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A Gentle Introduction to the American Invitational Mathematics Exam

Scott A. Annin

This book is a celebration of mathematical problem solving at the level of the high school American Invitational Mathematics Examination. There is no other book on the market focused on the AIME. It is intended, in part, as a resource for comprehensive study and practice for the AIME competition for students, teachers, and mentors. After all, serious AIME contenders and competitors should seek a lot of practice in order to succeed. However, this book is also intended for anyone who enjoys solving problems as a recreational pursuit. The AIME contains many problems that have the power to foster enthusiasm for mathematics – the problems are fun, engaging, and addictive. The problems found within these pages can be used by teachers who wish to challenge their students, and they can be used to foster a community of lovers of mathematical problem solving!

There are more than 250 fully-solved problems in the book, containing examples from AIME competitions of the 1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s, and 2010’s. In some cases, multiple solutions are presented to highlight variable approaches. To help problem-solvers with the exercises, the author provides two levels of hints to each exercise in the book, one to help stuck starters get an idea how to begin, and another to provide more guidance in navigating an approach to the solution.

Topics include algebra, combinatorics, probability, number theory, sequences and series, logarithms, trigonometry, complex numbers, polynomials, and geometry. Many AIME problems involve using several of these mathematical disciplines simultaneously. To make the book indeed “gentle”, the author has prepared well-motivated, detailed, clear solutions to all examples and exercises in the book. He has not always opted for the shortest solution, but rather, he has presented solutions that a typical student might say “I could have come up with that!” The book avoids excessive reliance on heavy machinery, deep theorems, or undue abstraction.

A paperback version of this book is available in the MAA Store.

Electronic ISBN: 9781614444077

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