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Number Theory Through Inquiry

David C. Marshall, Edward Odell & Michael Starbird


Number Theory Through Inquiry is an innovative textbook that leads students on a guided discovery of introductory number theory. The book has two equally significant goals. One goal is to help students develop mathematical thinking skills, particularly, theorem-proving skills. The other goal is to help students understand some of the wonderfully rich ideas in the mathematical study of numbers. This book is appropriate for a proof transitions course, for an independent study experience, or for a course designed as an introduction to abstract mathematics. Mathematics or related majors, future teachers, and students or adults interested in exploring mathematical ideas on their own will enjoy Number Theory Through Inquiry.

Number Theory Through Inquiry contains a carefully arranged sequence of challenges that lead students to discover ideas about numbers and to discover methods of proof on their own. It is designed to be used with an instructional technique variously called guided discovery or Modified Moore Method or Inquiry Based Learning (IBL). The result of this approach will be that students:

  • Learn to think independently
  • Learn to depend on their own reasoning to determine right from wrong
  • Develop the central, important ideas of introductory number theory on their own.

From that experience, they learn that they can personally create important ideas. They develop an attitude of personal reliance and a sense that they can think effectively about difficult problems. These goals are fundamental to the educational enterprise within and beyond mathematics.

An Instructor's Manual is available to teachers who adopt Number Theory through Inquiry as a text. Contact our Service Center for details at 1-800-331-1622.

* As a textbook, Number Theory Through Inquiry does have DRM. Our DRM protected PDFs can be downloaded to three computers. iOS tablets can open secure PDFs using the AWReader app (available in the App Store). The iOS app uses the native iPad PDF reader so it is a very basic reader, no frills. Linux is not supported at this time for our secure PDFs.

Electronic ISBN: 9780883859834

Book Series: