Introduction

About This Book

Conventions Used in This Book

What You’re Not to Read

Foolish Assumptions

How This Book Is Organized

Part I: Lining Up the Basic Strategies

Part II: Taking Charge of the Math

Part III: Tackling Word Problems
fromAlgebra

Part IV: Taking the Shape of Geometric
Word Problems

Part V: The Part of Tens

Icons Used in This Book

Where to Go from Here

Chapter 1

Latching onto the Lingo

Defining types of numbers

Gauging the geometric

Formulating financials

Interpreting the Operations

Naming the results

Assigning the variables

Aligning symbols and word forms

Drawing a Picture

Visualizing relationships

Labeling accurately

Constructing a Table or Chart

Finding the values

Increasing in steps

Chapter 2

Singling Out the Question

Wading through the swamp of information

Going to the end

Organizing the Facts, Ma’am,
Just the Facts

Eliminating the unneeded

Doing the chores in order

Estimating an Answer to Check for Sense

Guessing an answer

Doing a reality check

Choosing the Best Measure

Using miles instead of inches

Working with square feet instead
ofsquare yards

Converting from One Measure to Another

Changing linear measures

Adjusting area and volume

Keeping It All in English Units

Comparing measures with
unlikely equivalences

Loving you a bushel and a peck

Mixing It Up with Measures

Matching metric with metric

Changing from metric to English

Changing from English to metric

Laying Out the Steps to a Solution

Step 1: Determine the question

Step 2: Organize the information

Step 3: Draw a picture or make a chart

Step 4: Align the units

Step 5: Set up the operations or tasks

Solving the Problem

Step 6: Perform the operations
or solving the equation

Step 7: Answer the question

Step 8: Check for accuracy
and common sense

Does It All Add Up?

Determining when the sum is needed

Adding up two or more

What’s the Difference — When You
Subtract?

Deciphering the subtraction lingo

Subtracting for the answer

How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?

Doing multiplication instead of
repeated addition

Taking charge of the number of times

Dividing and Conquering

Using division instead of subtraction

Making use of pesky remainders

Mixing Up the Operations

Doing the operations in the correct order

Determining which of the many
operationsto use

Relating Fractions, Decimals,
andPercents

Changing from fractions to decimals
to percents

Changing from percents back to fractions

Tackling Basic Percentage Problems

Decreasing by percents

Making the discount count

Determining an increase with percents

Tipping the Waitress without
TippingYour Hand

Figuring the tip on your bill

Taking into account the discount

KISS: Keeping It Simple, Silly —
withSimple Interest

Determining how much
interestyou’veearned

Figuring out how much you need to invest

Working with the Math of Proportions

Solving proportions by multiplying
or flipping

Going every which way with reducing

Dividing Things Up Equitably

Splitting things between two people
unevenly

Figuring each person’s share

Comparing the proportions for differing
amounts of money

Comparing Apples and Oranges

Determining the amounts in recipes

Figuring out weighted averages

Computing Medicinal Doses
UsingProportions

Figuring the tablets for doses

Making the weight count

Defining and Computing Probability

Counting up parts of things for probability

Predicting the Outcomes

Predicting using empirical probabilities

Using theoretical probabilities

Figuring Out the Odds

Making the odds work for you

Determining the Total Count

Equating different money amounts

Adding it all up

Working Out the Denominations of Coins

Having the total and figuring out the coins

Going with choices of coins and bills

Figuring Coins from around the World

Making change in another country

Converting other currency to U.S. dollars

Solving for the Formula Amount

Delving into a Formula and Its Input

Taking an answer and finding the question

Comparing several inputs resulting
inthesame output

Going the Distance with Formulas

Solving for distance traveled

Solving for rate or time

Testing the Temperature
ofYourSurroundings

Changing from Fahrenheit to Celsius

Changing from Celsius to Fahrenheit

Cooling off with Newton’s Law

Writing Equations Using
NumberManipulations

Changing from words to math expressions

Solving equations involving one number

Comparing Two Numbers in a Problem

Looking at the bigger, the smaller,
andthemultiple

Varying the problems with variation

Squaring Off Using Quadratic Equations

Doubling your pleasure, doubling your fun

Disposing of the nonanswers

Adding Up Sets of Consecutives

Writing the list algebraically

Reconstructing a list

Writing up sums and solving them

Looking At Consecutive Multiples

Working with evens and odds

Expanding to larger multiples

Operating on consecutive integers

Finding Sums of Sequences of Integers

Setting the stage for the sums

Finding the sums of consecutive integers

Applying Consecutive Integers

Adding up building blocks

Finding enough seats

Laying bricks for a stairway

Assigning the Variable

Getting the answer directly
from the variable

Adding a step to get the answer

Writing Operations and Using
SentenceStructure

Making the most of addition

Subtracting and multiplying solutions

Dividing and conquering

Tackling an earlier problem

Solving for Answers from
AlgebraicSolutions

Comparing the types of
algebraic expressions

Checking to see if a solution is an answer

Standardizing Quality Times Quantity

Mixing It Up with Mixtures

Improving the concentration of antifreeze

Watering down the wine

Mixing up insecticide

Counting on the Money

Determining how many of
each denomination

Making a marketable mixture of candy

Warming up to age

Making age an issue

Going Back and Forth into
the Future and the Past

Looking to the future

Going back in time

Facing Some Challenges of Age

Summing Up the Distances

Meeting somewhere in the middle

Making a beeline

Equating the Distances Traveled

Making it a matter of time

Speeding things up a bit

Solving for the distance

Working It Out with Work Problems

Incoming and Outgoing

Writing Two Equations and Substituting

Solving systems by substitution

Working with numbers
and amounts of coins

Figuring out the purchases of fast food

Breaking Even and Making a Profit

Finding the break-even point

Determining the profit

Mixing It Up with Mixture Problems

Gassing up at the station

Backtracking for all the answers

Making Several Comparisons with
MoreThan Two Equations

Picking flowers for a bouquet

Coming up with a game plan for
solving systems of equations

Solving Systems of Quadratic Equations

Counting on number problems

Picking points on circles

Finding the Height of an Object

Determining the height of a tree

Sighting a tower atop a mountain

Finding the height of a window

Determining Distances between Planes

Working with the distance apart

Taking into account the wind blowing

Figuring Out Where to Land the Boat

Conserving distance

Considering rate and time

Placing Things Fairly and Economically

Watching the Tide Drift Away

Keeping the Cows in the Pasture

Working with a set amount of fencing

Aiming for a needed area

Adding up for the entire area

Creating a Poster

Starting with a certain amount of print

Working with a particular poster size

Shedding the Light on a Norman Window

Maximizing the amount of light

Making the window proportional

Fitting a Rectangular Peg
into a Round Hole

Putting rectangles into circles

Working with coordinate axes

The Pictures Speak Volumes

Folding Up the Sides for an Open Box

Following Postal Regulations

Finding the right size

Piling It On with a Conical Sand Pile

The Part of Tens

Three Pirates on an Island

Letter Arithmetic

Pouring 4 Quarts

Magic Square

Getting Her Exercise

Liar, Liar

Weighing Nine Nuggets

Where Did the Dollar Go?

How Many Weights?

Transporting a Fox, a Goose, and Corn

Pythagoras

Napoleon Bonaparte

René Descartes

President James A. Garfield

Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)

M. C. Escher

Sir Isaac Newton

Marilyn vos Savant

Leonardo da Vinci

Martin Gardner

Index