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Book Reviews

Review of College Algebra, 2nd edition

Editorial review
Presenting the fundamentals of College Algebra in a clear, concise, and informative manner, Chris Vancil's College Algebra provides students with a solid foundation of the skills and applications that bring success in mathematics and a variety of other disciplines. Accompanied by a Student Solutions Manual, Instructor's Manual and an Intermediate Algebra Review Supplement, this text offers the most comprehensive coverage of College Algebra available in today's market.

Review of Making Algebra Come Alive: Student Activities & Teacher Notes (Math Assessment Series)

Editorial review
Algebara Alive! provides versatile enrichment exercises for teaching a broad range of mathematical topics and applications. Each activity is presented as a reproducible student investigation. It is followed by guidelines and notes for the teacher. Each activity is keyed to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards, Revised. This link to the NCTM standards allows teachers to facilitate linking classroom activities to specific state and school district content standards.First and foremost, the activities are meant to be motivational. As much as possible, we want this book to achieve the goal of being attractive to people who thought they didn't like mathematics. To accomplish this, it is necessary for the activities to be quite different from what students encounter in their basal texts-different in both substance and form. This seems especially critical; no matter how excellent a basal text is being used, nearly every class experiences the "blahs." Unfortunately, this sort of boredom is often well entrenched long before the teacher and perhaps even the students are aware of it. Presenting activities on a regular basis gives the variety and change of pace needed to sustain interest in any subject.

Review of Painless Algebra (Barron's Painless Series)

Editorial review
For students who break out in a cold sweat at the mention of math, "Painless Algebra" eliminates confusion by taking math details one at a time and transforming algebra into a subject anyone can master.

Reviewed by a reader, from Mission Viejo, CA USA
I have always had a fascination for higher mathematics, but I've never bothered to learn much of anything about it. When I bought this book, I had forgotten just about everything I ever knew about Algebra 1. I couldn't remember the difference between a coefficient and a variable. I ought to be embarrassed, but I am now too old to care what people think of me for reading a book that's obviously designed for kids. Now I'm starting to think that, if math is really this much fun, I'll be reading PAINLESS DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS in another year or two.

Reviewed by Carol Alaniz, from near Detroit, Michigan
In '93, I withdrew from college because I could not pass pre-algebra. I never took algebra in high school, so I was lost in my college pre-algebra class by the second week. My professor told me to withdraw in order to save my GPA which was quite high.Fast forward to 2001. I bought this book and it really opened my eyes! I can see where I made my mistakes in class and I can understand the concepts that my prof. and a tutor could not get me to understand. Everything seems so simple now--some of my past mistakes were very simple ones! This book is real easy to understand. The book breaks down each concept and the problems are broken down step by step so it's real easy to see what you have to do. It took me only a half-hour to memorize the Order of Operations and apply that to the problems. If you use this in tandem with a book you have for a class, it will make things really easy. The books takes you from the beginning (what a variable is) all the way to graphing two dimensions on a graphing table.My husband who was a math whiz in school looked at this book and said it's an Algebra 1 book. I'm hoping to understand the concepts thoroughly so I can take a Pre-Algebra placement test and pass for credit.The only negative things I have to say are that there aren't enough problems to work on. And, my husband said it was a shame that there was only ONE problem (at the end of the book) that shows graphing in three dimensions. He said since the author put that in, she should have continued on with more problems for that concept, or she should have left it out.I'm just so happy about the fact that I can finally understand Algebra! It's like a lightbulb went off in my head. Now, I'm going back to college to finish my degree!

Reviewed by a reader, from Albany, NY
My 12-year-old wanted to learn more about algebra. He is teaching himself by reading this book. The author clearly explains topics without a lot of confusing text. There are cartoons and illustrations in the book to break up the monotony. It's kind of like a workbook. Highly recommended. Wish there was a "Painless Geometry."

Reviewed by possum2, from Texas
What a wonderful book! While it does not have as many exercises as some of the bigger books, it does a great job of making algebra clear and easy. There were some sections of algebra that other books left me feeling confused about; Painless Algebra cleared up my questions right away, and I was surprised at how quickly I understood it! I just wish there was a Painless Geometry, Painless Trig, Painless Calculus... That's a hint to the author! :)

Review of Cliffsquickreview Algebra I (Cliffs Quick Review)

Editorial review
When it comes to pinpointing the stuff you really need to know, nobody does it better than CliffsNotes. This fast, effective tutorial helps you master core algebraic concepts -- from monomials, inequalities, and analytic geometry to functions and variations, roots and radicals, and word problems -- and get the best possible grade. At CliffsNotes, we're dedicated to helping you do your best, no matter how challenging the subject. Our authors are veteran teachers and talented writers who know how to cut to the chase -- and zero in on the essential information you need to succeed.

