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Book Reviews

Review of Prealgebra (2nd Edition)

Editorial review
This clear, accessible treatment of mathematics features a building-block approach toward problem solving and realistic, diverse applications. The Putting Your Skills to Work and new chapter-end feature, Math in the Media, present readers with opportunities to utilize critical thinking skills, analyze and interpret data, and problem solve using applied situations encountered in daily life. The goal of the changes in the 2nd edition is to upgrade the level of algebra in the book—This is accomplished by introducing equations, evaluating expressions, and properties of exponents earlier and revisiting the topics more often. Readers now learn how to solve equations using one principle first (Chapters 1, 3, 4, and 5)—Using both principles together is covered (Ch. 6) after readers have had substantial practice using one principle of equality. Contains 2 chapters dedicated to algebra skills (Ch. 3 and 6). A substantial increase in coverage of evaluating expressions (nearly double) from the first edition. Signed numbers are now covered earlier in Chapter 2 and Whole number operations are covered in one chapter vs. two in the previous edition.

Reviewed by Richard Beaty, from Layton, Utah USA
This book worked good for me, I also had a good teacher though. Never found mistakes in it. Good beginning book to learn Pre-Algebra concepts

Reviewed by Consuelo Hospedales, from NJ, USA
I have been below average in Math for most of my life but thanks to Prealgebra by Blair, Tobey and Slater my grade went up considerably. I managed to maintain a B average thanks to this comprehensive and easy to follow book. It set a steady foundation for me. Thanks

Review of Practical Algebra

Editorial review
This book provides an introduction to real analysis and to applications that require it. Early chapters cover basics of real analysis, using a streamlined approach that gets to the applications quickly, with some material flagged as advanced. More than half the book consists of independent chapters on topics ranging from Fourier series and polynomial approximation to discrete dynamical systems and convex optimization. Each application presents a number of results and shows how these results depend on fundamental ideas of real analysis. The role of normed vector spaces is emphasized, and they provide a framework for most of the applications. Some familiarity with computational aspects of principles of analysis is helpful.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Reviewed by a reader, from Richmond, VA United States
I'm a senior math major and am using this book in my Analysis I class. I find it a bit difficult to follow, and many students in my class agree that the examples are too few and lack simplicity. It would help if there was an answer key in the back of the book so that solutions could be confirmed. Also, the exercises are not very similar to the examples of a given section of a chapter. Lots of room for improvement.

Reviewed by Palle E T Jorgensen, from USA
A well balanced book! The first solid analysis course, with proofs, is central in the offerings of any math.-dept.;-- and yet, the new books that hit the market don't always hit the mark: The balance between theory and applications, --between technical profs and intuitive ideas,--between classical and modern subjects, and between real life exercises vs. the ones that drill a new concept. The Davidson-Donsig book is outstanding, and it does hit the mark. The writing is both systematic and engaged.- Refreshing! Novel: includes wavelets, approximation theory, discrete dynamics, differential equations,Fourier analysis, and wave mechanics.

Review of Intermediate Algebra (2nd Edition)

Editorial review
This text aims to provide a foundation in algebra and to help students develop problem-solving skills. An attempt has been made to maintain student interest with real-life examples and problem-solving strategies, and with applications from varied fields such as agriculture, construction, government, and music. Learning features include practice problems, margin concept checks, calculator and graphing calculator exercises, chapter reviews, pretests and tests, and exercise sets. This second edition offers increased integration of geometry concepts, plus study skill boxes. The author teaches at the University of New Orleans.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Review of College Algebra

Editorial review
An introductory text covering equations, inequalities, polynomial, rational expressions, graphing, roots and radicals, and quadratic equations. Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Reviewed by yocchi, from Cooper City, Fl United States
When a consumer purchases a product, they expect to get what they paid for. This belief is only strengthened when one purchases a product designed for self-improvement, especially if the product is one targeted at educators and students. Prentice Hall's Interactive Math: Beginning Algebra is a severe letdown... this software/textbook bundle is intended for students who are a)in college and b)trying to understand the basics of algebra so that they can continue on with their education and move to the next level. The product fails in two categories; the program itself, the 'installation' guide, and Prentice Hall's servers. To begin with, the installation setup is a joke. Unlike most programs that begin installation the moment the cd has loaded in the drive, users have to locate the add/delete program function in their directory, then click to start and follow the directions. As a long-time computer user, this is not a problem I had, however for the majority of people who have a hard time using computers (and they were the majority in the class I enrolled in which used this program)-this is a daunting task. This fact is compounded by the two installation manuals found in the box (both different). The second issue with program itself is that it is bug-ridden. More often than not, when a correct answer is entered, it is marked as 'incorrect'. The program is set up so that if the test portion of each chapter is not completed to a passing percentage (in our case, the percentage was set at 80%, which would be one incorrect answer out of five)one cannot advance to the next section. Now imagine for a moment getting all five answers correct, being told -you- answered all five incorrectly (because it shows the 'correct' answer under the one you submitted)and having to wait until the teacher can clear the error and mark all your answers correct. Now imagine a whole class having that same problem. It only gets worse when you realize that the classwork is also done at home (the whole course is online and can partially be done at home). The teacher can only do so much, so in the end you can't blame him or her. The blame is on Prentice Hall, and the fact that they clearly did not test this product and clear up the bugs before it was released on the market. The third problem with the product- it's technical support and the servers used to transmit uploaded and downloaded information (since the program itself requires the user to be online to open the program)is by far the worst part. Not only did they shut down their servers (repeatedly) for 'maintenance' at peak times, but students recieved numerous error messages while the system was up and running. Between socket errors and javascript problems, it was next to impossible to upload, download, or startup the program. The tech support number given in the textbook/software bundle- a number which was supposed to be there for students to call 24hrs in regards to assistance was useless after 9pm -even though peak hours for the system ofter were at night, when most of the people taking this class (who chose it because it was 'distance learning' and flexible)were coming home from work and getting ready to work on their classwork online. The teacher for the class eventually gave his students the -actual- 24hr number midway through the term, however it was after many of us had gone through quite a bit of hassle. In honesty, the only valuable thing about this product, is the actual textbook that comes with it. The textbook mirrors the program, explanation for explanation- and provides problems for the student to work out on their own... I shelled out for the whole package. Expect to see Prentice Hall either discontinue this product, or pull it off the market only to reintroduce it later after they work out it's inherent problems. Until then, please, do not buy this product.

