's assumptions of the readers beginning knowledge. However, it is not a complete waste as I have learned some things from the book.
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Posted March 19, 2011
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