The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking

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9780470424766: The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking

Make mathematics fun and satisfying for everyone

Math can be a living source of powerful ideas that transcend mathematics; a window into mind-opening philosophical concepts such as infinity, fourth dimensions, chaos, and fractals; and a practical training ground for developing skills in analysis, reasoning, and thought—if you have the right approach and the right guide.

The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking­—now in its third edition—transforms mathematics into an engaging, relevant experience even for the most math-phobic student. Infusing this book with humor and enthusiasm, Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird—both recipients of the Mathematical Association of America’s foremost national teaching award and countless state, regional, and campus-wide teaching honors—introduce students to the most important and interesting ideas in mathematics while inspiring them to actively engage in mathematical thinking.

Richer and more rewarding than ever, this new edition features:

  • An emphasis on mathematical methods of investigation
  • Visualization techniques that make key concepts easier to understand
  • Accessible, friendly writing style that encourages critical thinking
  • "Life Lessons"-effective methods of thinking that students will retain and apply beyond the classroom
  • End of section Mindscape activities for the development of application, problem-solving, and argumentation skills

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About the Author:

Edward B. Burger is professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College. He graduated from Connecticut College in 1985, where he earned B.A. Summa Cum Laude with Distinction in Mathematics, and received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. He did his postdoctoral work at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Dr. Burger has received numerous awards including:  the Award of Excellence, for "educational mathematics videos that break new ground from the Technology & Learning magazine, and the Distinguished Achievement Award, for Educational Video Technology from The Association of Educational Publishers.  He was honored as one of the "100 Best of America", Listed in Reader's Digest's Annual Special Issue as Best Math Teacher.  He also received the Residence Life Academic Teaching Award, University of Colorado at Boulder and the Robert W. Hamilton Book Award, for "The Heart of Mathematics".


Michael Starbird Michael Starbird is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin. He has received more than a dozen teaching awards including the Mathematical Association of America’s 2007 national teaching award and several university-wide teaching awards based largely on his course in mathematics for liberal arts students. Starbird brings intriguing mathematics to general audiences through his classes, lectures, books, and video courses. In 1989, Starbird was UT’s Recreational Sports Super Racquets Champion.

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