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Mathematics: Modeling Our World Course 2

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0716741558
ISBN-10: 0716741555
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

COMAP, the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications, is a group of mathematicians and teachers dedicated to helping students learn by showing how mathematics is put to work in their lives.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 602 pages
  • Publisher: W. H. Freeman (March 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716741555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716741558
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,713,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book seems to be aimed at ninth graders, plus or minus a year, but you wouldn't know it. Other books at this level are condescending arrays of garish color, blaring typography, and irrelevant pictures. They assume that the students biggest concerns are dinosaurs and cheerleading.
Instead, COMAP treats the reader with respect. (Yes, teenagers deserve it.) The book is laid out clearly, with a minimum of distractions. The topics include the best place to locate a firehouse, and many different meanings for the word "best." Its discussion of game theory uses the Cuban Missile Crisis as an example. It describes problems directly related to Internet routing and optimal connectivity. It does lots more, too, with only a very introductory amount of algebra.
This book does at least three things very well. First, it teaches the student many different tools for solving any problem. Second, it shows the students many problems suited to each of the tools. Third, it encourages the student to think in a constructively critical and self-critical way: Is this answer really the right one? What does the equation actually mean? What parts of this problem just aren't suited to mathematical analysis? Can I solve this at all, given the information at hand?
Every student comes out of this program with solid skills. Even the ones who aren't math whizzes must master the basics to pass this course, unlike other math books that just encourage them to write down how the feel about math. The best students are given a gentle but solid shove forward. You have to look for them carefully, but one or two problems in each section require serious creativity and insight. Any student who cracks one of those gets a real sense of accomplishment.
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