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Book suggestions

  1. Jul 17, 2011 #1
    Newbie here. I am an international student. I would like to ask you about book suggestions. Specifically, I would like to have a list of books that are MUST read before going to do an Undergrad degree.

    The subjects that interest me are the following:
    1) Mathematics;
    2) Physics;
    3) Computer Science/Programming languages;

    As I mentioned above, I am not from English spoken country. I want to familiarize myself with all the terminology in the given subjects. Hence, please advise me books which start from very simple topics [from zero] and move on towards complicated ones. I appreciate your effort.

    Oh, if this thread is opened in a wrong sub-forum, can someone move it to the right place? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2011 #2

    Meir Achuz

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    I think it's better to start your UG physics under the guidance of the professors in your courses than to try to read ahead.
  4. Jul 17, 2011 #3
    Thank you for your input.

    I am not looking for books which are used at University/UG level. I just want to go through all the material that is covered during the High School/pre-High School years.

    Again, I am not from English spoken country and I am not quite sure to what extent those subjects are covered. If I go through the material (which is in English) before doing a UG degree, I will have less issues with understanding things at Uni.

  5. Jul 17, 2011 #4


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    If you have had calculus, you could try a book like Halliday and Resnick.
  6. Jul 17, 2011 #5
    Alright. I will have a look.
    So far I have one recommended Physics book. Please, keep it coming. Thanks.

    Oh, there are books out there which cost more than hundred bucks. They really need some reviews by people who have read them. Apparently, the above suggested book has negative reviews on Amazon.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  7. Jul 17, 2011 #6
    First, let me compliment you on your English, which is very good for a non-native speaker.

    Second, it is difficult to answer your question because there is a large variation in the academic preparation of US students. Many enter college with minimal math skills, and no formal classes in physics or CS. Others take enough advanced classes in high school to get credit for first-year college courses.

    I would guess that most universities will expect serious students to have at least taken precalculus and algebra-based physics in high school, so you should look at texts for those classes. I like Stewart's precalculus text, and I assume that Serway or Giancoli's algebra-based physics texts are pretty good, since they are widely used. If they are too basic for you, then you should look at the websites of universities you respect, and see what textbooks they use for calculus and physics.

    And with regard to $100 texts, don't buy them. Find an older used edition, for $10 or so, on Amazon or Ebay. There is no important difference between a new text and one 30 years old when the subject is math or classical physics.
  8. Jul 17, 2011 #7
    Nicely put, brocks. Thank you!
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