Essential Maths for Engineering and Construction: How to Avoid Mistakes, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Essential Maths for Engineering and Construction

How to Avoid Mistakes, 1st Edition

By Mark Breach

CRC Press

280 pages | 36 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-08-12
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Don’t let your mathematical skills fail you! In Engineering, Construction, and Science examinations, marks are often lost through carelessness or from not properly understanding the mathematics involved. When there are only a few marks on offer for a part of a question, there may be full marks for a right answer and none for a wrong one, regardless of the thought that went into the answer.

If you want to avoid losing these marks by improving the clarity both of your mathematical work and your mathematical understanding, then Essential Maths for Engineering and Construction is the book for you.We all make mistakes; who doesn’t? But mistakes can be avoided when we understand why we make them. Taking mistakes commonly made by undergraduate students as its entry point, this book not only looks at how you can prevent mistakes, but also provides a primer for the fundamental mathematical skills required for your degree discipline.

Whether you struggle with different types of interest rates, geometry, statistics, calculus, or any of the other mathematical areas vital to your degree, this book will guide you around the pitfalls.


As a principal lecturer who teaches maths to undergraduates in civil engineering and architecture, Mark Breach is well aware of the mistakes and insecurities that beset his students. … Throughout the book, there are a lot of both worked examples, and exercises for the student to use as practice, with the solutions printed upside-down in blocks of text. … a very useful resource for students entering tertiary education in a field that requires maths.

—Peter R. Smith, University of Sydney, Australia, in Architectural Science Review, Vol. 55, No. 2, May 2012

Table of Contents

Finding the Pitfalls


Find an Independent Check

Misleading with Mathematics

When Ink Meets Paper

Juggling with Numbers

False Assumptions and False Logic

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

Some Mistakes that we Make

Errors in Arithmetic

Errors in Algebra

Errors in Trigonometry

Calculator Errors

Bad Notation

Errors in Calculus

Test Yourself

About the Author


Mark Breach

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

Learn more about Mark Breach >>

Mark Breach is Principal Lecturer in Engineering Surveying at Nottingham Trent University, UK. He teaches mathematics courses to civil engineering and architectural technician undergraduates.

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