Every year, thousands of students in the USA declare mathematics as their major. Many are extremely intelligent and hardworking. However, even the best will encounter challenges, because upper-level mathematics involves not only independent study and learning from lectures, but also a fundamental shift from calculation to proof. This shift is demanding but it need not be mysterious - research has revealed many insights into the mathematical thinking required, and this book translates these into practical advice for a student audience. It covers every aspect of studying as a mathematics major, from tackling abstract intellectual challenges to interacting with professors and making good use of study time. Part 1 discusses the nature of upper-level mathematics, and explains how students can adapt and extend their existing skills in order to develop good understanding. Part 2 covers study skills as these relate to mathematics, and suggests practical approaches to learning effectively while enjoying undergraduate life. As the first mathematics-specific study guide, this friendly, practical text is essential reading for any mathematics major.
Lara Alcock is Senior Lecturer in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University, UK. An accomplished undergraduate and graduate mathematician at Warwick, her doctorate was in mathematics education before holding various academic posts including Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education and Mathematics at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Her research focuses on the challenges students encounter as they make the transition from calculation-based to proof-based mathematics. She was awarded the 2012 MAA Seldon Prize for Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education.