The Art and Craft of Problem Solving

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9780471789017: The Art and Craft of Problem Solving
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The newly revised Second Edtion of this distinctive text uniquely blends interesting problems with strategies, tools, and techniques to develop mathematical skill and intuition necessary for problem solving. Readers are encouraged to do math rather than just study it. The author draws upon his experience as a coach for the International Mathematics Olympiad to give students an enhanced sense of mathematics and the ability to investigate and solve problems.

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From the Back Cover:

You’ ve got a lot of problems. That’s a good thing.

Across the country, people are joining math clubs, entering math contests, and training to compete in the International Mathematical Olympiad. What’s the attraction? It’s simple—solving mathematical problems is exhilarating!

This new edition from a self-described "missionary for the problem solving culture" introduces you to the beauty and rewards of mathematical problem solving. Without requiring a deep background in math, it arms you with strategies and tactics for a no-holds-barred investigation of whatever mathematical problem you want to solve. You’ll learn how to:

  • get started and orient yourself in any problem.
  • draw pictures and use other creative techniques to look at the problem in a new light.
  • successfully employ proven techniques, including The Pigeonhole Principle, The Extreme Principle, and more.
  • tap into the knowledge gained from folklore problems (such as Conway’s Checker problem).
  • tackle problems in geometry, calculus, algebra, combinatorics, and number theory.

Whether you’re training for the Mathematical Olympiad or you just enjoy mathematical problems, this book can help you become a master problem-solver!

About the Author

Paul Zeitz studied history at Harvard and received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently is an associate professor at the University of San Francisco. He won the USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) and was a member of the first American team to participate in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in 1974. Since 1985, he has composed and edited problems for several national math contests, including the USAMO and helped train several American IMO teams, most notably the 1994 "Dream Team" which, for the first time in history, achieved a perfect score. In 2003, he received the Deborah Tepper Haimo award, a national teaching award for college and university math, given by the Math Association of America.

About the Author:

Paul Zeitz studied history at Harvard and received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently is an associate professor at the University of San Francisco. He won the USA Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO) and was a member of the first American team to participate in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in 1974. Since 1985, he has composed and edited problems for several national math contests, including the USAMO and helped train several American IMO teams, most notably the 1994 "Dream Team" which, for the first time in history, achieved a perfect score. In 2003, he received the Deborah Tepper Haimo award, a national teaching award for college and university math, given by the Math Association of America.

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