Conditions of Use
The text covers a variety of typical topics that appear in similar textbooks, along with a few less common topics. However, a notable absence is a read more
The text covers a variety of typical topics that appear in similar textbooks, along with a few less common topics. However, a notable absence is a chapter on logic, arguments, and truth tables.
No inaccurate information was found.
Many applications seemed current and interesting. Dated data seemed to be from 2008/2009. However, most topics are general enough to still be relevant over time.
Overall, the text is written clearly and concisely. Explanations are brief but clear.
The layout of each section is consistent with subheadings, definitions, terminology, and examples.
While the organization and flow of the text is strong, it can easily be rearranged and edited into subsets for a unique text.
This is a strong characteristic of the book. One can easily see how each topic flows into the next, particularly the voting chapters and statistics/probability chapters.
At times, my computer was delayed in scrolling and seemed to "time out" of the book, but overall the interface was user-friendly. I liked being able to click on any chapter and immediately see its contents.
No grammatical errors were found.
The text is culturally relevant and not insensitive or offensive in any way.
I particularly liked the instruction on using the calculator in the finance sections. I liked how not only was it explained, but also how it showed pictures of the actual calculator buttons that should be pressed in order to evaluate a complex expression.
The book is comprehensive in the development of the topics it covers. The book does a good job of bring "Math" into "real life" situations that read more
The book is comprehensive in the development of the topics it covers. The book does a good job of bring "Math" into "real life" situations that students can relate to. The independent nature of the topics makes it very easy to use and integrate into an existing course. The development of the topics allows an instructor to use the complete chapter or only partial use depending on the course needs and student level.
I didn't observe any accuracy issues in the book. The content seems to appropriately bring mathematical topics into places students can identify with in life.
The author chose topics for each section that will not become irrelevant in the short term. The examples included in the chapters are relevant to today's society. I know my students could identify with the content presented and topics like voting and how it works behind the scenes mathematically is novel information to them.
The author is very clear in the content explanations and the examples are easy to follow. Terminology is well explained to build the necessary vocabulary for the content and topics. I liked the way the chapter on Growth Models explained the concept of Linear Growth and then tied the idea to slope and intercept, connecting the concepts in a way students might not on their own. I thought the examples used were very student friendly and easy to relate to. I think my students would find his explanations regarding evaluating roots on the calculator helpful as well. I also appreciate the organization of the book and having, for example, Statistics and Describing Data as separate chapters.
The author of the book is very consistent in the presentation of the material. The book is well designed and easy to use.
A major strength of this book is it's modularity. It can easily be used in part or as a whole. It will suit my needs because of this feature. The author clearly had modularity in mind in the design of this book.
Within the chapters of the book, the organization and flow is very well planned out. The examples are well thought out and explained then followed up with practice options. The overall design of the book allows for selection of chapters relevant the needs of the course being taught. The selection and use of a chapter does not require use of the previous chapter.
The book is well designed and the interface is not an issue.
The author communicates the content of the book effectively and the book is very "readable" and friendly to students.
The chapter covering Historical Counting Systems provides students with a perspective of the development of mathematical concepts and societal needs for mathematics. It develops a cross cultural interaction surround the need to count and trade. I found the chapter interesting and the information well presented. The overall content of the book presents examples that are broad based like pollution and gas consumption, things that are not culturally specific. The chapter on Finance is based on US economics, but that is what students in my courses need to know about.
The author has done a great job of creating a very user friendly, easily adaptable book. The modularity of the design allows for easy adaptation and use into existing courses to help students relate to and understand how mathematics are use on a daily basis. I think the chapter on Finance is an essential component for students to understand, especially in today's world of rise college costs.
The text covers nearly all topics commonly fund in a liberal arts math topics course, with the notable exception being logic. It includes quite a bit read more
The text covers nearly all topics commonly fund in a liberal arts math topics course, with the notable exception being logic. It includes quite a bit on voting and apportionment, and also covers fractals and cryptography. There does not appear to be an index or glossary.
The content is fine; the text dives deeply into topics such as dictators & dummies in voting, and bias & placebos in sampling.
The book should be easy to update; there is a somewhat old reference to Jesse Ventura but nothing else that will age quickly. It would be difficult to revise certain chapters (such as graph theory) because of the labor involved in drawing new diagrams. However, I seen no need to revise those examples, although they are mostly set in Washington and Oregon, giving the book a definite Pacific Northwest flavor.
The author does a great job of explaining nearly every new term or concept, except "Pareto optimal" and "mutually exclusive", but those two examples highlight how rarely this happens. (I hate the phrase "the exception that proves the rule", but I guess that's the situation here.)
The text is consistent from chapter to chapter and notes when a topic, such as common logarithms, has been explained in a previous chapter.
Aside from the logarithms mentioned above, the text can easily be used a la carte in chapters or sub-chapters.
The topics are organized well: explanation followed by example followed by "try it now" problems, and the topics are ordered in a sensible manner.
I had no issues with the interface.
The text has occasional typos and some grammatical errors that 99% of people won't notice: using "if" instead of "whether", putting the modifier "only" in the wrong spot. There are some minor formatting and style issues (serial comma inconsistency, hyphen/dash/negative sign stuff).
There is an entire chapter on number systems used by various cultures, but I don't recall a lot of multicultural inclusion. It is not offensive in any way, but there isn't much diversity, either.
This book would form a great basis for a math topics course; I hope to work on writing a logic chapter to go with it!
The book is fairly comprehensive in its coverage of the usual topics in a liberal arts math text except for the lack of a section on read more
The book is fairly comprehensive in its coverage of the usual topics in a liberal arts math text except for the lack of a section on geometry/trigonometry. One thing I particularly noted was the lack of use of technology or even reference to the use of it.
I didn't observe any issues with accuracy.
Other than needing inclusion of technology, the content is appropriate.
The text was straight forward and appropriate for the audience.
I focused on the chapters we will be using and saw no issues.
The book will be easy to break into smaller units to cover just the topics we will be presenting.
Typically with contemporary math, only a few topics are covered so the organization isn't of particular importance. It does start with an appropriate first chapter.
No problems observed.
I didn't notice any grammatical errors.
I didn't notice any issues in this area.
Table of Contents
About the Book
Math in Society is a free, open textbook. This book is a survey of contemporary mathematical topics, most non-algebraic, appropriate for a college-level topics course for liberal arts majors. The text is designed so that most chapters are independent, allowing the instructor to choose a selection of topics to be covered. Emphasis is placed on the applicability of the mathematics. Core material for each topic is covered in the main text, with additional depth available through exploration exercises appropriate for in-class, group, or individual investigation. This book is appropriate for Math 107 (Washington State Community Colleges common course number).
About the Contributors
David Lippman received his master’s degree in mathematics from Western Washington University and has been teaching at Pierce College since Fall 2000.
David has been a long time advocate of open learning, open materials, and basically any idea that will reduce the cost of education for students. It started by supporting the college’s calculator rental program, and running a book loan scholarship program. Eventually the frustration with the escalating costs of commercial text books and the online homework systems that charged for access led to action.
First, David developed IMathAS, open source online math homework software that runs WAMAP.org and MyOpenMath.com. Through this platform, he became an integral part of a vibrant sharing and learning community of teachers from around Washington State that support and contribute to WAMAP. These pioneering efforts, supported by dozens of other dedicated faculty and financial support from the Transition Math Project, have led to a system used by thousands of students every quarter, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars over comparable commercial offerings.