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Math Books/Texts

  1. Mar 29, 2006 #1
    I have only basic mathematical skills and abilities. If I wanted to learn Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus in progression, how would I go about doing that? I'm currently incapacitated, so taking college courses is out of the question for the next few months, and I was hoping to make the best of my time by learning math.

    Can anyone recommend books and suggestions on where to begin?

    Thank you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2006 #2

    JasonRox

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    I think you can knock out Trigonometry as a subject.

    I'd recommend getting a hold of a small algebra/pre-calculus text usually high school level. Once you completed that text, you will be on your way to calculus. You will have the necessary background for Calculus by James E. Stewart. This book is the best selling calculus textbook so getting a cheap early edition should not be difficult.

    As for geometry, I'm not quite sure where the best place to start is.
     
  4. Mar 29, 2006 #3
    Incapacitated? You are in jail? They let you on the internet in jail?
     
  5. Mar 29, 2006 #4
    I believe that would be incarcerated, incapacitated to me implies some kind of injury.
     
  6. Mar 29, 2006 #5

    JasonRox

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    That's exactly what I was thinking. I knew that wasn't right, so I looked it up.
     
  7. Mar 29, 2006 #6

    mathwonk

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    no one is incapacitated from learning unless his brain is not functioning. i recall checking the snake lemma in my head while, lying in bed immobile with the flu.
     
  8. Mar 29, 2006 #7
    So, in what way are you incapacitated? (I'm just curious, that's all.)

    Anyway, the order in which I would want to learn those subjects is Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II / Trigonometry, and Calculus. Geometry requires basic algebra skills, Trigonometry requires basic Geometry skills, and Calculus requires all of them.

    Also, you should make sure that the texts you use include a fair level of rigor/proof in them (geometry and calculus especially so). To this day, I maintain that high school geometry was one of the best subjects that I have ever learned, because it was presented so eloquently. (I imagine that it was unique as far as high school geometry classes go: it was quite rigorous, and even went into non-Euclidean geometry)
     
  9. Mar 30, 2006 #8
    2 Algebra & Trig books I really liked which I think would probably help are Algebra: Structure and Method Book 1 and Algebra and Trigonometry: Structure and Method Book 2.

    Can't recommend any Geometry books, but as JasonRox suggested, you probably want Stewart's Calculus. (Which is a very awesome book)
     
  10. Mar 30, 2006 #9

    matt grime

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    possibly the only position in which I would recommend thinking about the snake lemma, or the 5 lemma. As one lecturer I had said in class once, 'I don't intend to prove this, you can go away and prove it if you must, it is the kind of thing you do once and then never do again.'
     
  11. Mar 30, 2006 #10

    mathwonk

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    well sometimes you need to kill time, but

    i learned, it is true, basically nothing from that exercise, except that i had good concentration.

    later i did learn something from ed brown jr. about how to chase that diagram at the crucial place, i.e. how to define the connecting homomorphism from a short exact sequence of complexes to a long exact sequence of groups: he said: "pull back and push down".

    until then i had thought it was complicated. since then it never has been, (not that i have needed it much, except when teaching a class on sheaf cohomology).
     
  12. Apr 2, 2006 #11
    Thanks for the responses, everyone. I will definitely look into some of the books mentioned.

    If anyone was wondering why I am incapacitated, I have a broken leg and am completely unable to walk. Even with crutches or a walker, I am only able to walk 20-30 meters at a time until I start feeling the pain and swelling in my foot. This is why I can't sign up for classes at the local college just yet. I figured I would spend the time at home wisely by doing/learning some math.

    Thanks again!
     
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