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Mathematics: A Simple Tool for Geologists / Edition 2

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This book is for students who did not follow mathematics through to the end of their school careers, and graduates and professionals who are looking for a refresher course. This new edition contains many new problems and also has associated spreadsheets designed to improve students' understanding. These spreadsheets can also be used to solve many of the problems students are likely to encounter during the remainder of their geological careers.

The book aims to teach simple mathematics using geological examples to illustrate mathematical ideas. This approach emphasizes the relevance of mathematics to geology, helps to motivate the reader and gives examples of mathematical concepts in a context familiar to the reader. With an increasing use of computers and quantitative methods in all aspects of geology it is vital that geologists be seen as numerate as their colleagues in other physical sciences. The book begins by discussing basic tools such as the use of symbols to represent geological quantities and the use of scientific notation for expressing very large and very small numbers. Simple functional relationships between geological variables are then covered (for example, straight lines, polynomials, logarithms) followed by chapters on algebraic manipulations. The mid-part of the book is devoted to trigonometry (including an introduction to vectors) and statistics. The last two chapters give an introduction to differential and integral calculus. The book is prepared with a large number of worked examples and problems for the students to attempt themselves. Answers to all the questions are given at the end of the book.

"...practical guide to teaching mathematics using geological examples to illustrate mathematical ideas. For geologists who want to brush up on their skills with the final two chapters on differential & integral calculus."

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Editorial Reviews

A text for students who did not follow mathematics through to the end of their school careers, and for graduates and professionals who need a refresher course. Teaches simple mathematics using geological examples to illustrate mathematical ideas, emphasizing the relevance of mathematics to geology. Discusses basic tools such as the use of scientific notation, then covers functional relationships between geological variables, algebraic manipulations, trigonometry, statistics, and calculus. Includes worked examples, problems, and answers, many new for this edition. The author teaches geology at Royal Holloway University of London. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780632053452
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/17/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents


1. Mathematics as a tool for solving geological problems.

2. Common relationships between geological variables.

3. Equations and how to manipulate them.

4. More advanced equation manipulation.

5. Trigonometry.

6. More about graphs.

7. Statistics.

8. Differential calculus.

9. Integral calculus.

Appendix A - useful equations.

Appendix B - answers to problems.


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  • Posted January 24, 2010

    Math for Geologists; Geology for Mathematicians

    For those of you who think that Earth Science is little more than a Middle School substitute for the real thing, capable of being learned and appreciated and understood without recourse to Mathematics--then this book is for you.

    For those of you who think that Mathematics is boring and difficult and irrelevant to the real world, then this book is for you, too.

    The author has created an amazing tour of basic mathematics--from number theory, through algebra, trigonometry, statistics, differential calculus, etc.--in which every example he uses is an exercize in mathematical modeling of what is happening in and on and above our planet today.

    As a tutor in a Connecticut High School, I was able to teach myself and my student--he an aspiring geologist, both of us having poor records as math students--enough exciting material to last a lifetime.

    The text is written so well that both subjects--Earth Science and Mathematics--become fascinating beyond description; anyone interested in either subject, or who agrees with me that more secondary schools should offer rigorous courses in Earth Science, will want to buy this book.

    Better yet, buy two, and send one to the Assistent Superintendent of Curriculum for your local school district.

    My hunch is that energy companies are going to continue scouring the earth for oil and gas deposits for the next couple of generations, and that the need for geologists is going to be as great as that for nurses and physical therapists specializing in geriatrics.

    We owe it to our students to include this textbook--all the way from Egham, Surrey, United Kingdom--as an essential part of the reform of secondary education that is brewing in Washington and nearly every State Capitol in this country.

    Thank you, David Waltham, for giving American students, too, a chance to excel in these important subjects.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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