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Intro Math First Five Math Text and bonus questions...

  1. Jan 5, 2017 #1
    OK, plane and simple...no pun, sadly.
    As you are now, looking back to your young mathematical prodigy self, which five math text would you recommend to yourself and why? The bonus question, would you recommend a computer language or LaTex or both?

    Thank you for the input!

    P.S. Yes, I have been told I can purchase five new books! Hence the question.
    P.S.S. I have no general idea of where I want to go in mathematics
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    For computer language and Latex recommendation of course both. Numerical Python, Julia or Matlab are good for applied math and science projects. Latex is a markup language for typesetting mathematical expressions which you'll need for math papers, sometimes homework depending on the prof and for entering posts here at PF.

    One book that I got early on was Schaum's Outline Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables. It has served me well over the years whenever I needed to review some formula or find an integration solution. It also has several obscure coordinate systems that can crop up in physics from time to time.


    Essential Matlab by Hahn and Valentine is good for learning Matlab


    For Python, I'd go with the Python Cookbook because once you learn the language there's always recipes that you need to look up.


    For an applied math resources there's these three books pick one I have Arfken&Weber and Nearing:
    - Arfken and Weber Mathematical Methods
    - Boas
    - Nearing free online at:

    For inspirational Math, there's this book:
    - Elwes Math 1001

    The Elwes book covers many math topics is a good source for getting an overview of some math area that you can investigate further

    Lastly, there's the Princeton Guide to Mathematics which may be a bit too heavy but you never know:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  4. Jan 11, 2017 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    But you do have an idea of where you are starting from, right? :oldwink: It might help if we knew that.
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