Stefan Waner and Steven Costenoble's FINITE MATHEMATICS AND APPLIED CALCULUS, THIRD EDITION retains its engaging conversational style and focus on real data and real world applications of mathematics--a strategy that has proven to be pedagogically successful. The wealth of applications, the highly effective integrated, yet optional, use of graphing calculators or spreadsheets, and the robust supplemental Web site that has received praise from around the world, are what make Waner/Costenoble's text an outstanding choice.
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Stefan Waner and Steven R. Costenoble both received their Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, having studied several years apart with the same advisor, J. Peter May. Their paths merged when Steven joined Stefan at Hofstra University in 1987; since then they have coauthored 15 research papers in algebraic topology. By the early 1990s they had become dissatisfied with many of the Finite Mathematics and Applied Calculus textbooks. They wanted textbooks that were more readable and relevant to students' interests, containing examples and exercises that were interesting, and reflected the interactive approaches and techniques they found worked well with their own students. It therefore seemed natural to extend their research collaboration to a joint textbook writing project that expressed these ideals. To this day they continue to work together on their textbook projects, their research in algebraic topology, and their teaching.Review:
"I love the Question and Answer paragraphs. They pinpoint key ideas and offer clear explanations of why things are done in a particular way. Moreover, as a teaching tool, the instructor can emphasize to the students that these are the types of questions they should ask themselves whenever they are reading or listening to any mathematical presentation. If they can't come up with the answers themselves, it is an indication they need more work or need to get help from their instructor."
"The communication exercises are well thought out. They are more than just "state in your own words" type questions. They can make students think more deeply about the ideas and processes and learn to express themselves in the terminology of mathematics."
"The examples are in general very good. They both illustrate key ideas and then often expand on them leading to more in depth discussions following the example. The follow up "Before we go on..." discussions are excellent and are, to me, along with the Question and Answer format paragraphs, the real highlight and selling point of the text."
"The exercises are outstanding. There are enough mechanical problems to let the student perfect technique, yet the real strength is the application problems, which by their nature, provide understandable insight into how mathematics permeates modern life. The application problems are quite varied and inherently interesting. Being able to see why a technique is useful is often just the motivation some students need to really try to understand it."
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