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In Polya's Footsteps: Miscellaneous Problems and Essays (Dolciani Mathematical Expositions)

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ISBN-13: 978-0883853269
ISBN-10: 0883853264
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

The latest collection from Ross Honsberger includes essays and problems from various national and international Olympiads, presented not in an attempt to instruct but as a harvest of rewards that are due not only to good high school students and their teachers, but all those in the university mathematics community.


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Product Details

  • Series: Dolciani Mathematical Expositions (Book 19)
  • Paperback: 325 pages
  • Publisher: The Mathematical Association of America (January 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883853264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883853269
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,712,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
The greatest scientist of all time was quoted as saying that the reason that he saw further than others was that he stood on the shoulders of giants. As the title of this book suggests, there is another route, namely walking the same path as others. Given our individual differences and how we vary from day to day, even the most beaten of paths can present differing appearances. When walking through a forest, some days you may see the moss, other days the ground cover and then on others we pay particular attention to the leaves. In this collection of problems, Ross Honsberger proves once again that he is the best at picking the high quality, sturdy building material from the large, stable, yet uninspiring stack of wood.
This is a collection of problems to build on. Many of the them were taken from those proposed and rejected from mathematics competitions, both national and international. Given the quality of these problems, those that were accepted in favor of them must have indeed been gems. It is fortunate that Crux Mathematicorum, a journal of the Canadian Mathematical Society, publishes problems of this type so that the rest of us may enjoy them. The range of topics is extensive, with very detailed proofs of all problems. The most striking aspect of many of them is that the approach used in the proof is "non-obvious." Which is the mathematical term for ,"now, how did they ever think of that?" Which is what makes them so charming and emphasizes how exciting mathematics is. There used to be a television game show where contestants competed by claiming that they could name a song in the fewest notes. If there was a similar contest concerning the elegance and directness of proofs, some of those in this book would provide stiff competition.
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