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Math matters

Math matters! Mathematics, the language of numbers, is universal. No matter where we live, our gender, or culture it helps us develop the reasoning and decision making skills needed in today's world.

Mathematics 1001 : absolutely everything that matters in mathematics in 1001 bite-sized explanations
Richard Elwes.
Richmond Hill, Ont. : Firefly Books, 2010.
A comprehensive study of math principles in one volume for the general reader.This practical reference provides clear and concise explanations of the most fascinating fundamental mathematical concepts. Distilled into 1001 mini-essays arranged thematically, this unique book moves steadily from the basics through to the most advanced areas of math, making it the ideal guide for both the beginner and the math wiz.The book covers all of the fundamental mathematical disciplines: Geometry Numbers Analysis Logic Algebra Probability and statistics Applied mathematics Discrete mathematics Games and recreational mathematics Philosophy and metamathematicsExpert mathematician Richard Elwes explains difficult concepts in the simplest language with a minimum of jargon. Along the way he reveals such mathematical magic as how to count to 1023 using just 10 fingers and how to make an unbreakable code.Enlightening and entertaining, Mathematics 1001 makes the language of math come alive.
     
100 most important science ideas : key concepts in genetics, physics and mathematics
Mark Henderson, Joanne Baker, Tony Crilly.
Buffalo, N.Y. : Firefly Books, c2009.
Explaining the crucial concepts of 21st-century science.This book simplifies and explains 100 key concepts in modern science in language easily understood by general readers. The authors use everyday examples and instructive diagrams -- for example, the genome, Sudoku and crossing time zones -- to describe scientific principles, hypotheses, theorems and laws. The ideas range from the simple to the subtle to the sophisticated and include:Chaos theory Genetic diseases String theory Gene therapy Fractals Superconductivity Cloning Game theory.Each idea is presented in two to four pages that include illustrations and text boxes. To put the discoveries in context, there are timelines that show how the idea originated and when it was developed. Short biographies of iconic scientists, entertaining quotations and anecdotes and a range of other features make this book most refreshing to read.
     
Be a wizard with numbers : 101 ways to count yourself smart
Andrew Jeffrey.
London : Duncan Baird Publishers ; New York : Distributed in the USA and Canada by Sterling Pub., c2009.
Can you multiply and divide by 2 or 10 without pencil and paper? Of course you can. And believe it or not, with just those two skills and a few simple tricks you can perform just about any everyday calculation in your head! That’s just a small sample of the kind of number wizardry readers will learn to master in this amazingly entertaining and supremely practical book. The author—a former math teacher who wows audiences as “The Mathemagician”—takes the anxiety out of numbers for everyone from schoolkids suffering from math phobia to grownups bargaining for the best car deal. And he also provides the kind of intriguing mental exercises that keeps aging brains flexible and fit.
     
Mathematics in 10 lessons : the grand tour
by Jerry P. King.
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, c2009.
Through lively exposition and lucid explanations, real mathematics is made not only palatable, but even enjoyable to the uninitiated.
     
The book of numbers
Peter Bentley.
Richmond Hill, Ont. : Firefly Books, 2008.
Includes index.
     
Poincare's prize : the hundred-year quest to solve one of math's greatest puzzles
George G. Szpiro.
New York : Dutton, c2007.
"The Poincare Conjecture was a holy grail to mathematicians around the world. Decade after decade, the unproven theorem that would help us understand higher dimensional space and, possibly, the shape of the universe defied every effort to solve it. Now, after more than a century, an eccentric Russian recluse has found the solution to one of the seven greatest math problems of our time, earning the right to claim the first one-million-dollar Millennium math prize." "George Szpiro begins his masterfully told story in 1904 when Frenchman Henri Poincare formulated a conjecture about a seemingly simple problem. Imagine an ant crawling around on a large surface. How would it know whether the surface is a flat plane, a round sphere, or a bagel-shaped object? The ant would need to lift off from the surface to observe the object from afar, so how could one prove the shape was spherical without actually seeing it? Raise the surface to the next higher dimension, and you have the problem that Poincare sought to solve." "In fact, Poincare thought he had solved it but soon realized his proof was flawed. Across generations and around the globe, from China to Texas, great minds stalked the solution in the wilds of higher dimensions."--BOOK JACKET.
     
