Comprehensiveness rating: 5 read less
More important than the generous selection of topics that this text includes is the inviting way in which the mathematics is presented, through engaging and colorful pictures, tables, graphs, and examples from real life (for example, in introducing logarithms via application to the Richter scale). The engaging style is essential to building an understanding that is comprehensive not only in breadth of topics but also in its relevance, interest and hands-on feel for the student.
Accuracy rating: 5
The text is accurate, in as much as I have read.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 5
The mathematics is classical, but presented in a modern-day setting that includes examples and motivation from current and recent events; these will be both easy to update and interesting for years to come.
Clarity rating: 4
The concepts are presented without clutter, in a friendly yet accurate way. The "Q&A" questions and answers add to the interactive feel. In places, some formalism seeps in, but this is dispelled by clear pictures and examples and practice questions for the student to try. The "How To" boxes are generally helpful, but at times they reduce creative thinking to an algorithm without ample explanation for why it works (as for example, in finding the vertex of a quadratic function). Here the instructor will need to fill in the reasoning, letting the text serve as a reference and summary. The real-world applications help make the mathematics more clear.
Consistency rating: 5
The text is consistent in both terminology and style.
Modularity rating: 5
The text is conveniently divided into smaller sections that can be easily located and studied at any point in the course.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5
The organization of the topics and the ideas within each topic follows a logical succession, while the modularity allows for any sub-topic to be studied with as much independence as possible.
Interface rating: 5
The interface is uncluttered and easy to navigate. I have not had the opportunity to use this book yet, but my impression is that the students (and I) would find it easy and enjoyable to work with.
Grammatical Errors rating: 5
The grammar is good.
Cultural Relevance rating: 5
The examples are varied, from modern everyday life, and they come across as truly relevant (rather than contrived). At least one (about movies) I thought was insensitive, but there are plenty of good examples in the text.
I imagine that students will enjoy reading this book because of its friendly, interactive, example-oriented, uncluttered, and easy-to-navigate style. This is a book that I can see as a truly helpful learning companion.