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202 of 202 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2002
I'm a former math major, and I loved these books! I used both volumes about six years ago, when I was homeschooling our youngest son. If I were teaching math in an elementary or middle school, I would try to incorporate these two volumes of biographies into the curriculum.
I especially liked that the Reimers included stories of women mathematicians. In my experience, far too many girls give up on math at an early age, and it's important for them to have role models. In fact, few kids of EITHER gender can picture themselves as mathematicians. Before the movie A Beautiful Mind, would an average child have been able to name even one famous mathematician?
The chapter titles are very catchy, which is important for children, especially since many of them approach the subject with a negative attitude.
Because of the confusion in the two titles, I am listing the publishing information for each volume, along with the table of contents. I wish the Reimers would do a third volume!
Mathematicians Are People, Too (Volume I)
By Luetta and Wilmer Reimer
1990 Dale Seymour Publications
ISBN 0-86651-509-7
Mathematicians Are People, Too (Volume II)
By Luetta and Wilmer Reimer
1995 Dale Seymour Publications
ISBN 0-86651-823-1
****** VOLUME I:******
Pyramids, Olives, and Donkeys. Thales
The Teacher Who Paid His Student. Pythagoras
The Man Who Concentrated Too Hard. Archimedes
A Woman of Courage. Hypatia
Magician or Mathematician? John Napier
Seeing Isn't Believing. Galileo Galilei
Count on Pascal. Blaise Pascal
The Short Giant. Isaac Newton
The Blind Man Who Could See. Leonhard Euler
The Professor Who Did Not Know. Joseph Louis Lagrange
Mathematics at Midnight. Sophie Germain
The Teacher Who Learned a Lesson. Carl Friedrich Gauss
"Don't Let My Life Be Wasted!" Evariste Galois
Life on an Obstacle Course. Emmy Noether
Numbers Were His Greatest Treasure. Srinivasa Ramanujan
******* VOLUME II:*******
There's Only One Road. Euclid
A Fortune Shared. Omar Khayyam
Lean on the Blockhead. Leonard of Pisa (Fibonacci)
The Conceited Hypochondriac. Girolamo Cardano
The Stay-in-Bed Scholar. Rene Descartes
An Amateur Becomes a Prince. Pierre de Fermat
The Gift of Sympathy. Maria Agnesi
The Shy Sky Watcher. Benjamin Banneker
The Computer's Grandfather. Charles Babbage
The Mystery of X and Y. Mary Somerville
The Overlooked Genius. Neils Abel
Conducting the Computer Symphony. Ada Lovelace
The Lessons on the Wall. Sonya Kovalevsky
The Compass Points the Way. Albert Einstein
The Master Problem Solver. George Polya
Marjorie Alley
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73 of 73 people found the following review helpful
It's hard to tell from the titles, but there are 2 volumes of this book; I think this is volume 1. Each volume has 15 short stories about famous mathematicians, suitable for any age from (I'm guessing) 8 to adult. I've been reading these stories for family reading, and my 11 year old son is actually excited about geometry! After reading about Pascal, we did some internet research about cycloids and hypocycloids; more commonly known as the figures that can be drawn with a Spirograph. Volume One has chapters on the following people: Thales, Pythagoras, Archimedes, Hypatia, Napier, Galileo, Pascal, Newton, Euler, Lagrange, Germain, Gauss, Galois, Noether and Ramanujan. Volume 2 covers Euclid, Khayyam, Fibonacci, Cardano, Descartes, Fermat, Agnesi, Banneker, Babbage, Somerville, Abel, Lovelace, Kovalevsky, Einstein and Polya. I highly recommend this book for increasing a child's (or an adult's) interests in the fields of math, geometry, physics and philosophy. I wish there was a Volume Three!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2004
This books is excellent for a read-aloud to your children about ages 7 or 8 to 12. (10 and up or so could read on their own.) I read a chapter aloud each week to my children, and when I felt they'd understand a mathematical principle, I would try to explain that to them as well. No, it's not going to teach them a ton of math, but it does build excitement and interest for math and it makes math seem more personable. And I really like it that they include famous women mathematicians.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2002
We have had such a great time with this book. We have read it at night as a family then done some hands on experiments with the different storys theorys. We built our own pyramids from legos and measured them and their shadows to study about thales. We have done gravity with Galileo and Newton and learned about the stars with them as well.
Great book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2007
Mathematicians are People, Too has been a wonderful tool in introducing and enriching so many topics. There is a lot of useful information in this book and I have used it for both science and math lessons from the Pythagorean Theorem to density to women in the sciences, just to name a few.

The stories about real mathematicians brings a personal side to math and science and the reading of the stories brings added interest and diversity to the lessons.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2012
I am a middle school math teacher and I read chapters from this book to my students. Mathematics can seem so abstract and the stories of real mathematicians adds flesh to the topic. Both women and men are in the book, which allow me to demonstrate that women can excel in math and the sciences. My students ask me to read stories. I guess that means they recommend the book.

The stories tell about not only some of the amazing things these great people did, but also contains anecdotes that show their humanness. Newton was forgetful. Noerter's students at Bryn Mawr protected her from traffic. Students develop strong opinions on Sophie Germain's wisdom at staying up at night to study mathematics, in an unheated room in the winter. Were her parents really watching out for her? Notable historic events are woven into the stories, such as the burning of the library in Alexandria.

These are human stories for anyone who is a teen or older. (The chapter on Galois bummed out my students.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2013
The selections are written in lightly fictionalized story form, which disappointed me somewhat. I really wanted to buy a book of biographies written for kids. However, the stories are clear, enjoyable and appropriate for the audience: my sixth grade math class. I plan to read these stories out loud to them over the course of the year.

The book includes a section with additional references, as well as a list of relevant topics to match each mathematician's story.

These aren't true biographies; there is interesting and relevant information, but you or your students might be motivated to investigate farther. I bought a couple of biographical books, as well, but they weren't appropriate for kids. Will combine them for a more complete story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2011
I'm always looking out for resources that make math fun and accessible for my children, and this book definitely falls into that category. I wasn't sure if I might have to wait a few years before sharing it with them (6 and 7) but they enthusiastically picked a story (from the contents titles) to start with (on Euler) and begged for more after I'd read it to them (we read about Newton next). A great way of putting math into context.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2014
Because this book is aimed at teachers, they charge a rapacious price for what otherwise should be about half. But I guess they won't sell that many copies. The stories in this book are engaging but it's hard to see how to use this book in math class effectively because that should be reserved for actual math. This might be a good resource for students to do research on a mathematician and present their story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2011
This book has some great stories however it is geared toward younger (4-6 grade) readers. I was under the impression that it was suitable for older students by the editorial review however, it is not.
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