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Measurement

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Measurement
by Paul Lockhart
Harvard University Press, 2012 (($29.95))

Lockhart is famous in the math world for a 2002 essay about the state of mathematics teaching. He described it as akin to teaching music by forcing children to transcribe notation without ever touching an instrument or singing. Measurement is his attempt to change the equation: a conversational book about mathematics as an art that invites the reader to join in the fun. Sounding every bit the teacher whose love for his subject is infectious, he guides us through exercises in geometry and calculus—giving information and hints along the way while always encouraging us to ask, and answer, “Why?” Lockhart does not try to make math seem easy; instead he wants his readers to understand that the difficulty brings rewards. —Evelyn Lamb

COMMENT AT ScientificAmerican.com/sep2012

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