Technical math demystified
Stan Gibilisco.
New York : McGraw-Hill, c2006.
Here is a complete self-teaching guide for anyone needing knowledge of math as it applies to engineering and technical fields.
     
Infinite ascent : a short history of mathematics
David Berlinski.
New York : Modern Library, 2005.
"In Infinite Ascent, David Berlinski focuses on the ten most important breakthroughs in mathematical history - and the men behind them. Here are Pythagoras, intoxicated by the mystical significance of numbers; Euclid, who gave the world the very idea of a proof; Leibniz and Newton, co-discoverers of the calculus; Cantor, master of the infinite; and Godel, who in one magnificent proof placed everything in doubt."--BOOK JACKET.
     
Math for the anxious : building basic skills
Rosanne Proga.
Boston : McGraw-Hill, c2005.
Math for the Anxious: Building Basic Skills is written to provide a practical approach to the problem of math anxiety. By combining strategies for success with a pain-free introduction to basic math content, students will overcome their anxiety and find greater success in their math courses. The first two chapters not only explain the sources of math anxiety, they more importantly outline pragmatic steps students can take to reduce it. In each of the following eight chapters, strategies are implemented for learning a particular topic such as fractions that may have frustrated students in the past but can now be digested and mastered through hints, patient explanations, and revelations of how students already encounter the topic on an everyday basis. The final chapter brings all the strategies together and prepares students to encounter future math topics with newfound confidence and finely tuned techniques at their disposal..
     
Use your fingers, use your toes : quick and easy step-by-step solutions to your everyday math problems
Beth Norcross.
Sterling, Va. : Capital Books, c2004.
You've taken an important client out for a business dinner and when the check comes, you have to quickly calculate the appropriate tip. Your favorite local store is having its fabulous once-a-year sale and you need to calculate the discount savings you'll get. These real life scenarios strike fear in the hearts of those who struggle with math. Other puzzling problems include adjusting recipes; calculating calorie counts and fat grams; measuring for new carpets and wallpaper; and figuring percentage discounts, mortgage interest, taxes, sports statistics, miles per gallon, and of course, tipping. Beth Norcross explains how to solve these math conundrums in a clear step-by-step format. By using common sense shortcuts, most problems can be solved in as little as five minutes. So relax, take your boss, your friends, and your clients out to dinner. Head to the sale at your favorite store for a new wardrobe. The quick solutions in this book will make you forget you were ever afraid of math. Book jacket.
     

Almost anyone, in any career, uses math daily.

  • Chefs--Use fractions to increase or decrease recipe portions.
  • Carpenters--Measure pieces of wood to be sure each fits.
  • Grocery clerks--Add and subtract to make correct change.
  • Artists--Turn geometric concepts into creative drawings.
  • Athletes--Modify angles to strengthen their serves, hits, or goals.
  • Decorators--Figure square footage to decide how much paint to buy.
  • Bankers--Determine the best mortage rates for customers.
  • Restaurant servers--Understand division so they can divide up the bill among diners.

Math fun

Take your age. Multiply it by 7. Multiply that answer by 1,443. Did you get your age repeated three times?

(more math puzzles)

Parents who emphasize the value of math help prepare their children to succeed in chosen careers. Here are some ideas:

  1. Encourage your children to enroll in math classes, particularly throughout the middle and high school years;
  2. Show your children how YOU use math at home and work;
  3. Create opportunities to talk about math with others in career fields your teen is considering;
  4. Make math fun.

Look around your world--Math is everywhere! Encourage your children (and yourself) to see math as not just work that must done or classes to attend but rather as an opportunity to make life more exciting.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff