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Mathematics Course for Political and Social Research Paperback – Illustrated, 11 August 2013
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- Publisher : Princeton University Press; 1st edition (11 August 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 456 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0691159173
- ISBN-13 : 978-0691159171
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 3.05 x 23.37 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 762,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
From the Back Cover
"Moore and Siegel provide an exceptionally clear exposition for political scientists with little formal training in mathematics. They do this by emphasizing intuition and providing reasons for why the topic is important. Anyone who has taught a first-year graduate course in political methodology has heard students ask why they need to know mathematics. It is refreshing to have the answers in this book."--Jan Box-Steffensmeier, Ohio State University
"This highly accessible book provides a comprehensive introduction to the essential mathematical concepts political science students need to succeed in graduate school and their research careers. It assumes students have no mathematical background beyond high school algebra, and uses examples from political science. Moore and Siegel explain concepts in plain English and do an excellent job balancing the technical details with the intuition needed to understand them."--Kyle A. Joyce, University of California, Davis
"The major hurdle in teaching math to political science graduate students isn't the math. It's convincing them to concentrate on difficult topics that seem abstruse and useless. This book persistently reminds students why quantitative methods are the coin of the political science realm. I can see it becoming a staple of graduate courses for years."--William Minozzi, Ohio State University
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The book is not overly formal and chooses understandable explanations over covering each and every single exception that might not ever occur outside of theoretical maths in academia. It doesn't concern itself with too many proofs and instead focuses on the key concepts and useful topics that a student of political science might encounter during study and work life.
Plus, it doesn't assume a high level of pre-existing maths knowledge, so as long as the standard calculations and percentage is still fresh on your mind, it won't assume much more.
This book has taken away some of that burden with copious "why should I care?" subsections that explain the material's relevance. As the authors explain in their preface, they also sought to strip away some of the bravado that is too typical in math textbooks, removing the "Clearly..." and "Obviously..." meta-discourse.
The book's coverage makes it ideal for a one-semester math class or a summer 'math camp' for students in the typical, empirically-oriented doctoral program in political science. It has sections on univariate and multivariate calculus, probability theory, and matrix algebra. I assigned it for my math class this summer despite having only the table of contents in hand, but after using the book, I'll assign it again (and again, and again...) enthusiastically.