**AMS/MAA Textbooks**

Volume: 33;
2016;
308 pp;
Hardcover

Print ISBN: 978-1-93951-210-9

Product Code: TEXT/33

List Price: $66.00

AMS Member Price: $49.50

MAA member Price: $49.50

**Electronic ISBN: 978-1-61444-621-7
Product Code: TEXT/33.E**

List Price: $66.00

AMS Member Price: $49.50

MAA member Price: $49.50

# Common Sense Mathematics

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*Ethan D. Bolker; Maura B. Mast*

MAA Press: An Imprint of the American Mathematical Society

Common Sense Mathematics is a text for a one
semester college-level course in quantitative literacy. The text
emphasizes common sense and common knowledge in approaching real
problems through popular news items and finding useful mathematical
tools and frames with which to address those questions.

We asked ourselves what we hoped our students would remember about
this course in ten years' time. From that ten year perspective,
thoughts about syllabus—"what topics should we
cover?"—seemed much too narrow. What matters more is our wish to
change the way our students' minds work the way they approach a
problem, or, more generally, the way they approach the world. Most
people skip the numbers in newspapers, magazines, on the web, and,
more importantly, even in financial information. We hope that in ten
years our students will follow the news, confident in their ability to
make sense of the numbers they find there and in their daily
lives.

Most quantitative reasoning texts are arranged by mathematical topics
to be mastered. Since the mathematics is only a part of what we hope
students learn, we've chosen another strategy. We look at real life
stories that can be best understood with careful reading and a little
mathematics.

#### Reviews & Endorsements

The authors present a remarkable collection of problem situations gleaned from public media and supplemented by topics of personal finance. The problem situations are not only central to students' everyday lives but also provide a venue for continuing learning beyond a course and beyond school. Based on years of teaching quantitative reasoning, the book offers a clear model for such a course for the inexperienced teacher as well as opportunities for localizing and extending the material for the more experienced teacher.

-- Bernard L. Madison, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

# Table of Contents

## Common Sense Mathematics

- Cover cov11
- Half title i2
- Copyright ii3
- Title iii4
- Series iv5
- Contents vii8
- Preface xiii14
- 1 Calculating on the Back of an Envelope 122
- 2 Units and Unit Conversions 2344
- 3 Percentages, Sales Tax and Discounts 5778
- 4 Inflation 87108
- 5 Average Values 99120
- 6 Income Distribution–Excel, Charts,and Statistics 113134
- 6.1 Salaries at Wing Aero 113134
- 6.2 What if? 117138
- 6.3 Using software 118139
- 6.4 Median 118139
- 6.5 Bar charts 119140
- 6.6 Pie charts 122143
- 6.7 Histograms 122143
- 6.8 Mean, median, mode 125146
- 6.9 Computing averages from histograms 126147
- 6.10 Percentiles 127148
- 6.11 The bell curve 128149
- 6.12 Margin of error 130151
- 6.13 Bimodal data 132153
- 6.14 Exercises 133154

- 7 Electricity Bills and Income Taxes–Linear Functions 151172
- 8 Climate Change–Linear Models 179200
- 9 Compound Interest–Exponential Growth 195216
- 10 Borrowing and Saving 217238
- 11 Probability–Counting, Betting, Insurance 231252
- 12 Break the Bank–Independent Events 247268
- 13 How Good Is That Test? 261282
- Hints 277298
- References 283304
- Index 301322
- About the Authors 307328