I recently worked my way through Walter Warwick Sawyer's book, Mathematician's Delight, which has opened my eyes to Maths. I used to fear maths, feeling I was incapable. Sawyer (among other authors) has a gift for teaching the subject. I now feel much more confident tackling Maths problems, I have a better intuitive understanding of Maths and a renewed interest in it.

There's a nice summary of Sawyer's life and work here: https://plus.maths.org/content/os/latestnews/may-aug08/sawyer/index

Have you had a similar experience after encountering Sawyer's work?


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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site. Unfortunately, this site is not suited for opinion-based questions, and this question is likely to be closed as a result. If you have other questions that should have a definite correct answer, based on teacher experience, training, or research, feel free to ask those in the future. $\endgroup$ May 29 at 2:34
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    $\begingroup$ The question might be suitable if you ask whether anyone, in their teaching, has incorporated examples/ideas from any of Sawyer's books in class, and to what extent was it helpful? $\endgroup$ May 29 at 6:54
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    $\begingroup$ I have voted to close this question, as it does not seem to meet the site guidelines. Per the help pages: "If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here." This seems like an invitation to a discussion. $\endgroup$ May 29 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ Stephen, I edited the title so that your question might fit our site better. @XanderHenderson, does that change help? Is there more I could do to make this fit? $\endgroup$
    – Sue VanHattum
    May 30 at 2:33
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    $\begingroup$ @SueVanHattum This isn't a hill I care to die on, but I think that the underlying problem with the question is not that it is looking for opinions, but rather that the question seems to be looking to start a discussion, which is not quite the goal of the SE network. $\endgroup$ May 30 at 12:46

3 Answers 3


No, I was never inspired by him because I had never heard of him before you mentioned it.

Note: My answer is for the original version of the question. Since then, the question has been edited so my answer is no longer appropriate.

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    $\begingroup$ So now that it's been a day since you've heard of him have you been inspired? :) $\endgroup$
    – Thierry
    May 29 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Thierry, not yet. I haven't read his works yet. $\endgroup$
    – JRN
    May 30 at 5:53

I already loved math when I encountered his books. But yes, I was also inspired. Mathematician's Delight might be the one I put dozens of page markers in, so I could find all the great ideas again. He helped me think about how I might want to teach differently, especially in beginning algebra. I have quite a few of his books. The ones on higher math (like abstract algebra) are fun for me to work through.

This site has lists of both his books and articles he wrote.

Thanks for posting this at the beginning of my summer break. I might try to find a few more of his books, and will definitely pull one out again to work on.

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    $\begingroup$ Several of Sawyer's books are freely available at the internet archive, more than I would expect (even some that I don't have physical copies of), and thus they might not remain freely available if anyone in authority there happens to pay more attention, something I only noticed 2 days ago when I recommended Sawyer's book A Concrete Approach to Abstract Algebra in this MSE question (question since has been closed, so only viewable by those with sufficient MSE reputation). $\endgroup$ May 29 at 7:07

Yes, I remember vividly my chance encounter at the library with that book of his! Yes, it had a big impact on me. The idea that mathematics was a real thing in its own right, like music, and not just a school subject, and not just a device to filter people out.


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