Real-Life Math: Everyday Use of Mathematical Concepts by John W. McConnell, Evan M. Glazer
Publisher: Greenwood (October 30, 2008) | 184 pages | ISBN: 0313361231 | PDF | 1.2 MB
From Booklist
"Why do we have to learn this?" is a common question relative to mathematics study. This reference book intends to answer that query by providing examples of real-life applications related to high-school mathematical concepts.
The authors, both with academic mathematical backgrounds, posit more than 40 concepts that appear in the U.S. mathematics education standards, among them Matrices, Plane, Pythagorean theorem, Rotations, and Series. The intended audience includes high-school students, teachers, and librarians, although mathematics teachers are the ones most likely to understand all the concepts and formulas.
The entries, arranged alphabetically, range from two to six pages. After an opening paragraph definition, various applications in science, sports, business, architecture, and other topics are explained. The term everyday usually refers to public activity rather than school or home life. A few diagrams and graphs accompany the text. Related URLs complete the entry. Some cross-references exist, but they are not consistently used. A bibliography of sources concludes the volume; an index is sorely needed.
Entries on Probability, Perimeter, and Quadrilaterals are very thorough and almost too elementary at points, although those same entries also describe related advanced math concepts. On the other hand, entries such as Tangent and Polynomial functions are at once too brief and complex. Although natural logarithms are briefly mentioned, no accompanying application is clearly noted. Nearly a page is devoted to symmetry, but Markov chains and fuzzy logic are vaguely explained in a sentence or two. The absence of entries on algorithms, measurement, modeling, set theory, transformations, and limits is puzzling.
The book's approach makes it more useful as a reference tool than a math enrichment volume. It does provide some useful application ideas across the math curriculum, more for the adult educator than the teenager, and might be useful in high-school libraries. RBB
Copyright Â© American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Review
â€œ...intended as a resource for mathematics teachers, providing some possible answers to students' questions about relevance, and meets th standards set forth by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. But besides its potential use by high school, community college, and beginning college-level teachers, this well written book has a place in public, high-school, and college libraries. Highly recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates; faculty; two-year technical program students.â€â€“Choice
â€œReal-Life Math is a high-quality book that will be a fine addition to any mathematics library.â€â€“Mathmatics Teacher
â€œ...thorough and accurate.â€â€“Library Media Connection
â€œ...useful as a reference tool....provides useful application ideas across the math curriculum....useful in high school libraries.â€â€“Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin
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