A Mind for Numbers

MindforNumbersA Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley

Whether you are a student struggling to fulfill a math or science requirement, or you are embarking on a career change that requires a higher level of math competency, A Mind for Numbers offers the tools you need to get a better grasp of that intimidating but inescapable field. Engineering professor Barbara Oakley knows firsthand how it feels to struggle with math. She flunked her way through high school math and science courses, before enlisting in the army immediately after graduation. When she saw how her lack of mathematical and technical savvy severely limited her options – both to rise in the military and to explore other careers – she returned to school with a newfound determination to re-tool her brain to master the very subjects that had given her so much trouble throughout her entire life.

In A Mind for Numbers, Dr. Oakley lets us in on the secrets to effectively learning math and science – secrets that even dedicated and successful students wish they’d known earlier. Contrary to popular belief, math requires creative, as well as analytical, thinking. Most people think that there’s only one way to do a problem, when in actuality, there are often a number of different solutions – you just need the creativity to see them. For example, there are more than three hundred different known proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem. In short, studying a problem in a laser-focused way until you reach a solution is not an effective way to learn math. Rather, it involves taking the time to step away from a problem and allow the more relaxed and creative part of the brain to take over. A Mind for Numbers shows us that we all have what it takes to excel in math, and learning it is not as painful as some might think!

Math Doesn’t Suck

Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail
By Danica McKellar Math doesn't suck

From a well-known actress and math genius – a groundbreaking guide to mathematics for middle school girls, their parents, and educators.

As the math education crisis in this country continues to make headlines, research continues to prove that it is in middle school when math scores begin to drop – especially for girls – in large part due to the relentless social conditioning that tells girls they “can’t do” math, and that math is “uncool.” Young girls today need strong female role models to embrace the idea that it’s okay to be smart – in fact, it’s sexy to be smart!

It’s Danica McKellar’s mission to be this role model, and demonstrate on a large scale that “math doesn’t suck.” In this fun and accessible guide, McKellar – dubbed a “math superstar” by The New York Times – gives girls and their parents the tools they need to master the math concepts that confuse middle-schoolers most, including fractions, percentages, pre-algebra, and more. The book features hip, real-world examples, step-by-step instruction, and engaging stories of Danica’s own childhood struggles in math (and stardom). In addition, borrowing from the style of today’s teen magazines, it even includes a Math Horoscope section, Math Personality Quizzes, and Real-Life Testimonials – ultimately revealing why math is easier and cooler than readers think.