Designed for high-school students and teachers with an interest in mathematical problem-solving, this stimulating collection includes more than 300 problems that are "off the beaten path" — i.e., problems that give a new twist to familiar topics that introduce unfamiliar topics. With few exceptions, their solution requires little more than some knowledge of elementary algebra, though a dash of ingenuity may help.
Readers will find here thought-provoking posers involving equations and inequalities, diophantine equations, number theory, quadratic equations, logarithms, combinations and probability, and much more. The problems range from fairly easy to difficult, and many have extensions or variations the author calls "challenges."
By studying these nonroutine problems, students will not only stimulate and develop problem-solving skills, they will acquire valuable underpinnings for more advanced work in mathematics.
Alfred S. Posamentier: Math's Champion
Dr. Alfred S. Posamentier, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Education at New York's City College and, from 1999 to 2009, the Dean of City College's School of Education, has long been a tireless advocate for the importance of mathematics in education. He is the author or co-author of more than 40 mathematics books for teachers, students, and general readers including The Fascinating Fibonacci Numbers (Prometheus, 2007) and Mathematical Amazements and Surprises: Fascinating Figures and Noteworthy Numbers (Prometheus, 2009).
His incisive views on aspects of mathematics education may often be encountered in the Letters columns and on the op-ed pages of The New York Times and other newspapers and periodicals. For Dover he provided, with co-author Charles T. Salkind, something very educational and also fun, two long-lived books of problems: Challenging Problems in Geometry and Challenging Problems in Algebra, both on the Dover list since 1996.
Why solve problems? Here's an excerpt from a letter Dr. Posamentier sent to The New York Times following an article about Martin Gardner's career in 2009:
"Teachers shouldn't think that textbook exercises provide problem-solving experiences — that's just drill. Genuine problem solving is what Mr. Gardner has been espousing. Genuine problem solving provides a stronger command of mathematics and exhibits its power and beauty. Something sorely lacking in our society."