- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers (January 14, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1592441300
- ISBN-13: 978-1592441303
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.3 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Precalculus Mathematics in a Nutshell: Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry:
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About the Author
George Simmons received his undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology and his graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and Yale University. His previous books include 'Introduction to Topology and Modern Analysis' (1962) and 'Differential Equations with Applications and Historical Notes' (1972). 'Precalculus Mathematics in a Nutshell' was written after many years of teaching calculus courses convinced the author that a clearly focused, brief review of high school mathematics should be available -- one which highlights the important ideas of geometry, algebra, and trigonometry and makes them easy to understand and remember.
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Top Customer Reviews
One caveat though. If you have been away from math for say 10 - 20 years you will often get lost wading through the material. The text does assume that one's thinking process is still attuned to basic skills such as the "two sign change" rule in a compound expression. Therefore if you find that you have forgotten the tricks involved in things like factoring you will be better served to first go with say "Practical Algebra: A self teaching Guide" and "Geometry and Trig for Calculus". Both by Selby et al.
However, if you've been away from math for only a short time (< 5 years), by all means get this book.
of high-school algebra and a year of high-school
geometry 15 years earlier), I thoroughly chewed through
this little book over a summer and then launched
into the first semester of Calculus (taught in the
traditional style, not "Calculus-reform style) at a
rather rigorous Math/Science/Engineering oriented
university. In that Calculus class, I generally got
100% on each quiz and exam (and most of my classmates
with a more typical pre-engineering background
did not). Take it for what it's worth, but I credit
this book. Very compressed, but very clear. You will
note that I successfully substituted this book for two
semesters of the usual pre-calculus math sequence,
and I doubt this would have worked for me if the book
were missing any important pre-calculus material.
Also, I recommended this book to a friend and walked her though the basics so that she regained her cofidence and knowledge enough to pass the GMAT within a couple of weeks!
In my opinion, this book gives it all to you -- the basics -- without getting "cutesy" or patronizing -- which is what many of the new "easy to understand" precalculus books unfortunately do. Nor does it leave out substance, which is what you need if you are trying to pass or master this subject. What more could you ask?
One thing to keep in mind, though, if you want to practice your math, use this book with an additional book of problems. There really isn't enough problems in the book for practice. But then, that was not the author's intention, anyway. You should know that when you buy it, though.
That being said, this book definitely covers the topics "in a nutshell". It would probably not be great for learning precalculus topics for the first time and I don't think that is what the author intended it to be used for. It could be an effective supplement to a class or another more thorough textbook, but alone it would probably be insufficient. The examples and practice problems are sufficient for someone who already has a basic understanding of the concepts, but a new student will almost certainly need more guidance and practice.