A Transition to Abstract Mathematics

Learning Mathematical Thinking and Writing


  • Randall Maddox, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA, USA

Constructing concise and correct proofs is one of the most challenging aspects of learning to work with advanced mathematics. Meeting this challenge is a defining moment for those considering a career in mathematics or related fields. Mathematical Thinking and Writing teaches readers to construct proofs and communicate with the precision necessary for working with abstraction. It is based on two premises: composing clear and accurate mathematical arguments is critical in abstract mathematics, and that this skill requires development and support. Abstraction is the destination, not the starting point. Maddox methodically builds toward a thorough understanding of the proof process, demonstrating and encouraging mathematical thinking along the way. Skillful use of analogy clarifies abstract ideas. Clearly presented methods of mathematical precision provide an understanding of the nature of mathematics and its defining structure. After mastering the art of the proof process, the reader may pursue two independent paths. The latter parts are purposefully designed to rest on the foundation of the first, and climb quickly into analysis or algebra. Maddox addresses fundamental principles in these two areas, so that readers can apply their mathematical thinking and writing skills to these new concepts. From this exposure, readers experience the beauty of the mathematical landscape and further develop their ability to work with abstract ideas.
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upper level undergraduate mathematics students Mathematicians and computer science professionals.


Book information

  • Published: September 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-374480-7

Table of Contents

Notation and AssumptionsSection I: Foundations of Logic and Proof Writing Ch 1. LogicCh 1. Language and MathematicsCh 2. Properties of Real Numbers Ch 3. Sets and Their Properties Ch 4. FunctionsSection II: Basic Principles of AnalysisCh 5. The Real NumbersCh 6. Sequences of Real Numbers Ch 7. Functions of a Real VariableSection III: Basic Principles of AlgebraCh 6. GroupsCh 7. RingsIndexIndex