Passage to Abstract Mathematics

(Second Edition)
Mark E. Watkins and Jeffrey L. Meyer
©2021, 298 pages

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    Passage to Abstract Mathematics helps students progress from a facility with computational procedures to an understanding of abstract mathematical concepts. Students develop their ability in mathematical communication through reading proofs, constructing proofs, and writing proofs in correct mathematical language.

    Concise, practical, and highly valuable, the text is ideal for students who have taken lower-division mathematics courses and need the tools requisite to study more advanced, abstract mathematics.

    The text features material that instructors of upper-level courses in set theory, analysis, topology, and modern algebra presume students have already learned by the time they enter advanced courses. It places emphasis on complete and correct definitions, as well as expressing mathematics in correct syntax. The core material consists of the first five closely knit chapters: Logic, Numbers, Sets, Functions, and Induction.

    To support active and continuous learning, exercises are embedded within the text material immediately following a definition or theorem. The explanatory comments, hints to solutions, and thought-provoking questions that appear within brackets throughout the text all serve to deepen the student's understanding of the material.

    In the second edition, the chapter entitled Functions precedes the chapter entitled Induction, and select material has been clarified or corrected. Number theoretic digressions such as Euclid's Algorithm and the Chinese Remainder Theorem have been deleted.

    Mark E. Watkins holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University, where he was a student of Oystein Ore. He is a professor emeritus of mathematics at Syracuse University. Dr. Watkins has published over 70 research articles, mainly in algebraic and topological graph theory, and has coauthored the books Combinatorics with Emphasis on the Theory of Graphs and Locally Finite, Planar, Edge-Transitive Graphs.
    Jeffrey L. Meyer holds a Ph.D. in number theory from the University of Illinois, where he was the tenth Ph.D. student of Bruce C. Berndt. He is an associate teaching professor of mathematics at Syracuse University. Dr. Meyer has published both research and expository papers in analytic number theory, especially Dedekind Sums.
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    "When I was forced by the pandemic to move my abstract mathematics course on-line at short notice, I found that Passage to Abstract Mathematics passed the stress test. With brief and focused sections, copious well-chosen exercises, and a flexible format, it adapts well to both on-line and in-person instruction. I think the students actually read and understood the book, a rarity in a math text."
    Terry R. McConnell
    Professor of Mathematics, Syracuse University