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Is euclid a good book for self-study?

  1. Jun 2, 2013 #1
    Hi, im a thirteen year old boy with a great interest in math and physics.
    I just want to ask which books is good for self-studying trigonometry all the way to physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2013 #2


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    Do you mean geometry? Euclid's Elements has good proofs but it may be difficult to learn from. Here is a book that should be better, and it seems to have a lot of knowledge packed into it.

    As for more modern books, they are either grade-specific or advanced or very expensive. I could not find a cheap book to recommend.
  4. Jun 2, 2013 #3
    If you are interested in geometry, then I can recommend the following 3 books:

    Introduction to Geometry by Rusczyk
    Geometry by Jacobs (1st Edition)
    Kiselev's Geometry: Books I & II - Givental

    I think in your situation, the book by Rusczyk would be best; it is designed for self-study. He is the founder of The Art of Problem Solving and I would highly recommend that you check out any and all of their other books. As for trigonometry, you can look at:

    Trigonometry by Gelfand
    Precalculus by Rusczyk

    These are tough books, but they are great for self study.
  5. Jun 2, 2013 #4
    I would not personally recommend Euclid to most people.
  6. Jun 2, 2013 #5
    Thanks. I have already ordered it from Amazon:)
  7. Jun 2, 2013 #6
    If you bought the Art of Problem Solving books, they (AoPS) also offer online courses (even over the summer) for reasonable prices ($200-300). Just a thought if you are interested! Enjoy.
  8. Jun 2, 2013 #7


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    A warning: according to this page by Richard Rusczyk, the "Calculus Trap" is not about calculus and is not a trap. So his ideas don't seem too clear to me. Do I trust him to teach me better than a school can? Not sure about that. Hopefully his books are better than his articles.
  9. Jun 2, 2013 #8


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    I recommend Euclid above all other books. I suggest the beautiful paperback edition by Green Lion press. As a guide you may consult my free epsilon camp notes on my website at uga math dept, or buy the fantastic book by Robin Hartshorne, Geometry: Euclid and beyond.
  10. Jun 3, 2013 #9
    If i buy the books could i learn just from those or do i need the course aswell?
  11. Jun 3, 2013 #10
    The books are completely sufficient on their own! I just suggested the courses in case you were interested, as I think they are a fine deal for someone who prefers a class setting.

    Mathwonk's suggestion is great, also, but I would have struggled with that approach when first learning geometry (especially on my own).
  12. Jun 3, 2013 #11
    Okey, thanks for the suggestion i will check it out!
  13. Jun 4, 2013 #12
    Euclid in its orginal form (translated, of course) would be very, very difficult for a self-learner of any age, let alone someone your age. But there is a website that accompanies Euclid with Java applets and explanatory comments that is one of the true gems of the internet.

  14. Jun 4, 2013 #13
    Difficult, but you'd be way ahead if you get through any of it. I would advise you pace yourself. Don't think you're going to get through all 13 books. If you get through just he first, you'll have an excellent grasp of geometry. Even half of the first. If you REALLY want to get something out of it, you should seriously sit there with a protractor and a ruler and follow the arguments in a physical way. The site posted by brocks and any help or commentaries you can find are good.

    -Dave K
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