See RC Math Books Grow!

by minton on May 12, 2021

Roanoke College mathematics professors Karin Saoub and Hannah Robbins have each had textbooks released in April! The books, published by CRC Press, join a long line of textbooks from RC mathematics faculty.

Karin’s Graph Theory: An Introduction to Proofs, Algorithms, and Applications was tested in her MATH 268 (Combinatorics and Graph Theory) course, and introduces students to the exciting field of graph theory. The graphs here are not parabolas or circles, but can be thought of as diagrams showing connections among various entities (web pages, or cities, or other systems). Among many other applications, UPS uses graph theory to find efficient delivery routes, and soccer teams use graphs to analyze which players are connecting well (or poorly). This is Karin’s second book with CRC, following A Tour Through Graph Theory targeted at non-mathematics majors. The current book is intended for early (e.g., second-year) mathematics majors.

Hannah’s Functional Linear Algebra has been used in her MATH 201 (Linear Algebra) course, and is also intended for second-year(-ish) mathematics majors. Linear Algebra has long been a core course in mathematics majors, but has suffered from a dual identity as an applied course (matrix calculations) and a theory course (the theory of vector spaces). Hannah’s approach allows her to integrate (sorry, small math joke) the theoretical development with the calculations and applications. This enables students to learn the theoretical concepts in an attractive context. Vector spaces are used throughout mathematics to describe related objects. Hannah’s book illustrates how mathematical theory underlies applications by showing what is possible and what is impossible.

Adding to the CRC/RC library is the upcoming second edition of Dave Taylor’s Games, Gambling, and Probability: An Introduction to Mathematics. This update of Dave’s successful first edition, used several times in May term courses, adds new topics including the use of probability in sports. Some of Adam Childers’ tennis research appears in a new chapter.

Although Roland Minton also has a CRC book, Sports Math, his book news is from a different publisher. The Mathematical Association of America has just released an ebook Mathematical Themes in a First-Year Seminar. Roland wrote a chapter titled “The Magic of Chaos” about the use of chaos theory in his INQ 110 course.

Congratulations to all of the textbook authors! Five CRC textbooks and counting: we put the RC in CRC!