A Transition to Advanced Mathematics

ISBN: 0534399002
ISBN 13: 9780534399009
By: Maurice Eggen Douglas Smith Richard St. Andre

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Three stars seems a bit low, but four definitely would be too high for this book. My copy is the seventh edition; the picture seems to be of the sixth edition. I'm given to understand that there are many differences between editions for this book, enough so that they really should be rated separately. As such, keep in mind that this review is for the seventh edition only.On the good side, this book seems to have a good variety of exercises to work, from easy to extremely challenging; unlike some reviewers, I consider this a feature, not a bug. And if there aren't solutions to all (or even half) of the problems, it is a fair defense to point out that in a book of this sort, there may be many possible solutions to the same problem, and it would be doing students a disservice to provide "the" solution. Still, I'll agree with the reviewers who complain that the "the second half of this proof is left as an exercise for the student" copout is the lazy author's way out.The real problem with this book, however, is that even more so than most math textbooks (which is saying something) the explanations are impenetrable for someone who isn't already fluent in the language of math. I was fortunate enough to have a good prof, who was able to explain concepts clearly and with a translation to standard english; as such, concepts that were impenetrable when I read them prior to class made perfect sense by the time class was finished. But not everyone is so fortunate; the value of a math textbook is that if the student doesn't understand something in the lecture, he/she can supplement the lecture with the textbook. My suspicion is that anyone trying to do that with this book would be left at least as baffled as they were before reading it.And no, it doesn't help that it's outrageously overpriced.

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