Become decisive;Secondary;Reviews;Mathematics;Books

2nd October 1998 at 01:00
DECISION MATHEMATICS. By Sue de Pomerai and John Berry. Collins. pound;14.99.

The latest addition to the Discovering Advanced Mathematics series aims to cover the content of any of the applied options in decision and discrete mathematics that are widely offered at A and AS-level.

The main topics - sorting algorithms, paths through graphs (networks), routing algorithms, network flows, critical path analysis, linear programming, recurrence relations, coding, simulation and decision-making - are all dealt with in a clear and carefully structured way. Because the subject is still unfamiliar to a general mathematical audience, this accessible and logical treatment will be particularly welcomed by those studying independently.

Business and commerce are now using increasingly powerful computers to solve real problems in optimising processes and improving digital communications, so more students are likely to become interested in the underlying mathematics necessary to model such discrete situations analytically.

For them, this new volume provides a sound introduction to the relevant techniques and should also give some genuine insight into the practical applications of decision theory.

Richard Choat is head of information and communication technologyat William Ellis School, north-west London

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