As a mathematics professor I would hear my students say, “I understand you in class, but when I get home I am lost.” When I probed further, students would continue with “I can’t read the book.” As a mathematician I always found mathematics textbooks quite easy to read—and then it dawned on me—don’t look at this book through a mathematician’s eyes, but look at it through the eyes of students who might not view mathematics the same way. What I found was that the books were not at all like my class. Students understood me in class, but when they got home they couldn’t understand the book. It was then that the folks at Wiley lured me into writing. My goal was to write a book that is seamless with how we teach and is an ally (not an adversary) to student learning. I wanted to give students a book they could read without sacrificing the rigor needed for conceptual understanding. The following quote comes from a reviewer of this third edition when asked about the rigor of the book:
I would say that this text comes across as a little less rigorous than other texts, but I think that stems from how easy it is to read and how clear the author is. When one actually looks closely at the material, the level of rigor is high.
New to the Third Edition
The first edition was my book, the second edition was our book, and this third edition is our even better book. I’ve incorporated some specific line by line suggestions from reviewers throughout the exposition and added some new Examples ...