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I Have both books by Allendoerfer/Oakley do I need Lang?

  1. Dec 12, 2014 #1
    I am starting my self-study and am going from the ground up starting with a rigorous treatment of some "pre-calculus" material. I have both "Principles of Mathematics" and "Freshman Mathematics" by Allendoerfer and Oakley.

    Do I need Serge Lang's Basic Mathematics? Is there anything that is covered in Lang that Allendoerfer and Oakley's books do not cover?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2014 #2


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    I studied out of Principles of Math in high school, and know something about that book, but do not know "Freshman math". A glance at Lang's book on amazon suggests it is more elementary than Principles, but maybe it resembles Freshman math. Why don't you look on amazon at Lang's book, and see if the table of contents helps you compare it to the Allendoerfer and Oakley books.

    It looks to me as if Lang's book is for someone who basically does not know anything, or has forgotten it all, and Principles is for someone who has studied basic high school math and wants a more in depth look at some less traditional topics, like groups and complex numbers, and logic, and an introduction to analytic geometry and calculus, maybe also probability and statistics.

    But I would answer your question "Do I need Lang?" as no, you just need to start working through one of the books you already have. Reading books is more important than owning them.
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