Here you are, contemplating reading a book on Algebra II. It isn’t a mystery novel, although you can find people who think mathematics in general is a mystery. It isn’t a historical account, even though you find some historical tidbits scattered here and there. Science fiction it isn’t; mathematics is a science, but you find more fact than fiction. As Joe Friday (star of the old Dragnet series) says, “The facts, ma’am, just the facts.” This book isn’t light reading, although I attempt to interject humor whenever possible. What you find in this book is a glimpse into the way I teach: uncovering mysteries, working in historical perspectives, providing information, and introducing the topic of Algebra II with good-natured humor. This book has the best of all literary types! Over the years, I’ve tried many approaches to teaching algebra, and I hope that with this book I’m helping you cope with and incorporate other teaching methods.
About This Book
Because you’re interested in this book, you probably fall into one of four categories:
You’re fresh off Algebra I and feel eager to start on this new venture.
You’ve been away from algebra for a while, but math has always been your main interest, so you don’t want to start too far back.
You’re a parent of a student embarking on or having some trouble with an Algebra II class and you want to help.
You’re just naturally curious about science and mathematics and you want to get to the good stuff that’s in Algebra II.
Whichever category you represent (and I may have missed one or two), you’ll find what you need in this book. You can find some advanced algebraic topics, but I also cover the necessary basics, too. You can also find plenty of connections — the ways different algebraic topics connect with each other and the ways the algebra connects with other areas of mathematics.
After all, the many other math areas drive Algebra II. Algebra is the passport to studying calculus, trigonometry, number theory, geometry, all sorts of good mathematics, and much of science. Algebra is basic, and the algebra you find here will help you grow your skills and knowledge so you can do well in math courses and possibly pursue other math topics.
To help you navigate this book, I use the following conventions:
I italicize special mathematical terms and define them right then and there so you don’t have to search around.
I use boldface text to indicate keywords in bulleted lists or the action parts of numbered steps. I describe many algebraic procedures in a step-by-step format and then use those steps in an example or two.
Sidebars are shaded boxes that contain text you may find interesting, but this text isn’t necessarily critical to your understanding of the chapter or topic.
Alegebra II For Dummies®
Visit www.dummies.com/cheatsheet/algebraii to view this book’s cheat sheet.