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Best book to learn some maths methods?

  1. Dec 1, 2006 #1

    I'd like to learn some basic math methods from linear algebra to multivariable calculus. At the moment i'm at a pre-linear algebra level, i've had one semester of calculus. I'm aware of 'Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences' by Boas, but i have some reservations.

    I want to learn maths 'correctly' for my intentions. By that i mean, i'd like to learn it so that i could commence on a theoretical physics degree. I get the impression that there are two basic types of maths books, those that are more for engineers (with no proofs and they just want you to apply formulas) and others which might be more inclined towards mathematicians in that they explain proofs and theories behind the maths. Which kind of book should a PHYSICS student benefit most from? Which leads to the question, is 'Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences' by Boas suitable for the aspiring physicist (does it contain proofs and theory behind the maths) or is it best suited for the aspiring engineer (does it just teach the student how to apply formulas to solve problems?).
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 1, 2006 #2
  4. Dec 1, 2006 #3


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    Great site, courtrigrad. Btw, you may want to post it in the tutorial section if it's not already there.
  5. Dec 1, 2006 #4
    I thought you were an engineering student?

    There's nothing incorrect about learning how to calculate, as much as some of the math students here may disdain that. The first couple of years of a math education in the sciences at the college level typically concentrate on calculation. Later you might want to take a course that concentrates on proofs. Topology is usually good for that.
  6. Dec 1, 2006 #5
    i am an engineering student... but i will be transfering into physics next year!
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