Identification Numbers and Check Digit Schemes, by Joseph Kirtland ISBN 0883857200
Five out of five stars
This book is an ideal text for a liberal arts math class and there are two primary reasons for this. The first is that the mathematics is not difficult, with a bit of direction, even those that struggle with algebra will be able to understand it. The second reason is that the content demonstrates in many ways how mathematics is used to manage transactions. By demonstrating the role of the check digits in identification codes, the student can easily see and understand how valuable math is. Much of the content requires only a knowledge of basic arithmetic.
A secondary reason is the inclusion of a large number of exercises, including some that are designed for a short writing assignment. This is a valuable addition for classes where the students are often expected to write about what they have learned.
Writing effective and understandable books for liberal arts classes in mathematics is challenging, yet with this book Kirtland makes it look easy.