A Primer for Mathematics Competitions by Alexander ZawairaA Primer for Mathematics Competitions by Alexander Zawaira

A Primer for Mathematics Competitions

byAlexander Zawaira, Gavin Hitchcock

Paperback | November 1, 2008

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The importance of mathematics competitions has been widely recognised for three reasons: they help to develop imaginative capacity and thinking skills whose value far transcends mathematics; they constitute the most effective way of discovering and nurturing mathematical talent; and theyprovide a means to combat the prevalent false image of mathematics held by high school students, as either a fearsomely difficult or a dull and uncreative subject. This book provides a comprehensive training resource for competitions from local and provincial to national Olympiad level, containinghundreds of diagrams, and graced by many light-hearted cartoons. It features a large collection of what mathematicians call "beautiful" problems - non-routine, provocative, fascinating, and challenging problems, often with elegant solutions. It features careful, systematic exposition of a selectionof the most important topics encountered in mathematics competitions, assuming little prior knowledge. Geometry, trigonometry, mathematical induction, inequalities, Diophantine equations, number theory, sequences and series, the binomial theorem, and combinatorics - are all developed in a gentle butlively manner, liberally illustrated with examples, and consistently motivated by attractive "appetiser" problems, whose solution appears after the relevant theory has been expounded.Each chapter is presented as a "toolchest" of instruments designed for cracking the problems collected at the end of the chapter. Other topics, such as algebra, co-ordinate geometry, functional equations and probability, are introduced and elucidated in the posing and solving of the large collectionof miscellaneous problems in the final toolchest.An unusual feature of this book is the attention paid throughout to the history of mathematics - the origins of the ideas, the terminology and some of the problems, and the celebration of mathematics as a multicultural, cooperative human achievement.As a bonus the aspiring "mathlete" may encounter, in the most enjoyable way possible, many of the topics that form the core of the standard school curriculum.
Alexander Zawaira was born in Zimbabwe in 1978. He studied Mathematics and Biochemistry at the University of Zimbabwe where Dr Gavin Hitchcock was one of his teachers. He won a Beit Trust Scholarship to study at Oxford University (England) where obtained a PhD in Structural Biology. His research interests focus on bridging the gap ...
Title:A Primer for Mathematics CompetitionsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.82 inPublished:November 1, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019953988X

ISBN - 13:9780199539888


Table of Contents

Preface1. Geometry2. Algebraic Inequalities and Induction3. Diophantine Equations4. Number Theory5. Trigonometry6. Sequences and Series7. Binomial Theorem8. Combinatorics9. Miscellaneous Problems and SolutionsIndex