## Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide by Peter H. Selby

If you studied algebra years ago and now need a refresher course in order to use algebraic principles on the job, or if you’re a student who needs an introduction to the subject, here’s the perfect book for you. Practical Algebra is an easy and fun-to-use workout program that quickly puts you in command of all the basic concepts and tools of algebra. With the aid of practical, real-life examples and applications, you’ll learn

• the basic approach and application of algebra to problem solving
• the number system (in a much broader way than you have known it from arithmetic)
• Monomials and polynomials; factoring algebraic expressions; how to handle algebraic fractions; exponents, roots, and radicals; linear and fractional equations
• Functions and graphs; quadratic equations; inequalities; ratio, proportion, and variation; how to solve word problems, and more.

Autors Peter Selby and Steve Slavin emphasize pratical algebra throughout by providing you with techniques for solving problems in a wide range of disciplines – from engineering, biology, chemistry, and the physical sciences, to psychology and even sociology and business administration. Step by step, Practical Algebra shows you how to solve algebraic problems in each of these areas, then allows you to tackle similar problems on your own, at your own pace. Self-tests are provided at the end of each chapter so you can measure your mastery.

Peter Selby (deceased) was Director of Educational Technology at Man Factors Associates, a human factors engineering consulting firm. He is the author of two other self-teaching guides: Quick Algebra Review: A Self-Teaching Guide and Geometry and Trigonometry for Calculus: A Self-Teaching Guide, both published by Wiley.

Steve Slavin, PhD, is Associate Professor of Economics at Union County College, Cranford, New Jersey. He has written over 300 newspaper and magazine articles, and is the author of four other books, including All the Math You’ll Ever Need: A Self-Teaching Guide and Economics: A Self-Teaching Guide, both published by Wiley.

An excerpt from the book:

To achieve maximum benefit from this program you need to proceed logically from where you are now in your knowledge of mathematics to where you should be at the end of this program. And since we have assumed that you are familiar with the subject of arithmetic, we will start there.

Algebra is a logical outgrowth of arithmetic and many of the methods of arithmetic are used in algebra, although in modified, expanded, or original form. This chapter will provide a bridge from arithmetic to algebra for the reader who has not studied algebra before. It will also furnish a review for those who, although they perhaps had a first-year high school course in algebra, have largely forgotten what they once knew.

When you complete this chapter you should be able to:

• express the product of factors without the use of multiplication signs;
• identify the literal factors in an algebraic term;
• use letters and symbols to change simple word statements into algebraic expressions;
• determine what value of the letter(s) in the denominator of an algebraic fraction would result in an undefined division;
• use parentheses correctly to express multiplication or grouping of terms;
• evaluate algebraic expressions;
• correctly identify terms in an algebraic expression;
• use exponents to indicate repeated multiplication;
• simplify elementary algebraic expressions.