Reviewed by a reader, from united states
This book is confusing and gives bad examples. It does not go over how to do each step well and is hard to understand.

Review of Beginning Algebra: A Direct Approach

Editorial review
Textbook for undergraduate students includes a review of arithmetic and geometry. Simple language is used and rigor is not stressed. Includes chapter summaries, review problems, and chapter tests. No bibliography. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Review of Elementary Algebra for College Students (5th Edition)

Editorial review
Teachers at community colleges provide a textbook for undergraduate students and other adults who have had no prior exposure to algebra or who learned it once but need some cobwebs blown away. The emphasis is on readability and relevance to daily life. They cover real numbers, linear equations and inequalities, formulas and applications, exponents and polynomials, factoring, rational expressions and equations, graphing linear equations, systems of linear equations, roots and radicals, and quadratic equations. Inside the back cover is an index of applications, making the text usable as a reference.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Reviewed by a reader, from usa
I wish he had written all of my text books. Everything is clearly laid out with examples that are broken down into small steps to make understanding even clearer.

Reviewed by bseet02@Ameritech.net, Stan Fipps Sr, from U.S.A
I would really like to thank Mr. Angel for putting together a great book. I have to admit that I was afraid of Algebra until I started studying from this book. Thanks !

Reviewed by a reader, from u.s.
The book was laid out well and establishes a good flow with the reader. Contains helpful drawings and diagrams. This book is well suited for visual learners.

Review of College Algebra (6th Edition)

Editorial review
Standard textbook for a one-quarter or one-semester course at the sophomore level. This edition (fourth, 1986) adds new sections on LU- factorization, vectors in the plane and in 3-space, cross product in R&lts;u>3, least squares, conic sections, and quadric surfaces. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Reviewed by a reader, from Madison, WI United States
This book is required for my Linear Algebra class. Since my professor is not the best lecturer, I've had to buy another book to have any hope at understanding the material. This book gives poor explanations and the examples are not helpful. After looking around, I've found that there are many, many books out there that will make the topic easier to understand.

Reviewed by a reader,

Reviewed by a reader, from New York, NY
Th explanations are inadequate. They skip steps. Some elements are added into the chapters that are considered optional. Who ever heard of an optional chapter in their textbook!? I, for one, never heard of such a thing! The problems in the back are not very good usefull and are often repetative in some places and lacking in other. The proofs that the book spends much time with are also poorly explained. The author should know that to the new student, nothing is obvious, nothing is known. There is not more to say than: its a bad book.p.s. I couldn't bring myself to any book only one star.

Reviewed by Jason, from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
This textbook was used for the 1st year algebra course that I took and it gave me a pretty rough time. It's nice because it covers a lot of topics, but it has one weakness: the explanations are very poorly written, and from a student's perspective, they are very difficult to understand. All explanations of the various subjects are accurate, but they seem to be written from a viewpoint which seems to be geared towards not students but those who have already understood the material. Most of my friends taking the same course also felt that this textbook was extremely lacking. Please, if you're a professor, do your students a favour and choose a different algebra textbook than this one!!!

Review of Algebra for College Students (4th Edition)

Editorial review
This text covers topics required in a strong one-term course in intermediate algebra for high school students or a one-term algebra course for college students. Coverage progresses from algebra, mathematical models, and problem solving to sequences, induction, and probability. This fourth edition contains new section-opening scenarios, updated real-world data, rewritten exercise sets, chapter review tables, and a new chapter on inequalities. As in the third edition, use of graphing utilities is optional. One year of high school algebra is assumed as a prerequisite. The author teaches mathematics at Miami-Dade Community College.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Review of Beginning and Intermediate Algebra

Editorial review
This clear, accessible treatment of mathematics features a building-block approach toward problem solving, realistic and diverse applications, and chapter organizer to help users focus their study and become effective and confident problem solvers. The Putting Your Skills to Work and new chapter-end feature, Math in the Media, present readers with opportunities to utilize critical thinking skills, analyze and interpret data, and problem solve using applied situations encountered in daily life. Real Numbers and Variables; Equations, Inequalities and Applications; Graphs and Functions; Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities; Exponents and Polynomials; Factoring; Rational Expressions and Equations; Rational Exponents and Radicals; Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, and Absolute Value; The Conic Sections; Additional Properties of Functions; Logarithmic and Exponential Functions.

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