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Math, Better Explained: Learn to Unlock Your Math Intuition Kindle Edition

87 customer reviews

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About the Author

Kalid Azad graduated from Princeton University and has been writing professionally for over a decade, from chapters in the best-selling "How to Program" textbooks (from Deitel, Inc.) to technical whitepapers for Microsoft, Corp. Kalid has tutored math since high school (99% percentile for SAT/GRE/GMAT) and is enamored with finding the clearest, most intuitive insights on seemingly-complicated topics. He is the founder of BetterExplained, a teaching website whose explanations are read millions of times every year, including dozens of high school and college courses.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1091 KB
  • Print Length: 97 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1479186724
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: BetterExplained.com; 1 edition (December 6, 2011)
  • Publication Date: December 6, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006J5L3VU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,200 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kalid Azad graduated from Princeton University and has been writing professionally for over a decade, from chapters in the best-selling "How to Program" textbooks (from Deitel, Inc.) to technical whitepapers for Microsoft, Corp. Kalid has tutored math since high school (99% percentile for SAT/GRE/GMAT) and is enamored with finding the clearest, most intuitive insights on seemingly-complicated topics. He founded betterexplained.com, which provides high-quality explanations to millions of readers each year. The site has been referenced in Science Magazine, dozens of university courses, and the blogs for the New York Times, The Atlantic, and Scientific American.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Romanos Piperakis on December 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
A lot of math concepts come from the need to solve everyday problems but unfortunately are taught in the classroom in distilled, abstract form that transcends the specific examples it was originally invented for. As such, the intuition behind the abstract concepts is sacrificed at the expense of generalization.

The author makes the very useful and widely overlooked point that the intuition behind abstract concepts or theorems can be recovered by reversing the direction from abstract to specific and explaining how one can arrive at applied/concrete instances from the pure/distilled forms.

As such the author is not only helping the reader to demystify math (making it more accessible to anyone with common sense) but paves the way for developing modeling skills where those concepts can be successfully applied to real-world problems.

This is a very worthwhile undertaking and I would personally love to see the author extend this effort to more concepts e.g. determinants, adjoint/hermitian matrices, regression and function approximation etc. This type of explanations could serve as supplementary math texts or - in the form of wiki where others could share the burden of providing their intuition - as a very valuable reference.

Only gave 4 stars for the somewhat random selection of examples to be explained but would recommend this book without any reservations.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Neo Aeonian on June 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have you ever heard someone say, 'I never used math after I left school.'

Of course they didn't use it. They didn't understand it the first time.

But if they'd been taught the way Kalid's explains math, not only would they understand it so well they could use it all the time, but they'd have fun doing it.

Which Pizza will do a better job of feeding my family, the small and medium, or the large? Pathagorean's theorem to the rescue.

Pathagoras? The triangle thing?

Sure enough. But not by memorizing it, by the insight that comparing circles works by the same rules that comparing triangles do.

Ever thought anyone would give you an intuitive sense of calculus? As Kalid says, "We don't need to be writers to appreciate Shakespeare," and we don't need to be math geniuses to appreciate calculus.

There are lots of great courses that will teach you how to do many things, and they are good for what they do. Yet with most of them I got the sense that each lesson only applied to one very specific situation, usually a situation I would never be in. And there were hundreds of these little rules, each applying only to their own very specific situation.

But Math, Better Explained, is totally different. Kalid only talks about a dozen things. One of them is not a rule at all, just a way of looking at things Another one he spent 2 chapters on because the way I was taught it missed how useful it is. Chapter after chapter he demystifies concepts that most of us had given up on. He makes them so clear that now I can apply them in hundreds of situations, situations I'm in, if not every day, at least several times a month, where I want answers, sometimes exact and sometimes just close enough.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Antonio Cangiano on December 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I love the quality and teaching approach! The writing is clear, friendly and builds a deep understanding with excellent diagrams. The author takes your mind beyond rote details and makes you understand the essence of each math concept -- even experienced math fans will come away with valuable insights. For example, the metaphors about e, i and pi make it easy to understand Euler's formula, considered one of the most beautiful (and baffling) identities.

I've reviewed many books while running math-blog.com: very few are this approachable and entertaining while helping you truly learn. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a teaching assistant for an engineering related course, and when students in class raised doubts about Euler's formula, I started searching online for ways to explain it in a way that wasn't complicated. And that is when I came across Kalid's work. After reading his book and watching his videos, I am in a much better position to communicate with my students effectively. The book is brilliant, short and simple. I have to admit that while I got the book to get better at teaching, I did end up learning and understanding things that I had taken for granted myself. Better late than never :) If imaginary numbers, exponential functions, the natural log and radians ever bothered you, this book will make it all come together. It might even help you understand Math from a historical perspective, and see Math in a whole new light. Cheers !
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Martino Ciaramidaro on June 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
Like most people who bought this book, I did so because I found the author's website so informative and invaluable for learning new mathematical concepts. The problem with most explanations of mathematical concepts is they are either written with too much rigor (mathematicians writing for other mathematicians), or not enough, in which case they are shallow popularizations that won't actually teach anything. Kalid Azad walks that tightrope almost perfectly, providing enough hand holding for you while taking you through the actual concepts (rather than some silly metaphor) to get that "Aha" moment.

Very highly recommended.
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