Prologue: The Story of Fred.

     Fred was “born” on the blackboard in my first semester of teaching high school. It was 1965. Back in those days, students loved to ask, “Mr. Schmidt, when are we ever going to use this algebra?” That was an important question.

     The typical story problems in the old textbooks we were using didn’t seem to have much relevance to their lives.

Jason has three more nickels than Jennifer but has twice as many dimes. They both have an equal number of coins if you include the 7 pennies Jennifer has. If Jennifer had two more cents her total wealth (in cents) would be equal to the number of dimes she has raised to the third power. How many nickels does Jason have?

     Somehow, the students weren’t thrilled to learn that Jason had 6 nickels. So Fred made his first appearance. And I began to tell the story of his life.

     It was in Fred’s everyday life that he would encounter the need for the mathematics. And then we would do the math. After three years of teaching high school, I taught full-time at the college level for eleven years—and the story of the Life of Fred evolved in the classroom.

     Fred’s story of his life now runs through the nine books in the series. From his birth up to the ripe old age of six.


Here are all the books in the series:


Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra

Numbers, Integers, Equations, Motion & Mixture, Two Unknowns, Exponents, Factoring, Fractions, Square Roots,
Quadratic Equations, Functions & Slope, Inequalities & Absolute Value.
ISBN: 0-9709995-1-8, 320 pages. $29


Fred’s Home Companion: Beginning Algebra

Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra divided into daily lessons.
Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra answer key.
Many more beginning algebra problems.
ISBN: 0-9709995-6-9, 128 pages. $14


Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra

Ratio, Proportion & Variation, Radicals, Logarithms, Graphing, Systems of Equations, Conics, Functions, Linear
Programming, Partial Fractions, Math Induction, Sequences, Series, Matrices, Permutations & Combinations.
ISBN: 0-9709995-2-6, 320 pages. $29


Fred’s Home Companion: Advanced Algebra

Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra divided into daily lessons.
Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra answer key.
Many more advanced algebra problems.
ISBN: 0-9709995-7-7, 128 pages. $14


Life of Fred: Geometry

Points and Lines, Angles, Triangles, Parallel Lines, Perpendicular Lines, Quadrilaterals, Area, Similar Triangles, Symbolic Logic, Right Triangles, Circles, Constructions, Non-Euclidean Geometry, Solid Geometry, Geometry
in Four Dimensions, Coordinate Geometry, Flawless (Modern) Geometry.
ISBN: 0-9709995-4-2, 544 pages. $39


Life of Fred: Trigonometry

Sines, Cosines and Tangents, Graphing, Significant Digits, Trig Functions of Any Angle, Trig Identities,
Graphing a sin (bx + c), Radian Measurement, Conditional Trig Equations, Functions of Two Angles, Oblique Triangles, Inverse Trig Functions, Polar Coordinates, Polar Form of Complex Numbers, Preview of all of Calculus.
ISBN: 0-9709995-3-4, 320 pages. $29


Fred’s Home Companion: Trigonometry

Life of Fred: Trigonometry divided into daily lessons.
Life of Fred: Trigonometry answer key.
Many more trigonometry problems.
ISBN: 0-9709995-8-5, 128 pages. $14


Life of Fred: Calculus

Functions, Limits, Speed, Slope, Derivatives, Concavity, Trig, Related Rates,
Curvature, Integrals, Area, Work, Centroids, Logs, Conics, Infinite Series,
Solids of Revolution, Polar Coordinates, Hyperbolic Trig, Vectors,
Partial Derivatives, Double Integrals, Vector Calculus, Differential Equations.
ISBN: 0-9709995-0-X, 544 pages. $39


Life of Fred: Statistics

Descriptive Statistics (averages, measures of dispersion, types of distributions),
Probability, Bayes’ Theorem, From a Given a Population Determine
What Samples Will Look Like (7 tests), Techniques of Sampling,
From a Given Sample Determine What the Population Was (14 tests),
Determine Whether Two Given Samples Came From the Same Population (15 tests),
Working With Three or More Samples (10 tests), Emergency Statistics Guide,
Regression Equations, Field Guide, 16 Tables.
ISBN: 0-9709995-5-0, 544 pages. $39