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Mathematician's Delight (Dover Books on Mathematics) Paperback – October 19, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Mathematics
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover Ed edition (October 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486462404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486462400
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #833,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
W. W. Sawyer was one of the greatest teachers of mathematics within the past century. The continuing popularity (to the extent that books on math can be popular) of his other books -- *Prelude to Mathematics* (which deals with advanced math) and *Vision in Elementary Mathematics* (which deals with arithmetic and basic algebra) -- serve as evidence for the wonderful ability he had to make math seem useful and interesting to everyone from the math-phobic to the dedicated mathematician.
Contrary to some other reviews, Sawyer's prose was NOT dull or dry. We have to keep in mind the fact that *Mathematician's Delight* was written for an audience in the 1940's to 1950's Britain and Canada. Obviously, the style and tone won't be consistent with the way that we 21st century Americans are used to. But even giving him that benefit of the doubt, Sawyer's prose is always lively, entertaining, and full of insights into his chosen subject of mathematics as well as insight into why many people struggle with aspects of that subject.
I definitely agree with the positive aspects of the other reviews. This indeed is an excellent book to take you from the basics of algebra all the way up to and beyond calculus. I sincerely hope that someone brings this book back in print.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Why read fiction when you can learn how to do something. That has been my philosophy since I started reading. While I've read my share of fiction, it is the instructional non-fiction books that have always gotten my attention and I have read innumerable volumes. The reason for this introduction is to impress upon you the weight of my next statement:

This is the best book I have ever read!

I am not an educator, nor am I a mathematician, but there is not a sentence in this book that hasn't found its way into my personal philosophy of learning and education. I first read this book when I was in college, not as part of a course, but to "read around the subject" to paraphrase W.W. Sawyer. This was over 20 years ago, and recently I was reading through this book again and was astonished at how much of his advice and ideas had become part of who I am.

Just some fragments of his ideas:

1.) First study books that contain material you know 90% of, and then learn the remaining 10%.
2.) Read around a subject
3.) To learn a language, start with little children's books in that language.
4.) To learn to draw, sit on a bus and draw everything you see.
5.) Learn by doing.
6.) Develop an interest in the subject you want to learn.

And there are countless others. These sound obvious, and I am certainly not doing him justice. Read for yourself and you will be amazed at how all of this is woven into an inspiring and easy to read book that, by the way, contains some discussion of mathematics! How many authors do you know that not only teach you their subject, but teach you how to learn any subject!

This is a book that should be read by every teacher and by every student.
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Format: Paperback
One of the best books on maths - ever. I first read it in 1966 and then, again, recently. It "explains" maths in the most simple, enjoyable and humorous way covering arithmetic, algebra, geometry, graphs, calculus, trig and, of course how to study this subject.
If you have ever had difficulty with maths - read this book.
If you teach maths then this approach should be your route map if true learning by your students is important to you.
An excellent book which has stood the test of time - first published in 1947!
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book. Highly recommended by me to be read by everyone especially students who fear mathemtics. "So long as a subject seems dull, you can be sure that you are approcahing it form the wrong angle" - W.W.Sawyer
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written nearly 70 years ago, but reprinted many times since then (my used copy dates from 1995), this is a perfect book for those aged 15 to 85 who find Mathematics intimidating or downright incomprehensible. W.W.Sawyer starts with basic principles, and takes the reader by the hand and leads him/her through the world of maths, showing how really it is essentially a kind of shorthand which enables us to work out and understand how the world works. Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus,it's all there. Fascinating and fun - makes up for all the years of lousy maths teaching endured by so many of us at school!
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