**AMS/MAA Textbooks**

Volume: 33;
2016;
308 pp;

**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

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#### Supplemental Materials

# Common Sense Mathematics

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*Ethan D. Bolker; Maura B. Mast*

MAA Press: An Imprint of the American Mathematical Society

Also available in Second Edition: TEXT/63

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.

An instructor's manual is freely available electronically: click here.

A solutions manual for this title is available
electronically to those instructors who have adopted the textbook for classroom use. Please send email to textbooks@ams.org for more
information.

#### Reviews & Endorsements

Bolker and Mast has excellent scope, covering all the essential topics that I would want my students to know.

-- Keith Erickson, Georgia Gwinnett College

This book contains many diverse topics and guides the students through examples in a logical way. While every problem is unique, the goal is for the student to think critically and develop a multitude of problem-solving skills so that they are prepared for 21st-century current events. I certainly see this book being used in a special topics course, in a mathematics competition, or as a supplemental text for applications. I will certainly use this text myself for my mathematics finance and sustainability courses. Thank you Bolker and Mast for writing such an insightful text.

-- Peter Olszewski, Pennsylvania State University

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