
Precalculus: A View of the World Around Us, 1/e
David Wells, The Pennsylvania State University
Lynn Tilson, The Pennsylvania State University
Published January, 1998 by Prentice Hall Engineering/Science/Mathematics
Copyright 1998, 727 pp.
Cloth
ISBN 0024254517

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Precalculus MathematicsMathematics
Precalculus with Graphing CalculatorsMathematics

Unique in perspective, this text supports innovative pedagogy
and approach to precalculus mathematics—but does not
require instructors to spend extensive time preparing to teach or
to depart radically from the traditional course in either content
or structure. Written in a studentfriendly conversational style,
it uses a variety of mathematical methods to investigate and solve
both routine and nonroutine realworld physical problems—showing
students how mathematics can be used to “view the world around
us.”
Offers structural flexibility to enable instructors
to adapt coverage to their own course preferences.
Presents mathematics using the “ruleoffour”
by introducing concepts numerically, analytically, graphically,
and verbally.
 Helps students not only learn to represent relationships
using equations, graphs, or tables, but to decide which representation
is more appropriate to a given situation.
Emphasizes problemsolving skills.
 Introduces Polya's fourstep process in Ch. 1 and
uses it consistently throughout.
 Covers the most commonly used problemsolving strategies
in Ch. 1 and uses them several times in each chapter.
Focuses on algebra as a patternseeking device
that can lead to the discovery of underlying principles.
Explores functions dynamically.
 Discusses where functions are increasing and decreasing
and introduces the idea of average rate of change.
 Foreshadows the idea of limit numerically and graphically.
Covers the use and application of graphing calculators
where appropriate.
Intersperses Mathematical Looking Glasses throughout
— to not only teach skills, but to create a curiosity and understanding
of “the world around us.”
 Presents a rich variety of situations involving real
people and actual events showing mathematics as useful, timely, and
interesting. Most show how mathematics can be applied to solve a physical
problem, and some simply analyze a situation from a mathematical perspective.
Shows how mathematics is part of our historical heritage.
Features an abundance of exercises throughout which
are:
 Placed at strategic points within each section, as well
as at the end of each section.
 Based on the examples they follow — i.e., flow from
concept to skill.
 Identified according to purpose — creating models,
interpreting mathematics, problem solving, writing to learn, making
observations, review, extension.
 Varied in nature — from drill to reflective.
1. Modeling and Problem Solving.
2. Functions.
3. Linear Systems.
4. Quadratic Functions and Relations.
5. Polynomial Functions.
6. Rational Functions.
7. Exponential and Logarithmic Functions.
8. Trigonometric Functions.
9. Trigonometric Functions as Analytical Tools.
10. Trigonometric Functions as Graphing Tools.
Appendix A: Basic Algebra Reference.
Appendix B: Tips for Graphing Functions with A Calculator.
