id: 06111387
dt: b
an: 2013f.00005
au: Alcock, Lara
ti: How to study for a mathematics degree.
so: Oxford: Oxford University Press (ISBN 978-0-19-966132-9/pbk). xvi, 272~p.
(2013).
py: 2013
pu: Oxford: Oxford University Press
la: EN
cc: A15 E45 E55
ut: mathematical thinking; study skills
ci:
li:
ab: The book by Alcock is aimed at students who (intend to) take up a
mathematics degree course. They usually face the problem that there is
a huge gap between school mathematics and university mathematics.
Alcock’s book is not yet another ‘bridging course’ book. She
wants to enable students to study effectively and efficiently by
showing them what mathematical thinking is all about and what kind of
study skills are important for successful mathematical studies. The
first topic is addressed in the first part of the book which contains
chapters on calculation procedures (partially familiar from school),
abstract objects like numbers and functions, definitions, theorems,
proof and proof types as well as on reading and writing mathematics.
The second part is devoted to study skills. It treats lectures as a
major learning arrangement, time management and dealing with other
people and one’s own role. The book closes with a description of what
mathematics lecturers do. The book can be highly recommended for
beginning students because it demonstrates with many examples what
mathematical thinking is all about. Being attacked by a ‘staccato’
of definitions, propositions, theorems, and proof sequences students
often lose orientation and the book helps them to get a better sense of
the thinking behind all the formal mathematics. It is also valuable for
lecturers of beginner courses since it gives them hints on what to
address explicitly in order to avoid students’ loss of orientation.
rv: Burkhard Alpers (Aalen)