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Exploring the World of Mathematics

1 rating: 4.0
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Numbers surround us. Just try to make it through a day without using any. It’s impossible: telephone numbers, calendars, volume settings, shoe sizes, speed limits, weights, street numbers, microwave timers, TV channels, and the list goes on and … see full wiki

Author: John Hudson Tiner
Genre: Mathematics, History
Publisher: Master Books
Date Published: July 2004
ISBN: 978-0890514122
1 review about Exploring the World of Mathematics

Engaging way to learn math & the history of mathematics

  • Oct 11, 2010
Rating:
+4
"Exploring the World of Mathematics" is a history of the development of mathematics with some instruction on how to do the various types of math worked in. (Chapters 5, 9, and 10 were more focused on math instruction than history.) The text was engaging and easy to understand. Much of the book was suitable for middle schoolers, though some chapters were more high school level. There were useful black and white charts and illustrations. At the end of each chapter, there were 10 questions--most tested if you learned the important points in the chapter, but some were math problems based on what was learned. The answers were in the back.

The book occasionally referred to things in the Bible, like explaining the cubit as an ancient measurement of length. The author had math start with the ancient Egyptians (since, according to him, it wasn't needed before then because people were roaming herders). It also referred to a Sumerian counting system that started back in 3300 B.C. Overall, the book was interesting and well-written. I'd recommend it to those interested in an overview of the development of mathematics or to those desiring to teach their children math in an interesting way.

Chapter 1 talked about ancient calendars (how days, months, and years were calculated in various cultures) and how the modern calendar was developed. Chapter 2 talked about marking the passage of time (including how & why people started counting hours, minutes, and seconds). Chapter 3 talked about the development of weights and measures from ancient ones to modern non-metric systems. Chapter 4 talked about the development of the metric system (mostly weight, length, capacity, and temperature).

Chapter 5 talked about how ancient Egyptians used basic geometry to build pyramids and survey farm land. Chapter 6 talked about how ancient Greeks continued to develop mathematics. Chapter 7 talked about the different systems and symbols for numbers in various cultures and times. Chapter 8 talked about number patterns (like odd, even, prime, Fibonacci numbers, square numbers, and triangular numbers). Chapter 9 talked about mathematical proofs, decimal points, fractions, negative numbers, irrational numbers, and never-ending numbers.

Chapter 10 talked about algebra and analytical geometry. Chapter 11 talked about network design, combinations & permutations, factorials, Pascal's triangle, and probability. Chapter 12 talked about the development of counting machines, from early mechanical calculators to modern digital calculators. Chapter 13 talked about the development of modern computers. Chapter 14 gave some math tricks and puzzles.

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Exploring the World of Mathematics by John Hudson Tiner
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