Miller/O'Neill's Beginning Algebra is an insightful text written by instructors who have first-hand experience with students of developmental mathematics. The authors have placed an emphasis on graphing, by including special sections called, Connections to Graphing at the end of Chapters 1-5, before the formal presentation of Graphing appears in Chapter 6. The Connections to Graphing sections may be considered optional for those instructors who do not prefer an early introduction to graphing. For those who do prefer graphing early, instructors can use the Connections to Graphing sections together where they prefer to introduce graphing. A section on geometry appears in Chapter R for instructors who look for such content in Beginning Algebra. Applications that incorporate geometric concepts may also be found throughout the text. Chapter R also contains a section on study skills. This section provides easy to digest tips (in list format) for course success. The authors have crafted the exercise sets with the idea of infusing review. that help students to review concepts previously learned, and in this way, students will retain more of what they have learned. The exercise sets also contain translation exercises which provide students with an opportunity to convert from English phrases to mathematical symbols and from mathematical symbols to English phrases, thus helping students to strengthen their command of mathematical language. Moreover, the applications found in the exercise sets are based on real-world data, which helps to promote students' interest in mathematics, and in turn, may serve to motivate and engage them more effectively. Other features include mid-chapter reviews and classroom activities. The classroom activities are of special value, in that through their use, students may begin to take greater ownership over their learning. The classroom activities were designed to be quick activities students could perform in class (either individually, or collaboratively in groups). applications, a high level of readability, and excellent opportunities for students to become actively engaged in their exploration of mathematics.
Molly O'Neill was the food columnist for The New York Times Magazine for ten years, the host of the PBS series Great Food, and an award-winning cookbook author.
Julie Miller is from Daytona State College, where she has taught developmental and upper-level mathematics courses for 20 years. Prior to her work at Daytona State College, she worked as a software engineer for General Electric in the area of flight and radar simulation. Julie earned a bachelor of science in applied mathematics from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and a master of science in mathematics from the University of Florida. In addition to this textbook, she has authored several course supplements for college algebra, trigonometry, and precalculus, as well as several short works of fiction and nonfiction for young readers. My father is a medical researcher, and I got hooked on math and science when I was young and would visit his laboratory. I can remember using graph paper to plot data points for his experiments and doing simple calculations. He would then tell me what the peaks and features in the graph meant in the context of his experiment. I think that applications and hands-on experience made math come alive for me and I'd like to see math come alive for my students.