Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2008
Pages: 562
Having trouble understanding algebra? Do algebraic concepts, equations, and logic just make your head spin? We have great news: Head First Algebra is designed for you. Full of engaging stories and practical, realworld explanations, this book will help you learn everything from natural numbers and exponents to solving systems of equations and graphing polynomials.
Along the way, you'll go beyond solving hundreds of repetitive problems, and actually use what you learn to make reallife decisions. Does it make sense to buy two years of insurance on a car that depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot? Can you really afford an XBox 360 and a new iPhone? Learn how to put algebra to work for you, and nail your class exams along the way.
Your time is way too valuable to waste struggling with new concepts. Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multisensory learning experience, Head First Algebra uses a visually rich format specifically designed to take advantage of the way your brain really works.


Chapter 1 What is Algebra?: Solving for unknowns... 
It all started with a big gaming sale 
What does a system really cost? 
Algebra is about solving for unknowns 
Jo’s got more unknowns 
X marks the spot unknown 
Equations are math sentences 
Now SOLVE for the unknown 
So which operation do you use when? 
Jo is ready to accessorize! 
Equation training 
Jo has an awesome setup! 
Math Toolbox 
Chapter 2 (More) Complicated Equations: Taking Algebra on the road 
Paul loves “Pajama Death” 
Always start with what you know 
There’s a COST for each guy 
Replace your words with numbers 
Now solve for g... one step at a time 
... but you have to keep the equation equal! 
If you follow the rules, you’ll ALWAYS get the right answer 
Whole numbers are usually easier to work with 
A variable can appear in an equation MORE THAN ONE TIME 
Checking your work proves your answer 
What’s a road trip without some girls? 
We need another variable 
A term is a chunk of an algebraic equation 
Tools for your Algebra Toolbox 
Chapter 3 Rules for Numeric Operations: Follow the rules 
Math or No Math 
There’s an order for working expressions 
You can regroup your equations 
It’s an important round... 
Distributing a value over a grouping doesn’t change a problem’s value 
A constant stands in for a number 
Roll the credits... 
Tools for your Algebra Toolbox 
Chapter 4 Exponent Operations: Podcasts that spread like the plague (that’s a good thing...) 
Addie’s got a podcast 
Let’s mobilize Addie’s listeners 
Can Addie and Alex get enough hits? 
Alex is flaking out on his sister 
There’s always a villain... 
The order of operations says exponents FIRST 
A root is the INVERSE of an exponent 
Tools for your Algebra Toolbox 
Chapter 5 Graphing: A picture’s worth 1,000 words 
Edward’s Lawn Mowing needs help... 
Why don’t you just SHOW me the money? 
Now we can LOOK at Ed’s cash pattern 
Graphs show an ENTIRE relationship 
Let’s graph Ed’s equation on the Cartesian Plane 
Ed’s figuring out the SLOPE of lawns 
Linear equations in pointslope form 
How does a point and a slope get you a line? 
Let’s use the pointslope form 
Equations also have a standard form 
The slopeintercept form is EASY to graph 
Tools for your Algebra Toolbox 
Chapter 6 Inequalities: Can’t quite get enough? 
Kathleen really loves football 
The cost of all players can’t be more than $1,000,000 
Inequalities are COMPARISONS 
Inequalities involving some negative number operations need special treatment 
Negative inequalities work BACKWARD 
FLIP the inequality sign with negative multiplication and division 
When you’re working with an inequality and negative multiplication or division... 
You can visualize a solution set on a number line 
Inequalities can have TWO variables 
Use a graph to visualize the solutions to an inequality 
Answers made in the shade 
Are you ready for some football? 
Tools for your Algebra Toolbox 
Chapter 7 Systems of Equations: Know what you don’t know 
A line means infinite solutions 
You can’t have 1 gallons of liquid! 
How does the sparkling equation work? 
The INTERSECTION of the lines solves BOTH linear equations 
Solve multiple unknowns with a SYSTEM of EQUATIONS 
Two kinds of glasses... that’s TWO unknowns 
Let’s solve the glasses problem 
You can substitute substitution for graphing 
f is gone with almost no work 
Manipulate your equations for elimination 
Zach’s party rocks! 
Sometimes two equations aren’t two lines 
Tools for your Algebra Toolbox 
