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Groups and Symmetry: A Guide to Discovering Mathematics (Mathematical World, Vol. 5)

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0821804506
ISBN-10: 0821804502
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Nicely produced and concentrates on the informal analysis of geometrical patterns with the emphasis on informality ... could serve as a useful collection of activities to precede a formal course and would provide a range of intuitive experiences to which the more formal treatment could refer." ---- The Mathematical Gazette

"On the basis of this book it is possible to tailor a good course for high school students to really discover mathematics ... for anyone who is working with high school students in an advanced level the book is really recommended." ---- Zentralblatt MATH

"Written in a lively conversational style ... entertaining, and sometimes provoking, and will doubtlessly prove useful to its intended audience." ---- Mathematical Reviews
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Product Details

  • Series: Mathematical World (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: American Mathematical Society (November 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821804502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821804506
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Sparrow R. Jones on February 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was the foundational textbook for a 100-level class in symmetry at my university. I recommend it highly to anyone who wants to get a better feel for what mathematicians actually do and think about and work with. Folks who never got into the higher math classes often have a different idea of what mathematics is all about than mathematicians. At the level of introductory algebra and geometry and even some calculus, math education often seems to be mainly about memorizing formulas and recognizing in which situations to apply them. That's an important thing to learn, but it is not useful for imparting an idea and a feel of the field of mathematics as a whole. Farmer's book brings home the understanding that mathematics is, at its heart, about patterns and that mathematics is not so much about memorization and application as it is about discovery.

The level of mathematical understanding required to get something useful out of this book is low. I believe the professor required beginning algebra as the prerequisite. If you can count to six, recognize the difference between a square and a pentagon, and understand that variables like n, m, or x can be used as substitutes for numbers then you probably have enough mathematical sophistication to work your way through this book and gain insights into the beauty of higher math.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Super clear and accessible book. (Would be nice if he used Conway notation though.)
I teach. This is an excellent book for teaching undergrads without much background. A real thinking book.
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