Saturday, 17 March 2007

God Save Us From The Ignorant!

I don't often say anything on this blog, but something I just read made me so angry that I can't keep quiet.

A suggestion Amazon's website made for me looked very interesting, but since I have a number of books on the subject, I figured I'd find an independent review before spending my dough.

I came across this purported review. It is quite scathing and completely, 100%, absolutely, totally wrong!

The writer equates the fact that she achieved 590 on the mathematics portion of her SATs (undoubtedly an excellent mark) with being "very good at higher mathematics".

Unlike high school fare, much of the material covered in Abstract Algebra by David Dummit and Richard Foote actually is higher mathematics. The bizarre thing is that she approached this book to "renew [her] skills" in order to help her children with their homework ... these kids are in "middle school", which I assume means junior high school!

Since its content is aimed at second year and later university students, the material is about four years more advanced than anything her children would be learning and is certainly at least a couple of years past where she appears to have ended her mathematical education.

Her summary of the book ... "Riddled with errors and esoteric formulae, this book is incredibly dangerous for students who have yet to achieve a firm grasp of Algebra. Avoid at all costs.".

Of course, the "errors" to which she alludes are nothing of the kind (thank goodness, one commenter pointed this out, unlike all the other ignorant sheep). I would definitely agree that the book is not suitable for the type of student she seems to think it was aimed at, but disagree with every other statement in the review.

I'm tempted to order a copy of the book on principle!