MAA books A Guide to Elementary Number Theory by Underwood Dudley, Voltaire’s Riddle: MicromÃ©gas and the Measure of All Things by Andrew Simoson, Counterexamples in Calculus by Sergiy Klymchuk, and Flatland by Edwin Abbott with notes and commentary by William F. Lindgren and Thomas F. Banchoff were selected for Choice magazine's annual list of Outstanding Academic Titles.
This year’s Outstanding Academic Titles list includes 668 books that were chosen by the Choice editorial staff from among the 7,292 titles reviewed during the past year. The full list will appear in the January 2011 issue of Choice magazine. Choice is published by the American Library Association.
Choice editors use six criteria when awarding Outstanding Academic Titles. They comprise:
Overall excellence in presentation and scholarship; Importance relative to other literature in the field; Distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form; Originality or uniqueness of treatment; Value to undergraduate students; Importance in building undergraduate library collections.
According to the Choice website, ’This prestigious list reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community.â?
In a congratulatory letter from Irving E. Rockwood, Editor and Publisher of Choice, ’These outstanding works have been selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important’often the first’treatment of their subject.â?
Rockwood also noted that this year's list comprises just over 9 percent of the titles reviewed during the past year and less than three percent of the more than 25,000 titles submitted to the magazine during the same period. "Outstanding Academic Titles are truly the 'best of the best'," he said.
MAA books have been honored by Choice magazine before (a full list of winning titles is available here). However, according to Don Albers, MAA Books Editorial Director, "This the first time four of our books have been chosen in a single year."
A Guide to Elementary Number Theory is a 140-page exposition of the topics considered in a first course in number theory. It is intended for those who may have seen the material before but have half-forgotten it, and also for those who may have misspent their youth by not having a course in number theory and who want to see what it is about without having to wade through a traditional text, some of which approach 500 pages in length. Read more.
Voltaire’s Riddle: MicromÃ©gas and the Measure of All Things by Andrew Simoson is a new translation of Voltaire's MicromÃ©gas, the story of a very tall visitor from another planet who encounters an Arctic expedition testing Newton's theories about gravity. The ensuing dialogue ranges from measurements of the very small and very large to the human tendency to make war. Read more.
Counterexamples in Calculus by Sergiy Klymchuk serves as a supplementary resource to enhance the learning experience in single variable calculus courses. This book features carefully constructed incorrect mathematical statements that require students to create counterexamples to disprove them. Read more.
Flatland by Edwin Abbott with notes and commentary by William F. Lindgren and Thomas F. Banchoff. Edwin Abbott Abbott’s story of a two-dimensional universe, as told by one of its inhabitants who is introduced to the mysteries of three-dimensional space, has enjoyed an enduring popularity from the time of its publication in 1884. This fully annotated edition enables the modern-day reader to understand and appreciate the many ’dimensionsâ? of this classic satire. Mathematical notes and illustrations enhance the usefulness of Flatland as an elementary introduction to higher-dimensional geometry. Read more.