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Mathematics: A Human Endeavor, Third Edition Review by Tina Rice

Harold R. Jacobs

Mathematics: A Human Endeavor is a textbook for those who think they do not like math. Written by Harold R. Jacobs in 1970, this book has withstood the test of time by parents, students, and teachers. Mathematics: A Human Endeavor is a math book for older high school students who prefer not to take advanced mathematics, calculus, or physics. The prerequisite for Mathematics: A Human Endeavor is algebra 1. In addition to the student book, an instructor's guide, test master book, and transparency masters are available. The instructor's guide is essential. It included answers to the problem sets for each lesson and additional information for each chapter. If you want to use chapter and final tests, you will need the test master book. The transparency master book would be useful for a co-op class, but most home educators will be able to use the program without the transparency masters.

The ten chapters included in Mathematics A Human Endeavor are: Mathematical Ways of Thinking, Number Sequences, Functions and Their Graphs, Large Numbers and Logarithms, Symmetry and Regular Figures, Mathematical Curves, Methods of Counting, The Mathematics of Chance, An Introduction to Statistics, and Topics in Topology. Each chapter consists of four to six lessons. Each lesson contains three sets of exercises. For many students the set three exercises can be optional. The appendix contains information for the student who is rusty in basic mathematical operations. Answers to selected exercises are also included in the student book.

Mr. Jacobs uses comics, drawings, and photographs to interest even the most mathematically faint of heart. The lessons are concise and comprehensive. If you are looking for a high school level math program and you do not want to proceed to geometry and advanced math, check out Mathematics A Human Endeavor. Publisher W.H. Freeman and Company sells direct to home educators, or you can order your copy from your favorite home school supplier. W. H. Freeman can be reached at

-- Product Review by: Tina Rice, Senior Research, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine