Synopses & Reviews
Having trouble understanding algebra? Do algebraic concepts, equations, and logic just make your head spin? We have great news: Head First Algebra is designed for you. Full of engaging stories and practical, real-world explanations, this book will help you learn everything from natural numbers and exponents to solving systems of equations and graphing polynomials.
Along the way, you'll go beyond solving hundreds of repetitive problems, and actually use what you learn to make real-life decisions. Does it make sense to buy two years of insurance on a car that depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot? Can you really afford an XBox 360 and a new iPhone? Learn how to put algebra to work for you, and nail your class exams along the way.
Your time is way too valuable to waste struggling with new concepts. Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience, Head First Algebra uses a visually rich format specifically designed to take advantage of the way your brain really works.
This book is algebra with a jolt of fresh air and maybe a whiff of a caffeinated beverage. It's a complete algebra learning experience that engages readers by having them play games, solve puzzles, ponder mysteries, learn the fundamentals of Algebra I that current students are struggling with, or parents have long since forgotten. While readers experience the joy of math, they'll learn (almost without noticing) everything they always wanted to know but were afraid to ask about natural numbers, exponents, graphs and graphing, polynomials, factoring, algebraic fractions, solving equations, the quadratic formula, and much more. Like all of the books in our Head First series, "Head First Algebra" uses a visually rich format designed for the way the brain works. Based on the latest research in neurobiology, cognitive science, and learning theory, this book combines words and pictures in a playful, mixed-media style that not only helps readers understand a subject, but also to remember it.
About the Author
Tracey Pilone, a licensed Civil Engineer, is a freelance technical writer who has worked on mission planning and RF analysis software for the Navy. She has a Civil Engineering degree from Virgina Tech and a Masters of Education from the University of Virginia.
Dan Pilone is Rational Certified in OOAD, RUP, and Rose. His previous employer was a Rational Partner and Dan has taught (formally as well as informally) quite a few UML classes for Hughes, ARINC, UPS, Georgia Systems Operation Center (GSOC), and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). As a software architect for clients, Dan has made extensive use of UML (in all views of the architecture) to help convey information to management, developers, team leads, and requirement folks (doing use case analysis in a UML-like fashion). Dan is also Sun J2EE Enterprise Architect certified, which required him to submit his own EJB designs using UML sequence, class, and collaboration diagrams. Dan has worked at Hughes Inc. developing a satellite communication system for which they did real-time UML modeling, and also large numbers of State Diagrams to model the acquisition/control stages.
Table of Contents
; Advance Praise for Head First Algebra; Authors of Algebra; How to use this Book: Intro; Who is this book for?; We know what you're thinking; We know what your brain is thinking; Metacognition: thinking about thinking; Here's what WE did; Read Me; The technical review team; Acknowledgments; Safari® Books Online; Chapter 1: What is Algebra?: Solving for unknowns...; 1.1 It all started with a big gaming sale; 1.2 What does a system really cost?; 1.3 Algebra is about solving for unknowns; 1.4 Jo's got more unknowns; 1.5 X marks the spot unknown; 1.6 Equations are math sentences; 1.7 Now SOLVE for the unknown; 1.8 So which operation do you use when?; 1.9 Jo is ready to accessorize!; 1.10 Equation training; 1.11 Jo has an awesome setup!; 1.12 Math Toolbox; Chapter 2: (More) Complicated Equations: Taking Algebra on the road; 2.1 Paul loves "Pajama Death"; 2.2 Always start with what you know; 2.3 There's a COST for each guy; 2.4 Replace your words with numbers; 2.5 Now solve for g... one step at a time; 2.6 ... but you have to keep the equation equal!; 2.7 If you follow the rules, you'll ALWAYS get the right answer; 2.8 Whole numbers are usually easier to work with; 2.9 A variable can appear in an equation MORE THAN ONE TIME; 2.10 Checking your work proves your answer; 2.11 What's a road trip without some girls?; 2.12 We need another variable; 2.13 A term is a chunk of an algebraic equation; 2.14 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox; Chapter 3: Rules for Numeric Operations: Follow the rules; 3.1 Math or No Math; 3.2 There's an order for working expressions; 3.3 You can re-group your equations; 3.4 It's an important round...; 3.5 Distributing a value over a grouping doesn't change a problem's value; 3.6 A constant stands in for a number; 3.7 Roll the credits...; 3.8 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox; Chapter 4: Exponent Operations: Podcasts that spread like the plague (that's a good thing...); 4.1 Addie's got a podcast; 4.2 Let's mobilize Addie's listeners; 4.3 Can Addie and Alex get enough hits?; 4.4 Alex is flaking out on his sister; 4.5 There's always a villain...; 4.6 The order of operations says exponents FIRST; 4.7 A root is the INVERSE of an exponent; 4.8 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox; Chapter 5: Graphing: A picture's worth 1,000 