What would life be like without decimals? Pointless!
We all had that one teacher at school who couldn’t help but come out with lame quips and fun facts in an attempt to obscure the meaty content of the lesson underneath. At first we might have rolled our eyes yet, sure enough, they became a fond favourite. Liz Strachan is one such teacher: witty and fast-paced, she takes you on a journey through the secondary Maths curriculum with funny/terrible jokes (such as the one above), a dip into Maths' usually-forgotten history and plenty of quirky illustrations by Steven Appleby.
I was a little disappointed at times when, contrary to her mission, Strachan followed the crowd, perpetuating the myth that everyone hates Maths by heralding our "despair" on finishing a chapter, or by evading trickier concepts with "And really, it was not that interesting". That aside, I found Easy as Pi: Maths Made Simple an enjoyable and informative read.
This book would be a perfect revision tool for the GCSE student (rather than for an adult going back to Maths in later years, as suggested on the back of the book). Teachers could even use it when starting their own Maths lessons in class, for the content is very well organised and diagrams do indeed make everything easier to understand (as the title promises). Explanations are followed light-heartedly by practice questions and answers, along with the obligatory anecdote of course.
Published by Robinson, Easy as Pi: Maths Made Simple is available from Amazon.