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I hate my school text book. I'm only in algebra but I want more details

  1. Feb 10, 2009 #1
    This textbook: https://www.amazon.com/Intermediate...bs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234326839&sr=8-1

    I mean check out this one review:

    This book made me realize something that I probably didn't before. That is that an applied approach is just simply skimming. That's what this book does, it skims over the concepts of Algebra. This is definitely not a solid foundation and will not benefit you if you need to take Trig., College Algebra or higher math. For instance, graphing is something you do alot in algebra. This book does not introduce the TI-84 calculator which is essential in today's algebra. I took an intermed. algebra course at one school under this book. Well a few years later I had to retake intermed. algebra because I placed low on the math test and was put back into it at another school. I was surprisingly shocked that I had learned very little with the applied approach. It was as if I was totally new to algebra. If your instructor requests this book for your algebra class, you will not finish that course with a strong enough foundation in intermediate algebra trust me.

    I am currently up to Systems of Linear Equations and the part where the Z axis gets introduced on the graphing plane. Soon after it's matrices. Unless I'm pretty slow, I think the book is too shallow with not enough problems to practice on. An applied approach mixed with very little practice problems. Very helpful, right? :rolleyes:

    I don't mind buying two books. For example, I could buy Schaum's just for the massive amounts of problems to practice on, and some other book that will explain all the concepts.

    Man, I hate learning math with no deeper explanations. For me it has to be, "Go all the way or forget about it". So, are there any recommendations of books or e-books that approach the materials academically? I've got about 6 months to learn all this stuff before Sept. 09 terms start. I'm going for Engineering Technology and then transferring to a university so I really don't want to cheat myself by shallow learning.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2009 #2
    There are iirc some recommendations on basic algebra books in Mathwonk's thread "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician?" in the Academic Guidance forum.

    By the way, you really don't have to learn to use a TI-84 to learn math, in my opinion...
  4. Feb 11, 2009 #3


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    Look for any older Intermediate Algebra book and correlate the sections to study with the topics that your current course reviews. Study using the old book, but do the work from your current course book.

    Uman is correct; you do not need to learn to use TI-84 to learn Intermediate Algebra, but it is a nice tool for checking some of your work. Students must learn to solve problems and make graphs without a graphing calculator. Many of us when students did not have such incredible machines as the graphing calculators; we STUDIED and LEARNED the course material.

    Don't feel bad if you enroll in Intermediate Algebra in college after taking and passing it in high school; not everyone can retain what they studied after a course ends. You learn the stuff much better when it is repeated (should be very very much better since you would be already familiar with many of the parts of the course).
  5. Feb 11, 2009 #4
    Yep, this is exactly what I had in mind. My only minor problem is the table of contents of two books may be named differently so that might take some time trying figure out which is which.

    Yep, I will be checking this out too before checking out my amazon cart. Maybe I could even search for a free graphing software.

    Here are the three books I'll be buying from Amazon (I might change my mind of course...):

    Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers

    Schaum's Outline of PreCalculus, 2nd Ed. (Schaum's Outlines)

    3,000 Solved Problems in Linear Algebra

    Actually, this may be the reason why I think the book is bad. Maybe the college's program, "Academic Upgrading", thinks EVERYONE has been out of school for so long that they just needed a refresher. In this case, I guess that book would be good for a skimming review. But... I was the one with 9th grade math when I dropped out.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  6. Feb 11, 2009 #5
    Watch out: "Linear Algebra" is a totally different area of math, the one that has to do with vector spaces, matrices, and linear transformations. It's probably not what you're looking for.
  7. Feb 15, 2009 #6
    I didn't know that, thanks for announcing. Good thing I couldn't order from amazon :) I got Birth From Numbers and the precalc outline from barnes and noble. I am hoping the Birth From Numbers book will add more meaning to my math learning experience.
  8. Mar 13, 2009 #7
    "This book does not introduce the TI-84 calculator which is essential in today's algebra."

    I know this is a month old, but in case you're still pondering different books, I wouldn't rely on this review at all. It's very possible that the book is bad, but the vast majority of students who do poorly in class blame the book or teacher and not themselves. The TI-anything is in no way essential to any course.
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