# The A to Z of mathematics a basic guide - Sidebotham T.H.

### The A to Z of mathematics a basic guide

Author: Sidebotham T.H.Publishers: Wiley publishing

Year of publication: 2002

Number of pages: 489

ISBN 0-471-15045-2

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The A to Z of Mathematics

A Basic Guide

The A to Z of Mathematics

A Basic Guide

Thomas H. Sidebotham

St. Bede College Christchurch, New Zealand

WILEY-INTERSCIENCE

A JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC., PUBLICATION

The A to Z of Mathematics

The A to Z of Mathematics

A Basic Guide

Thomas H. Sidebotham

St. Bede College Christchurch, New Zealand

WILEY-INTERSCIENCE

A JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC., PUBLICATION

This book is printed on acid-free paper. ©

Copyright © 2002 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. All rights reserved.

Published simultaneously in Canada.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 750-4744. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012, (212) 850-6011, fax (212) 850-6008, E-Mail: PERMREQ@WILEY.COM.

For ordering and customer service, call 1-800-CALL-WILEY.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available

The A to Z of Mathematics : A Basic Guide Thomas H. Sidebotham

ISBN 0-471-15045-2

Printed in the United States of America.

10 987654321

To my wife, Patricia

Who persuaded me to get started and supported me until it was finished

Contents

Preface..................................................................................ix

Acknowledgments..........................................................................xi

A.........................................................................................1

B........................................................................................48

C........................................................................................63

D.......................................................................................145

E.......................................................................................167

F.......................................................................................197

G.......................................................................................214

H.......................................................................................234

1.......................................................................................245

K.......................................................................................269

L.......................................................................................272

M.......................................................................................281

N.......................................................................................296

O.......................................................................................306

P.......................................................................................314

vii

CONTENTS

Preface

Throughout the world many people suffer from the same problem: math anxiety. No other area of skill seems to polarize people so readily into two contrasting groups, those who can do math and those who cannot. Of the two groups, the second one is by far the larger. To succeed in mathematics you need to understand the basics, and only then can you leam with confidence. Many people fall at this first hurdle and then struggle later. My aim in writing this book is to guide you through the basics so that you can develop an understanding of mathematical processes. As you study this book you will become aware of how mathematics relates to everyday life and situations with which you are familiar. Study this book in depth, simply browse, or search for the meaning of a word, and leam your math again. Why should you go to this trouble? Whatever your age, mathematics is one of the basic requirements of life. This study of mathematics will make a difference.

This book is written in an appropriate language for explaining basic mathematics to the general reader, and uses examples drawn from everyday life. There are many worked examples with detailed steps of working. Each step of working is accompanied by an explanation. It is this process of showing HOW and explaining WHY that gives this book its unique style. Those mathematical abbreviations that often frustrate readers are written in full and the text is user-friendly. For quick reference the format of the book is alphabetical, and it covers topics in basic mathematics. They are linked together with cross-references so that a theme can be followed through. This book is a great deal more than a dictionary. Under each entry there is a straightforward explanation of the term, followed in many cases by carefully worked examples, showing the relevance of mathematics in the world around us. At the end of some entries the reader is directed to other references in the book if some prior knowledge is needed. The mathematics is reliable and up to date, and encompasses a wide range of topics so that everyone will find something of interest.

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