Reviewed by kitsuno, from OR, USA
This book is an excellent overview for people who may not have had any algebra for a long time, it is clear, and has very good examples and explanations. Unlike many 'learn algebra' type books, this one shows you exactly how to do the problems from start to finish. I believe you could actually teach yourself an entire semester of algebra on your own with only this book as a teacher. I highly reccomend it.

Reviewed by Bennett Russell, from Florida
I got this book recently because I needed a simple small "transition" book to review all the Algebra I had lost from taking Geometry. Well... I really like this book. It is very useful and I hope to be able to easily integrate it with the rest of all my studying materials. I really like how it has such an easy interface and is small. (to fit in small backpack pockets) For these first months of Algebra II, you guys that are too dumb to remember you basic algebra (like me), get this book. It is a great tool for reviewing even the most important sections in Algebra. Thanks Cliff Notes... you allow people to slack at all times of the year. :)

Reviewed by Kory , In school I had a hard time with exponents & terms, etc.But this book put it in english!

Reviewed by l.garrett@iname.com, from Toms River, NJ
The book is an excellent review of the subject for those who need to brush up on the subject after many years away from formal mathematics. Provides a down and dirty guide to entry level college algebra with emphasis on process. Problem solving rather than jargon takes precedence. Provides many useful rules that were never taught in school. I find myself referring to it frequently in higher level college math courses.

Review of Cliffsquickreview Algebra II (Cliffs Quick Review)

Editorial review
When it comes to pinpointing the stuff you really need to know, nobody does it better than CliffsNotes. This fast, effective tutorial helps you master core algebraic concepts -- from linear equations, relations and functions, and rational expressions to radicals, quadratic systems, and factoring polynomials -- and get the best possible grade. At CliffsNotes, we're dedicated to helping you do your best, no matter how challenging the subject. Our authors are veteran teachers and talented writers who know how to cut to the chase -- and zero in on the essential information you need to succeed.

Reviewed by a reader, from Southern California
This book really helped me prepare for Algebra II. With the help of this book, I had a 97% in the first semester and a 94% in the second. Then at the end of the year, this was a great tool in reviewing for the final.

Review of Pre-Algebra and Algebra (Math Success)

Reviewed by Austin Fast, from USA
This book is a great, easy to understand learning tool. It helped me get my falling math grades back up to where they should be! I'd recommend this book to anybody who struggles with Math!

Review of What Is Algebra Good for & Will I Ever Use It?/Standard

Editorial review
The June 1995 proceedings contain a mixture of research and expository papers sampling advances in ordered algebraic structures with an emphasis on general topology, category theory, and model theory. The 13 contributions survey the state-of-art in f-rings and the homological dimension of rings of continuous functions, provide a primer to topology and Stone duality, (The editor says students following these directions can't get lost.) survey archimedean lattice-ordered groups with actions, and present research results in topology, category theory, and group theory which share new perspectives such as proving significant results on SV-spaces using conventional resources. Lacks an index. -- Copyright © 1999 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR All rights reserved

Review of Elementary Algebra: A Straightforward Approach

Editorial review
Synthesizes findings of research mathematicians at the Georgian Academy of Sciences regarding the branch of algebra that deals with non-additive functors and their homological properties. Emphasizes functors from arbitrary categories to the category of modules, group valued functors, and commutative semigroup valued functors. Defines universal sequences of functors and discusses them in terms of presheaves of categories and extended cases, establishes the functorial properties of the non-abelian derived functors of group valued functors and demonstrates applications to homology and cohomology, treats the cohomology of monoids with coefficients in semimodules, explains the MacLane cohomology and homology of rings, obtains the algebraic and topological K-functors, and introduces a non-abelian tensor product of groups for non-compatible actions. No index. Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Review of Making Sense of Algebra: Cognitive Processes: Influencing Comprehension

Editorial review
Presents 22 lectures from a September-October 1997 colloquium, covering topics such as the deformation of Lie algebras, cohomology theory, the algebraic variety of the laws of Lie algebras, Euler equations on Lie algebras, Leibniz algebras, and real K-theory. Also includes papers on operator theory dealing with the study of certain types of operator algebras and an introduction to the theory of quantum groups. Intended for graduate students specializing in algebra, differential geometry, operator theory, theoretical physics. Also of use to researchers in mathematics and theoretical physics. Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

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