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Good suggestions for a casual enthusiast anyone?

  1. Nov 19, 2009 #1
    Having had a lot of spare time on my hands as of late, I have been yearning for a little more intellectual stimulation. I am a couple of years out of school and currently working in China. Always having a strong interest and passion for mathematics and physics, I feel that I could use my free time here to get my head down and hit the books.

    The stuff I studied in High School in my advanced maths class - algebra, functions, differentiation and integration and other basic calculus really interested me, and I was looking to pick up more or less where I left off. The trouble is that, living in an incredibly un-cosmopolitan Chinese city, there is absolutely nil chance of being able to browse around a bookstore for a decent textbook to get me going. As such, I've decided to jump onto Amazon and get a couple of books sent over.

    I figure that posting on this forum is perhaps the best place to get advice on what I should be looking at, and was wondering if anyone here could help me out with suggestions as to good textbooks. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2009 #2
    Look into the serie "Dover books for mathematics". Some of the books in the serie are great, and very cheap.

    And the price is great. You can buy 4-5 Dover books for the price of a modern textbook
  4. Nov 19, 2009 #3
    You might be interested in number theory. I've just been scratching the surface of it lately and it's fascinating stuff. There's an excellent book by Underwood Dudley called "Elementary Number Theory" (Just pulled it off the shelf, it's actually published by Dover. Weird...) I think it cost me around $15, and there are 23 chapters covering topics from prime integers to quadratic congruences, with problems to work out in each chapter. If you're interested in gaining a better insight into the way advanced (and sometimes not so advanced) mathematics work, simple number theory is one of the most comprehensive topics you can study.
  5. Nov 19, 2009 #4


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    I suggest a copy of the Feynman Lectures on Physics. You should be able to order them from just about any bookstore, and the paperback editions are pretty cheap. They are astonishingly good books. They require nothing beyond a bit of basic calculus. They are great for self-study, are very engaging and easy to read, and will inspire you for years to come.

    - Warren
  6. Nov 19, 2009 #5
    There are lots of free e-book textbooks and opencourseware videos available for various topics. Check the other threads for examples.
  7. Nov 20, 2009 #6
    I agree... Anything related to number theory is pretty interesting... I personally like the book "Fermat's Last Theorem" which is based on the quest that mathematics and mathematicians took to find the answer to a three hundred year old theorem... Is very interseting and I could not put it down... Maybe it might do the same for you ;)
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