1st Edition

Taking the “Oof!” Out of Proofs

By Alexandr Draganov Copyright 2024
    296 Pages 54 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    296 Pages 54 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    296 Pages 54 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    This book introduces readers to the art of doing mathematical proofs. Proofs are the glue that holds mathematics together. They make connections between math concepts and show why things work the way they do. This book teaches the art of proofs using familiar high-school concepts, such as numbers, polynomials, functions, and trigonometry. It retells math as a story, where the next chapter follows from the previous one.

    Readers will see how various mathematical concepts are tied and will see that mathematics is not a pile of formulas and facts; rather, it has an orderly and beautiful edifice.

    The author begins with basic rules of logic and then progresses through the topics already familiar to the students: numbers, inequalities, functions, polynomials, exponents, and trigonometric functions. There are also beautiful proofs for conic sections, sequences, and Fibonacci numbers. Each chapter has exercises for the reader.

    Reviewer Comments:

    I find the book very impressive. The choice and sequence of topics is excellent, and it is wonderful to have all of these things together in one volume. Theorems are clearly stated, and proofs are accurate. – Michael Comenetz

    The thoroughness of the narrative is one of the main strengths of the book. The book provides a perfect illustration of mathematical thinking. Each step of a given derivation is precise and clear. – Julie Gershunskaya

    Draganov’s book stands out from the many competing books.  Draganov’s goal is to show that mathematics depends on the notion of proof.  Unlike other transition books, he addresses mathematical topics at an accessible level, rather than topics studied later in the university curriculum. – Ken Rosen

    List of Figures


    1 A Few Rules of Logic

    1 1.1 True and False Statements

    1.2 General and Particular Cases

    1.3 “If... then” Statements

    1.4 Combining “or”, “and”, and Negation

    1.5 Logic Lingo

    1.6 No Contradictions Are Allowed

    1.7 The Need for Existence

    1.8 What is Typically Proved?

    1.9 Types of Proofs



    2 Numbers

    2.1 Natural Numbers and Primes

    2.2 Integers

    2.3 Rational Numbers

    2.4 The Decimal Representation

    2.4.1 Decimal Representation of Integers

    2.4.2 Decimal Representation of Rational Numbers

    2.5 Irrational Numbers

    2.5.1 Mixing Rational and Irrational Numbers

    2.6 Two Theorems about Real Numbers

    2.7 Complex Numbers

    2.8 How Many Numbers Are There?

    2.8.1 Sets

    2.8.2 How Many Rational Numbers Are There?

    2.8.3 How Many Real Numbers Are There?

    2.8.4 Cardinality of Real Numbers in an Interval

    2.8.5 Points on a Plane

    2.8.6 Numbers That We Can Define

    2.8.7 The Completeness of Real Numbers



    3 Inequalities

    3.1 Basic Properties

    3.2 Several Theorems

    3.3 Several Inequalities

    3.3.1 A Sum of Absolute Values

    3.3.2 The Arithmetic Mean

    3.3.3 The Geometric Mean

    3.3.4 The Harmonic Mean

    3.3.5 The Quadratic Mean

    3.3.6 Inequalities for the Four Means

    3.3.7 Bernoulli’s inequality

    3.3.8 The Cauchy-Schwarz Inequality



    4 Functions

    4.1 Definition and Examples

    4.2 Odd and Even Functions

    4.3 Composite Functions

    4.4 Monotonic Functions

    4.5 Inverse Functions

    4.5.1 Inverse of an Inverse

    4.5.2 Inverse of a Composite Function

    4.6 Applying a Function to both Sides of an Inequality

    4.7 Concave and Convex Functions



    5 Polynomials

    5.1 Definition and Examples

    5.2 Binomial Expansion

    5.3 Pascal’s Triangle

    5.4 Adding and Multiplying Polynomials

    5.5 When Are Two Polynomials Equal?

    5.6 Roots

    5.7 The Polynomial Remainder Theorem

    5.8 The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra

    5.9 Vieta’s Theorem



    6 Power Law, Exponents, and Logarithms

    6.1 Integer Exponents

    6.2 Radicals as Inverse Exponents

    6.3 Rational Exponents

    6.4 From Rational to Real Exponents

    6.5 The Exponential Function

    6.5.1 The Number e

    6.6 Properties of the Exponential Function

    6.7 Is the Exponent Monotonic?

    6.8 Logarithms

    6.9 The Base of the Logarithmic Function



    7 Trigonometry

    7.1 How to Use Algebra for Solving Problems in Geometry

    7.2 Measuring Angles

    7.3 Adding and Subtracting Angles

    7.4 The Sine and Cosine Functions

    7.5 Most Common Trigonometric Identities

    7.6 Inverse Trigonometric Functions

    7.7 Other Trigonometric Functions

    7.8 Polar Coordinates

    7.9 Cosine of the Difference of Two Angles

    7.10 Back to the Identities for Complementary Angles

    7.11 Sine of a Sum of Two Angles

    7.12 Sine and Cosine of a Double Angle

    7.13 One Way to Compute Trigonometric Functions

    7.14 More Trigonometric Identities

    7.14.1 Tangent of a Sum of Angles

    7.14.2 Sine of a Half-Angle

    7.14.3 Cosine of a Half-Angle

    7.14.4 Sums and Differences of Trigonometric Functions

    7.14.5 Products of Trigonometric Functions

    7.15 Multiplication of Complex Numbers

    7.16 Back to the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra

    7.17 Euler’s Formula

    7.18 Three Trigonometric Inequalities

    7.19 Analytical Geometry



    8 Conic Sections

    8.1 Cone and Plane Definitions

    8.2 Metric Definitions

    8.3 Focus and Directrix Definitions

    8.4 Algebraic Definitions

    8.5 Equivalency of Definitions 1 and 2

    8.6 Equivalency of Definitions 2 and 4

    8.7 Equivalency of Definitions 3 and 4

    8.8 Conics in Polar Coordinates

    8.9 Ray Reflections by Conics

    8.10 The Design of X-Ray Telescopes



    9 Sequences and Sums

    9.1 Arithmetic Sequence

    9.2 Geometric Sequence

    9.3 Infinite Sequences

    9.4 Limits: Definition

    9.5 Does the Geometric Sequence Converge?

    9.6 Arithmetic Operations for Sequences

    9.7 Monotone and Bounded Sequences

    9.8 The Bolzano-Weierstrass Theorem

    9.9 More on the Ratio of Two Sequences

    9.10 A Sequence with Nested Radicals

    9.11 More Sequences with Nested Radicals

    9.12 The Limit for the Base of Natural Logarithms

    9.13 Partial Sums and Infinite Series

    9.14 The Harmonic Series

    9.15 The Harmonic Sequence and Prime Numbers

    9.16 Intuition May Fail Us for Infinite Series

    9.17 Sometimes Neglecting Rigor Is a Good Thing



    10 The Fibonacci Sequence

    10.1 Cassini’s Identity

    10.2 The Golden Ratio

    10.3 The Golden Ratio via Nested Radicals

    10.4 Successive Powers

    10.5 A Proof of Convergence

    10.6 More about Successive Powers

    10.7 Integers as Sums of Fibonacci Numbers

    10.8 The Partial Sum of Fibonacci Numbers

    10.9 Continued Fractions

    10.10 Linking Geometric and Fibonacci Sequences

    10.11 Two Related Sequences

    10.11.1 Lucas Numbers

    10.11.2 Pell Numbers



    Further Reading 





    Alexandr Draganov holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. After a career in high-tech, he pivoted to teaching and writing.