Published on *Hope College* (http://hope.edu)

Real-life examples are stressed in a

new precalculus text co-written by three members of the Hope

College and Calvin College faculties, part of an on-going

effort by the team to help students understand how

mathematics relates to both other disciplines and the world

around them.

"Precalculus: A Study of Functions and Their

Applications" is being published this month by Harcourt

College Publishing. The authors are Todd Swanson, adjunct

assistant professor of mathematics at Hope; Janet Andersen,

associate professor of mathematics and chair of the

department at Hope; and Robert Keeley, who is an associate

professor of education at Calvin and a former mathematics

teacher at Holland Christian High School.

Written in a conversational tone, the book is

designed so that students will read about, write about and

discuss the mathematical concepts they are exploring.

According to the authors, functions that are traditionally

presented separately in precalculus texts are instead

reviewed together to show how they are related to one

another. Similarly, projects concerning topics ranging from

crickets, to golf, to automobile acceleration provide

examples of how the concepts can be applied.

"With real-world exercises, investigations and

projects, this text provides a complete instructional

package for a contemporary precalculus course," Swanson

said.

"Precalculus: A Study of Functions and Their

Applications" was written for use in one-semester college

courses in precalculus, but is also intended to be suitable

for year-long high school courses.

The book stems from an effort that began in the

summer of 1994, when Andersen, Keeley and Swanson began

developing sets of precalculus problems for classroom use

with support from a $150,000 grant from the National Science

Foundation. In 1997, their work led to the publication of

"Projects for Precalculus," a compilation of 26 multi-

question problem sets. "Projects for Precalculus" was an

award winner in the Innovative Programs Using Technology

competition in 1997, and was featured in the book "Exemplary

Programs in Introductory College Mathematics," published by

the Mathematics Association of America in 1998. Several of

the projects are featured in the new text.

**Links:**

[1] http://hope.edu/2000/08/01/precalculus-text-published