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Book Recommendation: How to Succeed in College Mathematics

posted January 26, 2013
How to Succeed in College Mathematics

How to Succeed in College Mathematics

I recently discovered the book How to Succeed in College Mathematics. This book tackles the issues facing students making the transition from high school to college mathematics courses. It addresses ineffective high school study habits, unrealistic expectations about college courses and instructors, and false beliefs about mathematics study. Later in the book, it gives advice on how to study and learn mathematics, how to write mathematics content, how to work with symbolic forms, how to improve study techniques, and much more. Check out the table of contents.

Even if you aren't a college student, this book is a good book for anyone who is interested in what it means to be a lifelong learner. Much of the material is presented in the context of taking college mathematics courses, but a lot of the advice applies easily to other areas and other circumstances. The writing is forceful and honest; the author clearly has a lot of experience thinking about the mathematical education process and definitely cares about the success of the student.

The book is filled with quotes from students who gave feedback during courses to shed light on what makes mathematics coursework (un)successful. In addition, instructor quotes provide viewpoints on what will make (un)successful students.

One especially nice feature of the book is that a later chapter on effective problem-solving describes the problem-solving methods of George Polya's How to Solve It.