Chapter 8 Expanding Binomials & Factoring: Breaking up is hard to do 
Math or No Math semiregional masters final 
Who’s right? 
Binomials are groups of two algebraic terms 
The distributive property, revisited 
Simplify binomials with the distributive property 
What about when the signs are the SAME? 
Sometimes there’s just not a pattern... 
FOIL ALWAYS works 
Undistribution is called FACTORING 
Factoring is unmulitplying 
Factor by looking for common terms 
Zero times anything is 0 
Tools for your Algebra Toolbox 
Chapter 9 Quadratic Equations: Getting out of line 
Head First U is at war! 
Jon’s upgrading his technology 
Where does Jon put the catapult? 
You should always factor with a PLAN 
Pi Gamma Delta built a wall! 
9 feet is not a problem 
The quadratic formula 
Frat Wars, part deux 
How can you graph x2? 
A parabola is the shape of a quadratic equation 
Graphing a parabola depends upon the vertex 
Work with the parabola, the SMART way 
The discriminant can help with our graph, too 
Tools for your Algebra Toolbox 
Chapter 10 Functions: Everyone has limits 
Pajama Death TV 
Equations have limits (most of the time) 
The input limits are the domain of the function 
Functions have minimum and maximum outputs 
Algebra is really about relations 
Relations, equations, and functions all go TOGETHER 
Function graphs have LIMITS 
Just before the second episode of Pajama Death TV... 
Graphing reveals the nature of a relation 
Functions pass the vertical line test 
But... what about the REST of the tickets? 
Use the function piece you NEED 
The numbers are in... and? 
Pajama Death’s show was a hit! 
Tools for your Algebra Toolbox 
Chapter 11 RealWorld Algebra: Solve the world’s problems 
Calculate interest from your interest rate and the principle amount you’re borrowing 
Max doesn’t own that car just yet... 
You don’t need to GUESS with Algebra 
Max plans to pay you to be his financial planner 
Appendix Leftovers: The Top Five Things (we didn’t cover) 
#1 Negative Exponents 
Working with negative exponents 
#2 Table of values for graphing 
#3 Absolute value equations 
#4 Calculators 
#5 More practice, especially for factoring 
Appendix PreAlgebra Review: Build on a solid foundation 
Algebra starts with numbers 
How do you work with negative numbers? 
Addition and subtraction of integers 
Multiplication and division of integers 
Absolute Value 
What absolute value means 
Number sets  all together 
The number sets 
Three ways to split things up 
Decimal’s Anatomy 
Addition and subtraction with decimals 
Decimal multiplication 
Decimal division 
Decimal division training 
Special decimals 
You’re 100% right! 
Working with percents 
Fractions 
Fraction multiplication 
Improper fractions 
More about improper fractions 
Invert a fraction to get its reciprocal 
Adding and subtracting fractions 
Equivalent fractions get you matching denominators 
Use the lowest common denominator for addition 
Fraction addition and subtraction training 
Dividing by one doesn’t change the value 
Reduce fractions by dividing by 1 
Factor trees can eliminate lots of little steps 
Reduce fractions with the factor tree 
Putting it all together  fractions 
Converting decimals to fractions 
Division by Zero doesn’t work 
Sometimes multiplication takes forever! 
How quickly things spread... 
Why does all this matter? 
 Title:
 Head First Algebra
 By:
 Tracey Pilone, Dan Pilone
 Publisher:
 O'Reilly Media
 Formats:

 Print
 Ebook
 Safari Books Online
 Print:
 December 2008
 Ebook:
 June 2009
 Pages:
 562
 Print ISBN:
 9780596514860
  ISBN 10:
 0596514867
 Ebook ISBN:
 9780596557935
  ISBN 10:
 0596557930


Tracey Pilone Tracey Pilone is a freelance technical writer who has supported mission planning and RF analysis software for the Navy. She is a licensed Civil Engineer who has worked in construction management for several years in Washington DC. She has a Civil Engineering degree from Virgina Tech and a Masters of Education from the University of Virginia. View Tracey Pilone's full profile page. 
Dan Pilone Dan Pilone is a Senior Software Architect with Blueprint Technologies, Inc. He has designed and implemented systems for Hughes, ARINC, UPS, and the Naval Research Laboratory. He also teaches project management, software design, and software engineering at The Catholic University in Washington D.C. Dan has written several books on software development, including "UML 2.0 in a Nutshell" (0596007957) and "UML 2.0 Pocket Reference" (0596102089), both O'Reilly. View Dan Pilone's full profile page. 
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