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Mathematics Without Fears

Peter Sprent
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
[Reviewed by
Tom Schulte
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Mathematics Without Fears is an overview of mathematics including number theory basics (prime numbers, basic operations, etc.), geometry, and some calculus, taking the historically suggested order of integration before derivatives. There is also some operations research, systems of linear equations, numerical analysis, group theory and even quick tours into chaos, graph theory, and more.

Obviously, covering this in 453 pages means breadth has been enlarged at the cost of depth. And that is fine for the purposes of this book. The mood is light and entertaining. Decidedly not like a textbook, this book forgoes exercises and rigor by getting quickly from one area’s fundamentals to the next with examples and illustrations. Chapters tend to conclude with a Loose Ends section that answers questions a probative analysis could lead to and this serves as a good tool for aiding in comprehension and spurring more thought and investigation.

This book can work for those on either end of several semesters of undergraduate mathematics. Before starting such a journey it would be worthwhile to have this text along as a tutor and guide that is always willing to help and never lacking in enthusiasm. For those on the other end that may have enjoyed very much their tour around the edges of mathematics but not finding the opportunity to go further, this book can be a tool to reminisce, recall, and even reach forward on those fondly remembered mathematical notions and techniques.

Tom Schulte fearlessly teaches finite mathematics at Oakland Community College in Michigan.

The table of contents is not available.