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The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking 3rd Edition

22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470424766
ISBN-10: 0470424761
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Make mathematics fun and satisfying for everyone

Math can be a living source of powerful ideas that transcend mathematics; a window into mind-opening philosophical concepts such as infinity, fourth dimensions, chaos, and fractals; and a practical training ground for developing skills in analysis, reasoning, and thought—if you have the right approach and the right guide.

The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking­—now in its third edition—transforms mathematics into an engaging, relevant experience even for the most math-phobic student. Infusing this book with humor and enthusiasm, Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird—both recipients of the Mathematical Association of America’s foremost national teaching award and countless state, regional, and campus-wide teaching honors—introduce students to the most important and interesting ideas in mathematics while inspiring them to actively engage in mathematical thinking.

Richer and more rewarding than ever, this new edition features:

  • An emphasis on mathematical methods of investigation
  • Visualization techniques that make key concepts easier to understand
  • Accessible, friendly writing style that encourages critical thinking
  • "Life Lessons"-effective methods of thinking that students will retain and apply beyond the classroom

End of section Mindscape activities for the development of application, problem-solving, and argumentation skills

About the Author

Edward B. Burger is professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College. He graduated from Connecticut College in 1985, where he earned B.A. Summa Cum Laude with Distinction in Mathematics, and received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. He did his postdoctoral work at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Dr. Burger has received numerous awards including:  the Award of Excellence, for "educational mathematics videos that break new ground from the Technology & Learning magazine, and the Distinguished Achievement Award, for Educational Video Technology from The Association of Educational Publishers.  He was honored as one of the "100 Best of America", Listed in Reader's Digest's Annual Special Issue as Best Math Teacher.  He also received the Residence Life Academic Teaching Award, University of Colorado at Boulder and the Robert W. Hamilton Book Award, for "The Heart of Mathematics".


Michael Starbird Michael Starbird is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin. He has received more than a dozen teaching awards including the Mathematical Association of America’s 2007 national teaching award and several university-wide teaching awards based largely on his course in mathematics for liberal arts students. Starbird brings intriguing mathematics to general audiences through his classes, lectures, books, and video courses. In 1989, Starbird was UT’s Recreational Sports Super Racquets Champion.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 948 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 3rd edition (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470424761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470424766
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicole on March 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book gives fun, interesting, and relevant problems perfect for non-math students. There are practical applications to the concepts taught in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marie on October 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is a fantastic book. I have not yet gotten through all of it, but it captured my attention immediately. Burger and Starbird, have done a fantastic job, making harder mathematical concepts approchable, and fun. I look forward to reading the whole thing soon. ^_^
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bukky Olugbemi on February 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very detailed and specific, I think my professor is a big part of why I like this book a lot but the book it's self is very specific and explains things in two forms, mathematical and english.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Fankhanel on May 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first thought I had gotten this as a rental text but found out it is mine so if I ever need to understand this particular type of mathematics will come in handy or can loan to a fellow student if needed
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I my humble opinion, this is the best math book ever written. It's also the best logic book ever written. If you want to teach someone how to think effectively, this is the best gift you could ever give.
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By Rena4u on December 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like this book it made Math 101 fun and bearable (considering I dislike math)... The only thing that was an issue
was finding the kit that goes with this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ghya Ramirez on January 8, 2013
Format: Loose Leaf Verified Purchase
the book is just hat i needed! it came fast and as in great condition The heart of mathmatics is usually alot more expensive, this as a great deal!
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By Xinle Zhang on May 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is easy to read. It makes hard and abstract concepts easy to understand. I enjoy reading this book. Highly recommended.
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The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking
This item: The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking
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