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Combinatorics: A Problem Oriented Approach

1 rating: 1.0
A book by Daniel A. Marcus

The format of this book is unique in that it combines features of a traditional text with those of a problem book. The material is presented through a series of problems, about 250 in all, with connecting text; this is supplemented by a further 250 problems … see full wiki

Author: Daniel A. Marcus
Publisher: The Mathematical Association of America
1 review about Combinatorics: A Problem Oriented Approach

A collection of excellent, yet routine problems

  • Feb 23, 2000
Rating:
+1
We all can count, but few can count really well. Combinatorics can be considered the art of sophisticated counting and it is a subject often neglected in the college curriculum. This book, with a direct, plunge ahead to the problems approach, covers all of the standard areas of the field.
Since the amount of explanatory text is kept to a minimum, it would not be easy to use the book as a textbook. The standard approach is a few paragraphs of text followed by a page or more of problems. Without sufficient additional explanation, the general student will no doubt struggle.
However, the quality of the problems is excellent and solutions to many are provided. Problems in combinatorics are fairly standard issue and the author acknowledges this in a brief list of standard problem types at the end of the book. However, it would have been an improvement if appropriate page numbers would have been associated with each entry in the list. Another feature that adopters will find very helpful is a list of dependencies. The list is a simple table noting that the problem dependencies are such that a problem can be assigned after a certain other one has been done.
While the quality of the book is excellent, one should think carefully before using it as a textbook. Much better suited as a course supplement, it is probably best used as a reference.

Published in Journal of Recreational Mathematics, reprinted with permission

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