Mathematical building blocks

Calculus for the Managerial, Life, and Social Sciences - Finite Mathematics for the Managerial, Life, and Social Sciences
November 24, 2000

These books are directed at first - year undergraduates studying in the fields indicated in the titles. They require a background in algebra somewhere between A level or equivalent and GCSE. The stated aim of the first is to provide students with background in the quantitative techniques better to understand and appreciate the courses normally taken in undergraduate training and to lay the foundation for more advanced courses, such as statistics and operational research. The second book aims to be a textbook that is readable by students and to be a useful teaching tool for instructors. These aims are achieved by striking a good balance between theory and applications.

The subject material is familiar. In the first text, linear algebra, linear programming, probability and statistics, mathematics of finance and introductions to game theory and logic are presented. The second covers the essentials normally met in a first calculus course as far as several - variable calculus, in a very accessible way with much use made of applications and model construction and usage.

Both texts are attractively laid out with good graphics. A problem - solving approach is stressed throughout, and the authors’ approach is intuitive rather than formal. There are ample exercises of a routine nature but these are followed by a good number of application-orientated problems. From time to time the reader encounters portfolios, interviews with professionals illustrating the role of mathematics in their professions. There are "using technology" sections (predominantly TI calculators and spreadsheets) and both texts are well supported by additional website materials. The site provides review material, practice quizzes and tests, group projects and instructions for the various technologies used.

Taken together these texts provide a very attractive, wide-ranging teaching resource.
John Stone is principal lecturer in computing mathematics, Sheffield Hallam University.   

Calculus for the Managerial, Life, and Social Sciences: Fifth edition

Author - Soo Tan
ISBN - 0 534 36586 8
Publisher - Brooks/Cole
Price - £29.99
Pages - 725

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