The Joy of Thinking

The Joy of Thinking: The Beauty and Power of Classical Mathematical Ideas.

By Edward Burger, Michael Startbird

Reviewed by: Darrell

Summary: This set of 24 lectures on DVD based on the author’s book “The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking”. The authors review many of the most important concepts of classical mathematics and show how these concepts can be applied to help us improve our everyday thinking.

Review: This is another wonderful set of lectures from “The Teaching Company”. This particular course is a great example of what has made their courses so popular: They take complex topics and make them simple to understand, fun to learn and easy to apply. This course boils some very difficult concepts (e.g. the fourth dimension) and presents them so lucidly that even people with math anxiety can gain a better appreciation of these ideas. One great example of Burger and Starbird’s gift for explanation is their treatment of the famous “Monty Hall Problem” (lecture 20). I’ve heard many explanations of this problem – most of them incorrect. Their treatment of this counter intuitive problem was so clear I now feel like I finally understand the right answer! Learning math concepts is fun with this course.