This text is formulated on the fundamental idea that much of mathematics, including the classical number systems, can best be based on set theory. Beginning with a discussion of the rudiments of set theory, authors Norman T. Hamilton and Joseph Landin lead readers through a construction of the natural number system, discussing the integers and the rational numbers, and concluding with an in-depth examination of the real numbers. Drawn from lecture notes for a course intended primarily for high school mathematics teachers, this volume was designed to answer the question, "What is a number?" and to provide a foundation for the study of abstract algebra, elementary Euclidean geometry, and analysis. Upon completion of this treatment — which is suitable for high school mathematics teachers and advanced high school students — readers should be well prepared for introductory courses in abstract algebra and real variables.