Mathematics is not a spectator sport: successful students of mathematics grapple with ideas for themselves. Distilling Ideas presents a carefully designed sequence of exercises and theorem statements that challenge students to create proofs and concepts. As students meet these challenges, they discover strategies of proofs and strategies of thinking beyond mathematics. In order words, Distilling Ideas helps its users to develop the skills, attitudes, and habits of mind of a mathematician and to enjoy the process of distilling and exploring ideas.
Distilling Ideas is an ideal textbook for a first proof-based course. The text engages the range of students' preferences and aesthetics through a corresponding variety of interesting mathematical content from graphs, groups, and epsilon-delta calculus. Each topic is accessible to users without a background in abstract mathematics because the concepts arise from asking questions about everyday experience. All the common proof structures emerge as natural solutions to authentic needs. Distilling Ideas or any subset of its chapters is an ideal resource either for an organized Inquiry Based Learning course or for individual study.
A student response to Distilling Ideas: "I feel that I have grown more as a mathematician in this class than in all the other classes I've ever taken throughout my academic life."