# Business Calculus

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Patrick Averbeck -
Mathematics

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University of Washington ( Dr. Averbeck now at
Edmonds CC)

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# Philosophy of
the Textbook

The Math 111 textbook will
probably be very different from any math book you’ve previously experienced. It
doesn’t follow the typical example/problem model where an example is given as
the blueprint for working a gazillion homework problems. Rather than focusing
mainly on drill problems, the text focuses on a combination of problems that
requires writing and calculations. You’ll often be asked questions that require
a written answer as well as problems that require numbers and formulas. You’ll
be challenged to think about ideas rather than plugging numbers into a formula.

The style of the textbook
may make people feel uncomfortable because it departs from traditional text.
So, why was this done?

First , the style matches
one of the one of the current views of mathematics learning that students need
to be active in the learning process. Research indicates that students do not
readily retain the mathematical concepts when they are passive. So, rather than
have paragraphs telling you the concepts and showing examples, the text attempts
to get you involved by asking you leading questions in order to get you active
in the process of uncovering the mathematical concepts.

Second, working a problem
similar to the given example does not prepare you to deal with new situations.
So, instead of drilling you, the text tries to help you develop a conceptual
understanding of the concepts that will allow you to be flexible handling new
situations.

Third, the Business
Department desires students who have developed an understanding of the
mathematical concepts rather than someone who can plug numbers into a formula.
Understanding the relationships represented in a formula are skills required to
be successful in many business and economic classes.

Finally, the intention
behind the textbook is not to be sadistic. The amount of drill work has been
reduced so that you can spend your time grappling with the concepts.

Note: previous students
have indicated difficulties in defining the leading questions, developing an
overview of the concepts, and making connections between the concepts. In this
version the questions are now labeled and arranged in order to make them
clearer. At the beginning of each section, goals are presented to assist you in
creating an overview of the concepts to be covered within the section. Finally,
connections between the concepts are highlighted more than the previous version
of the text.