words; 5.1 Edward's Lawn Mowing needs help...; 5.2 Why don't you just SHOW me the money?; 5.3 Now we can LOOK at Ed's cash pattern; 5.4 Graphs show an ENTIRE relationship; 5.5 Let's graph Ed's equation on the Cartesian Plane; 5.6 Ed's figuring out the SLOPE of lawns; 5.7 Linear equations in point-slope form; 5.8 How does a point and a slope get you a line?; 5.9 Let's use the point-slope form; 5.10 Equations also have a standard form; 5.11 The slope-intercept form is EASY to graph; 5.12 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox; Chapter 6: Inequalities: Can't quite get enough?; 6.1 Kathleen really loves football; 6.2 The cost of all players can't be more than $1,000,000; 6.3 Inequalities are COMPARISONS; 6.4 Inequalities involving some negative number operations need special treatment; 6.5 Negative inequalities work BACKWARD; 6.6 FLIP the inequality sign with negative multiplication and division; 6.7 When you're working with an inequality and negative multiplication or division...; 6.8 You can visualize a solution set on a number line; 6.9 Inequalities can have TWO variables; 6.10 Use a graph to visualize the solutions to an inequality; 6.11 Answers made in the shade; 6.12 Are you ready for some football?; 6.13 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox; Chapter 7: Systems of Equations: Know what you don't know; 7.1 A line means infinite solutions; 7.2 You can't have -1 gallons of liquid!; 7.3 How does the sparkling equation work?; 7.4 The INTERSECTION of the lines solves BOTH linear equations; 7.5 Solve multiple unknowns with a SYSTEM of EQUATIONS; 7.6 Two kinds of glasses... that's TWO unknowns; 7.7 Let's solve the glasses problem; 7.8 You can substitute substitution for graphing; 7.9 f is gone with almost no work; 7.10 Manipulate your equations for elimination; 7.11 Zach's party rocks!; 7.12 Sometimes two equations aren't two lines; 7.13 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox; Chapter 8: Expanding Binomials and Factoring: Breaking up is hard to do; 8.1 Math or No Math semi-regional masters final; 8.2 Who's right?; 8.3 Binomials are groups of two algebraic terms; 8.4 The distributive property, revisited; 8.5 Simplify binomials with the distributive property; 8.6 What about when the signs are the SAME?; 8.7 Sometimes there's just not a pattern...; 8.8 FOIL ALWAYS works; 8.9 Un-distribution is called FACTORING; 8.10 Factoring is un-mulitplying; 8.11 Factor by looking for common terms; 8.12 Zero times anything is 0; 8.13 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox; Chapter 9: Quadratic Equations: Getting out of line; 9.1 Head First U is at war!; 9.2 Jon's upgrading his technology; 9.3 Where does Jon put the catapult?; 9.4 You should always factor with a PLAN; 9.5 Pi Gamma Delta built a wall!; 9.6 9 feet is not a problem; 9.7 The quadratic formula; 9.8 Frat Wars, part deux; 9.9 How can you graph x2?; 9.10 A parabola is the shape of a quadratic equation; 9.11 Graphing a parabola depends upon the vertex; 9.12 Work with the parabola, the SMART way; 9.13 The discriminant can help with our graph, too; 9.14 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox; Chapter 10: Functions: Everyone has limits; 10.1 Pajama Death TV; 10.2 Equations have limits (most of the time); 10.3 The input limits are the domain of the function; 10.4 Functions have minimum and maximum outputs; 10.5 Algebra is really about relations; 10.6 Relations, equations, and functions all go TOGETHER; 10.7 Function graphs have LIMITS; 10.8 Just before the second episode of Pajama Death TV...; 10.9 Graphing reveals the nature of a relation; 10.10 Functions pass the vertical line test; 10.11 But... what about the REST of the tickets?; 10.12 Use the function piece you NEED; 10.13 The numbers are in... and?; 10.14 Pajama Death's show was a hit!; 10.15 Tools for your Algebra Toolbox; Chapter 11: Real-World Algebra: Solve the world's problems; 11.1 Calculate interest from your interest rate and the principle amount you're borrowing; 11.2 Max doesn't own that car just yet...; 11.3 You don't need to GUESS with Algebra; 11.4 Max plans to pay you to be his financial planner; Leftovers: The Top Five Things (we didn't cover); #1 Negative Exponents; Working with negative exponents; #2 Table of values for graphing; #3 Absolute value equations; #4 Calculators; #5 More practice, especially for factoring; Pre-Algebra Review: Build on a solid foundation; Algebra starts with numbers; How do you work with negative numbers?; Addition and subtraction of integers; Multiplication and division of integers; Absolute Value; What absolute value means; Number sets - all together; The number sets; Three ways to split things up; Decimal's Anatomy; Addition and subtraction with decimals; Decimal multiplication; Decimal division; Decimal division training; Special decimals; You're 100% right!; Working with percents; Fractions; Fraction multiplication; Improper fractions; More about improper fractions; Invert a fraction to get its reciprocal; Adding and subtracting fractions; Equivalent fractions get you matching denominators; Use the lowest common denominator for addition; Fraction addition and subtraction training; Dividing by one doesn't change the value; Reduce fractions by dividing by 1; Factor trees can eliminate lots of little steps; Reduce fractions with the factor tree; Putting it all together - fractions; Converting decimals to fractions; Division by Zero doesn't work; Sometimes multiplication takes forever!; How quickly things spread...; Why does all this matter?;