Top critical review
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This book is not meant for beginners.
on January 3, 2013
Paul Lockhart uses a different approach to teaching mathematics. He introduces axioms, then asks questions about possible extrapolations, but does not guide, and does not provide answers which would allow the reader/student to verify their ideas.
E.g., page 29 shows two star-like figures. He asks if I can work out the angles of a regular n-sided polygon. I had some ideas but could not balance them against a solution provided, and thus work out where I went right/wrong. This happened in an even more discouraging manner on page 31, where he asks, again without guidance, What are all symmetrical polyhedra? That's when I stopped reading because I felt inadequate.
Without having been able to remember some of the terms from school, I would not even have been able to know what the latter part of the first topic was about.
This is not meant as a criticism. Students of mathematics may very well appreciate his teaching methodology. I just would like to say that this book was not meant for the likes of me: a person who would like to learn about mathematics from the beginning.