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Advance Praise for Head First Algebra
“Head First Algebra is a clear, easy-to-understand method to learn a subject that many people find intimidating. Because of its somewhat irreverent attitude in presenting mathematical topics for beginners, this book inspires students to learn algebra at a depth they might have otherwise thought unachievable.”
— Ariana Anderson
“The way this book presents information is so conversational and intriguing it helps in the learning process. It truly feels like you’re having a conversation with the author.”
— Amanda Borcky
“What do punk bands need to know about algebra? How will quadratics make your listening experiences better? Crack the spine on this to find out in a fun and engaging way!”
— Cary Collett
“This has got to be the best book out there for learning basic algebra. It’s genuinely entertaining.” — Dawn Griffiths, author of “Head First Statistics”
“I wish I had a book like Head First Algebra when I was in high school. I love how the authors relate math concepts to real-life situations. Not only does it make learning Algebra easy, but also fun!”
— Karen Shaner
“Head First Algebra is an engaging read. The book does a fantastic job of explaining concepts and taking the reader step-by-step through solving problems. The problems were challenging and applicable to everyday life.”
— Shannon Stewart, Math Teacher
“The book is driven by excellent examples from the world in which students live. No trains leaving from the same station at the same time moving in opposite directions. The authors anticipate well the questions that arise in students’ minds and answer them in a timely manner. A very readable look at the topics encountered in Algebra 1.”
— Herbert Tracey, Instructor of Mathematical Sciences, Loyola University
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Tracey Pilone M.Ed. Dan Pilone
Head First Algebra
Wouldn’t it be dreamy if Algebra was useful in the real world? It’s probably just a fantasy...
Head First Algebra by Tracey Pilone M.Ed. and Dan Pilone
Copyright © 2009 O’Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Published by O’Reilly Media, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472.
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Series Creators: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates Series Editor: Brett D. McLaughlin Editors: Brett D. McLaughlin, Louise Barr, Sanders Kleinfeld Design Editor: Louise Barr Cover Designers: Louise Barr, Steve Fehler Production Editor: Brittany Smith Indexer: Julie Hawks Page Viewers: Vinny and Nick
Printing History: December 2008: First Edition.
The O’Reilly logo is a registered trademark of O’Reilly Media, Inc. The Head First series designations, Head First Algebra, and related trade dress are trademarks of O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and O’Reilly Media, Inc., was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed in caps or initial caps.
While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and the authors assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.
No variables were harmed in the making of this book.
Vinny Pilone Nick Pilone
This book uses RepKover™, a durable and flexible lay-flat binding.
This book is dedicated to my parents and teachers for believing that I could be good at math, even when I didn’t agree.
This book is dedicated to the amazing teachers I’ve had in life—starting with my parents who taught me that the most important is to keep learning.
— Dan the authors Authors of Algebra
Dan Pilone is a Software Architect for Vangent, Inc. and has led software development teams for the Naval Research Laboratory and NASA. He’s taught graduate and undergraduate Software Engineering at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
This is Dan’s second Head First Book, but it still comes with some firsts: his first book outside of Computer Science and his first book co-authored by his wife (who, incidentally, is much better looking than his last co-author. Sorry, Russ.) Working with Tracey on this book changed it from being work to being family fun time. Well, not entirely, but still an amazing experience.
Dan’s degree is in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. For anyone who needs inspiration that Algebra can be fun, fire up a good game of Halo and think about all the x’s, y’s, and z’s that make it all possible.
Tracey Pilone would first like to thank her co-author and husband for being unwavering in his support and open enough to share the Head First world with her.
She is a freelance technical writer who supported mission planning and RF analysis software for the Navy, right before she decided to write a math book.
She spent several years before becoming a writer working as a construction manager on large commercial construction sites around Washington DC. That’s where she actually used Algebra on a somewhat regular basis and saw first hand that math is what makes buildings stay up.
She has a Civil Engineering degree from Virginia Tech, holds a Professional Engineer’s License, and received a Masters of Education from the University of Virginia.
Dan Pilone Tracey Pilone table of contents vii
Table of Contents (Summary)
Table of Contents (the real thing)
Your brain on Algebra. Here you are trying to learn something, while here your brain is doing you a favor by making sure the learning doesn’t stick. Your brain’s thinking, “Better leave room for more important things, like which wild animals to avoid and whether naked snowboarding is a bad idea.” So how do you trick your brain into thinking that your life depends on knowing Algebra?
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