Discovering Mathematics: The Art of Investigation

Discovering Mathematics: The Art of Investigation
by A. Gardiner

Oxford University Press
0-19-853282-2; 0-19-853265-2 (paper)
YA, C *


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This is not a book of theorem proofs, nor is it a book of problems and exercises. It is a guided tour of problem-solving in mathematics. The author makes a serious and well-organized attempt to illustrate the use of intuition, experiment, and generalization in mathematical problem-solving. His technique is to use recreational problems and puzzles around which he builds what he calls "investigations." By working directed examples, the reader is led by the hand to mathematical discovery. Among the mathematical topics covered in these investigations are Fibonacci numbers, bases, recurrence, and elementary number theory. This book might be suitable for students at the high-school level or for lower-division liberal arts students at a university. For what it sets out to do, it is excellent.

--Reviewed by Richard A. Champion in Science Books and Films, 24/1 (September/October 1988), p. 22.