Making algebra entertaining seems like a hopeless, if not downright insane, task, but that doesn't stop the Standard Deviants. A youthful cast of performers, who believe no joke, skit, or costume is too corny as long as i... more »t helps a student remember something important, throw themselves into "The Adventurous World of College Algebra" by beginning with a spoof of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Inside a cave, two Indiana Jones wannabes search for, you guessed it, x. Despite the lighthearted approach, this is a serious algebra review course, compiled under the direction of academic advisers. The lessons begin by answering, "What is algebra?" and quickly move into quadratic roots and factors and a section on linear equations. A wacky sense of humor stays a constant, with spoofs of pop culture programs as well as flashy computer graphics appearing to illustrate essential concepts. At the end of each lesson a quiz appears (which the student can take or skip), and the DVD also contains the "Algebra Adventure," a multiple choice test taken by using the DVD player's remote control. A "Quick Review" segment provides a fast overview of the contents. This is an innovative approach to what has often been a daunting and dry subject. --Robert J. McNamara« less

Pretty good overall for beginners or if having difficulty

Diane Brady | 05/16/1999

(4 out of 5 stars)

"I am a High School Freshman just finishing Algebra I & II. I found the tape boring, since it was all review. The little skits reinforced things I already knew. They misrepresented the length. At the beginning of the tape, they said "Part I" would be two hours, but it was only one hour and twenty minutes. If it was all new to me, I would consider it pretty good, since it covered everything, and showed me short-cuts I already knew. The animation was very good. It would probably be very useful to someone who was having problems in Algebra, or just beginning in Algebra."

Savior

Diane Brady | Brooklyn, N.Y. United States | 12/26/2001

(4 out of 5 stars)

"I found the tapes helped me a great deal, considering I have been out of school for 20 years and never learned algebra in high school. The animations are wonderful and most of the time very clear. Of course with anything, you have to do it over and over again until you retain the information, but I will definitely say "Do not start school with out the tapes." There's only one catch, Standard Deviants recorded the tapes so that they build upon one another and you'll need to buy the entire math collection if you want a totally clear understanding. I live by Standard Deviants. Good Luck..."

Entertaining and educational. Not sure if education will dom

Charles Ashbacher | Marion, Iowa United States(cashbacher@yahoo.com) | 06/22/2006

(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is the strangest educational video that I have ever seen. The creators use a character called Idaho Jones that is "modeled" on the screen adventurer Indiana Jones. It starts with a scene similar to the opening one of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Idaho is with a woman in a cave and has discovered a golden X. He replaces it with an algebra textbook, but it is too light, causing all the traps to be triggered. After he avoids the traps, a character modeled after the sadistic Nazi in the "Raiders" movie takes the X from him. Throughout the remainder of the tape, there are occasional short segments of Idaho as he continues the search for the golden X. Since this is a low budget film, the acting, accents and special effects are all REALLY bad. I laughed in spite of myself. There are other characters used, including parodies of a Chinese guru, a real estate agent for Algebraic Properties Inc. and a stuffy scientist with the voice of a man with severe nasal congestion. Underlying all of this amusing nonsense, there is some serious mathematics education going on. When they are concentrating on mathematics, the explanations are very good and the animation of the algebraic rearrangements makes them easy to follow. The first subject covered is a brief history of algebra and the concepts of relations and functions. While there are occasions when more complex functions are included, the concentration is on linear functions. They are graphed, described, rearranged and inverted, and all are visually displayed when explained. All of the properties of linear equations are covered, including their roots. While I liked the way the mathematics was presented, the other stuff is so silly that I don't know how to evaluate it. There is no doubt that the tape can be used to teach high school and college students algebra. They will certainly get some laughs from it, I just do not know if the silliness will dominate the math. Humor is such a matter of personal taste that I wouldn't presume to say anything more than while I laughed, it was all of the groaner variety. One thing is certain; students will not consider the tape boring.

Published in Mathematics and Computer Education, reprinted with permission. "

Very good

J. I. Doby | Houston, Texas | 04/22/2003

(4 out of 5 stars)

"I recommend this to anyone having trouble in Algebra. It walks you through problems and gives you the terminology of the subject. Great for reviews."

Works very well; Perfect for intermediate Algebra refresher

Douglas Neal | Papillion, NE USA | 07/25/2010

(5 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this, along with The Standard Deviants - Pre-Algebra Power (Learn Pre-Algebra Basics) and along with The Standard Deviants - Learn Algebra 2. This works surprisingly well as a refresher for my Intermediate Algebra class. My class uses this book. Intermediate Algebra After class, throughout the week, I've watched these as a refresher of the lesson and I was very surprised to find everything we've covered in one of these three Standard Deviants DVDs. Factoring, Exponents, Slope-Intercept, Polynomials and many other terms are covered and easily explained. Use the prealgebra for a math refresher plus it also covers exponents a little more thoroughly than the others. While this review is for this one disc, get all three as they are very useful."