Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Solving Mathematical Problems: A Personal Perspective
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Customer Reviews

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on March 6, 2015
I saw Dr. Tao on the Stephen Colbert show a few months ago and was dazzled by his brilliance. I am an internist but I like to think of myself as a polymath who can read and think about anything. I was good in math in school and was an A student in calculus in college. It's been many years since I've thought about math.
I bought this book to see how the author thinks. It's amazing to me, as someone who regards himself as "smart," how quickly I became humbled by the mind of Terence Tao. After ten pages I knew I was in over my head but I stretched my mind for a while before putting the book aside. I am not sure what kind of background is necessary to understand this book, but I can tell you that college calculus and medical school is not the path to understanding.
To say Terence Tao is a genius is not enough. He is so much smarter than the average intellectual that the market for him and his book is quite limited. It must be wonderful to wake up every day and start thinking if you're Terence Tao.
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on December 5, 2014
Terence Tao is an extremely smart man and this is a very hard book.
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on April 18, 2013
It's easy to set a very hard and complicated math question. But it's not so easy to set a hard question that appears simple and easy to understand but requires ingenuity to solve. That's why this book is delighting.
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on March 21, 2009
I really liked this book. It is written by one of the most brilliant mathematicians of our generation. It presents some of the problem solving techniques math contestants should master in a mature though approachable manner. I wouldn't suggest it as the only book to consult when designing a training curriculum for high level math contestants, but it is definitelly a good reference, and nicely written.
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on December 20, 2008
the publisher's ethics in releasing this "second edition"
(does anyone remember the first?) are very
much in line with what's coming out of wall
street lately -- this is a shameless exploitation
of the author's recent medal received long after
he "wrote" this book -- this slim volume is in fact
thin not only in terms of page count but also in terms
of originality -- in the sense that it ain't got any --
problems , almost all of which are painfully well known,
are laboriously treated to several pages of wasteful
verbiage before finally revealing the one or two line
solution -- there is no reason on earth why anyone who
has even a modest problem book collection should consider
this hack job --
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on May 20, 2007
This charming book explains why math olympiad puzzles are fun, and gives 15 year old insights ( in two senses --- most of the text was written by the 15 year old Terence Tao, but revised with some additional good exercises 15 years later by 30 year old Fields medalist Terence Tao.) The style is chatty, and the advice and worked examples are very good and do not require any math beyond pre-calculus. The level of difficulty is just right for would be high school math competitors, and adults with some math who enjoy a mild challenge.
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on January 30, 2007
I came across this book after reading about Terence Tao, a recent Fields medalist. It's interesting to see a book like this by such an accomplished mathematician. The book gives practical approaches to solving the types of math problems encountered in math olympiad competitions. I am not, nor have I ever been, a math olympian, but I found the book to be entertaining and useful for intellectual fortification purposes.
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