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Real-life math : everyday use of mathematical concepts
Glazer, Evan, 1971-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xii, 165 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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QA93 .G45 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Author Notes

EVAN M. GLAZER is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Georgia in the Department of Instructional Technology, and a former mathematics teacher at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, IL. Previous publications include Using Internet Primary Sources to Teach Critical Thinking Skills in Mathematics (Greenwood, 2001).

JOHN W. MCCONNELL is a professor at North Park University.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

"Why do we have to learn this?" is a common question relative to mathematics study. This reference book intends to answer that query by providing examples of real-life applications related to high-school mathematical concepts. The authors, both with academic mathematical backgrounds, posit more than 40 concepts that appear in the U.S. mathematics education standards, among them Matrices, Plane, Pythagorean theorem, Rotations, and Series. The intended audience includes high-school students, teachers, and librarians, although mathematics teachers are the ones most likely to understand all the concepts and formulas. The entries, arranged alphabetically, range from two to six pages. After an opening paragraph definition, various applications in science, sports, business, architecture, and other topics are explained. The term everyday usually refers to public activity rather than school or home life. A few diagrams and graphs accompany the text. Related URLs complete the entry. Some cross-references exist, but they are not consistently used. A bibliography of sources concludes the volume; an index is sorely needed. Entries on Probability, Perimeter, and Quadrilaterals are very thorough and almost too elementary at points, although those same entries also describe related advanced math concepts. On the other hand, entries such as Tangent and Polynomial functions are at once too brief and complex. Although natural logarithms are briefly mentioned, no accompanying application is clearly noted. Nearly a page is devoted to symmetry, but Markov chains and fuzzy logic are vaguely explained in a sentence or two. The absence of entries on algorithms, measurement, modeling, set theory, transformations, and limits is puzzling. The book's approach makes it more useful as a reference tool than a math enrichment volume. It does provide some useful application ideas across the math curriculum, more for the adult educator than the teenager, and might be useful in high-school libraries.

Choice Review

Glazer and McConnell (North Park Univ.), experienced secondary mathematics teachers formerly from Glenbrook (Illinois) South High School, confront the often-asked question from students, "When are we ever going to use this?" Their book promotes making connections between mathematics and the real world by providing short essays (three pages each) on about 50 topics (e.g., angle, asymptote, complex numbers, derivative, inverse function, linear functions, polar coordinates, rates, series, surface area, and vectors). Following each essay is a list of online sources of further information on the topic. The book is intended as a resource for mathematics teachers, providing some possible answers to students' questions about relevance, and meets the standards set forth by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. But besides its potential use by high school, community college, and beginning college-level teachers, this well-written book has a place in public, high school, and college libraries. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates; faculty; two-year technical program students. W. R. Lee Iowa State University

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Mathematical Concepts
Anglep. 1
Asymptotep. 7
Cartesian Coordinatesp. 10
Circlesp. 12
Circumferencep. 16
Complex Numbersp. 16
Conic Sectionsp. 18
Countingp. 21
Derivativep. 23
Equationsp. 23
Expected Valuep. 26
Exponential Decayp. 28
Exponential Growthp. 30
Fibonacci Sequencep. 35
Imaginary Numbersp. 37
Integrationp. 37
Inverse (Multiplicative)p. 43
Inverse Functionp. 45
Inverse Square Functionp. 47
Linear Functionsp. 49
Logarithmsp. 55
Logistic Functionsp. 58
Matricesp. 61
Perimeterp. 64
Periodic Functionsp. 67
Planep. 70
Polar Coordinatesp. 72
Polynomial Functionsp. 75
Probabilityp. 77
Proportionsp. 82
Pythagorean Theoremp. 87
Quadratic Functionsp. 89
Quadrilateralsp. 93
Ratesp. 96
Ratiop. 102
Reflectionsp. 107
Rotationsp. 111
Sequencesp. 114
Seriesp. 117
Similarityp. 121
Slopep. 124
Square Rootsp. 124
Standard Deviationp. 127
Step Functionsp. 130
Surface Areap. 133
Symbolic Logicp. 136
Symmetryp. 138
Tangentp. 141
Translationsp. 144
Triangle Trigonometryp. 146
Variationp. 150
Vectorsp. 154
Volumep. 159
Bibliographyp. 163