Starting with nothing more than basic high school algebra, this volume leads readers gradually from basic algebra to the point of actively performing mathematical research while getting a glimpse of current mathematical frontiers. Features an informal writing style and includes many numerical examples. Emphasizes the methods used for proving theorems rather than specific results. Includes a new chapter on big-Oh notation and how it is used to describe the growth rate of number theoretic functions and to describe the complexity of algorithms. Provides a new chapter that introduces the theory of continued fractions. Includes a new chapter on ";Continued Fractions, Square Roots and Pellâs Equation."; Contains additional historical material, including material on Pellâs equation and the Chinese Remainder Theorem. A useful reference for mathematics teachers.