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Distilling Ideas

An Introduction to Mathematical Thinking

Brian P. Katz and Michael Starbird


Mathematics is not a spectator sport: successful students of mathematics grapple with ideas for themselves. Distilling Ideas presents a carefully designed sequence of exercises and theorem statements that challenge students to create proofs and concepts. As students meet these challenges, they discover strategies of proofs and strategies of thinking beyond mathematics. In other words, Distilling Ideas helps its users to develop the skills, attitudes, and habits of mind of a mathematician and to enjoy the process of distilling and exploring ideas.

Distilling Ideas is an ideal textbook for a first proof-based course. The text engages the range of students’ preferences and aesthetics through a corresponding variety of interesting mathematical content from graphs, groups, and epsilon-delta calculus. Each topic is accessible to users without a background in abstract mathematics because the concepts arise from asking questions about everyday experience. All the common proof structures emerge as natural solutions to authentic needs. Distilling Ideas or any subset of its chapters is an ideal resource either for an organized Inquiry Based Learning course or for individual study.

A student response to Distilling Ideas: “I feel that I have grown more as a mathematician in this class than in all the other classes I’ve ever taken throughout my academic life.”

* As a textbook, Distilling Ideas does have DRM. Our DRM protected PDFs can be downloaded to three computers. iOS tablets can open secure PDFs using the AWReader app (available in the App Store). The iOS app uses the native iPad PDF reader so it is a very basic reader, no frills. Linux is not supported at this time for our secure PDFs.  Click here for more information..

Electronic ISBN: 9781614446132


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Distilling Ideas $26.00


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