# Input on Mathematics: A Human Endeavor?

### #1

Posted 28 October 2017 - 06:34 PM

Can anyone give me an idea of what “level” this book is? What previous math knowledge is expected? And is it supplementary or does it correspond to a year of the traditional math sequence?

### #2

Posted 28 October 2017 - 07:39 PM

It's sort of a mature prealgebra but not really prealgebra. It's targeting adults who don't really know algebra and beyond.

If you have an accelerated student, I wouldn't use it after algebra. I'd use it to slow them down.

- Jackie likes this

### #3

Posted 28 October 2017 - 08:03 PM

I haven't looked closely at it in a long time, but my algebra I teacher in public middle school worked with me out of this book. It was something extra I did because I finished faster than the rest of the class. I remember it being *really *fun. It didn't even seem like math to me at the time, at least not as I had come to expect in PS. However, I was like 13, so significantly older than your DD is likely to be when starting formal algebra. I have no idea how well it goes over with a younger audience. I would classify it as supplemental.

- Jackie likes this

### #4

Posted 29 October 2017 - 06:44 AM

I was in a public school gifted program for 5th and 6th grade where this book was used as part of a class called Math Laboratory. I use it with my own son for enrichment and have seen some of the ideas like Billiard Ball problems turn up in his math circle as young as 2nd grade. Definitely a neat book and has a lot of stuff not covered in a traditional math program like combinatorics, symmetry and tessellations, graph theory, etc as well as some that are more typical like functions and scientific notation, which I think is why you see the huge age range. It's such a neat book! I think the purpose of the book is along the lines of Paul Lockhart's essay _A Mathematician's Lament_ of treating math as an art. Definitely recommend!

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### #5

Posted 30 October 2017 - 01:00 AM

I’ve seen people using this for ALs, people using this for remediation, and all over the place in terms of what level their kid was working at.

Can anyone give me an idea of what “level” this book is? What previous math knowledge is expected? And is it supplementary or does it correspond to a year of the traditional math sequence?

I have it, if you want to take a look. It's in our storage, but I can try to dig it up.

**Edited by SeaConquest, 30 October 2017 - 01:00 AM.**

### #6

Posted 30 October 2017 - 05:59 AM

Have you checked your library? Maybe a dumb question - but I always forget to do stuff like that. I just checked ours and it turns out that they have it so I'll definitely be checking it out to decide how well it might fit our situation!

- Lace likes this

### #7

Posted 30 October 2017 - 07:34 AM

Have you checked your library? Maybe a dumb question - but I always forget to do stuff like that. I just checked ours and it turns out that they have it so I'll definitely be checking it out to decide how well it might fit our situation!

^^ This!

I just requested two different editions from my library

### #8

Posted 30 October 2017 - 11:01 AM

Monique, thanks for the offer, but I’ll make the library dig it off their shelves and shop it over to me!

### #9

Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:59 PM

I just pulled up an old post of mine on this topic from a few years ago:

I think Mathematics, A Human Endeavor is not so much a textbook as it is about the love of exploring mathematical concepts. It reminds me of the approach used in the math circle dd goes to when she has time. The math circle leaders explore topics outside of the scope of a typical math class. To give you a better idea, here are the chapter titles, plus a quote from the author's introduction:

1. The Mathematical Way of Thinking

2. Number Sequences

3. Functions and Their Graphs

4. Large Numbers and Logarithms

5. Rectangular Polygons

6. Mathematical Curves

7. Some Methods of Counting

8. The Mathematics of Chance

9. An Introduction to Statistics

10. Some Topics in Topography

"Although a quick glance at the table of contents suggests a rather sophisticated treatment, the topics are presented in a way that requires a minimal mathematical background and maturity. The exercises emphasize inductive thinking and discovery and, because of their strong intellectual interest, are the type that attract students. It is not assumed that students who use this book know how to solve even simple equations or that they have much acquaintance with geometric figures."

We did parts of MHE last year when dd was 8 years old and in a regular 3rd grade public school math class and I was supplementing at home. We did Beast Academy 3A-3D that year as well, and she loved them, but she wanted more challenge this year. We are now homeschooling full-time at age 9 and doing AOPS Pre-Algebra with the textbook and Alcumus but not the on-line course, since I want dd to be able to work through it at her own pace. We continue to mix in MHE and have added Zaccaro's "Becoming a Problem Solving Genius."

*editing to add that we also got our copy from the public library. I was able to keep it for about 2 months at a time, with renewals.

**Edited by slackermom, 03 November 2017 - 09:03 PM.**

### #10

Posted 03 November 2017 - 11:45 PM

Is there an edition that is preferred over another?

### #11

Posted 04 November 2017 - 02:41 PM

I haven't heard people debate different editions of MHE like I've seen the strong opinion about 2nd edition Jacobs over the 3rd edition. I have MHE on the shelf as well and will be using it as part of my semi-planned leisurely journey through pre-A. I'm not in a rush to get to higher maths and would am planning to do a lot of math exploration in topics outside the normal scope and sequence.

**Edited by calbear, 07 November 2017 - 01:00 AM.**

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### #12

Posted 04 November 2017 - 05:45 PM

I got it today from the library, and it looks like exactly the sort of thing I'm looking to do once we finish SM and BA! Fun, not too stressful, and a wide variety of interesting topics.

- arliemaria likes this

### #13

Posted 05 November 2017 - 09:13 AM

After reading this thread I ordered a copy for my son too and he really loves it. Thanks