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Summer study of math

  1. Apr 2, 2014 #1
    I'm an engineering major who is about to graduate from an undergrad program and will be entering grad school in the fall. I'm interested in doing some sort of summer study of math, though I'm not sure whether I should do a review of the previous math courses that I've taken during my undergrad years or branch out into something completely new to get a head start on some of the things that I might see later on in grad school.

    I've previously taken (multi-variable) calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, and discrete math. If doing a review, I would lean more towards discrete math since the topics from the class I had seemed very interesting, though what would be some recommendations for further pursuing number theory or discrete math?

    Also, has anyone previously done a self study or a partner study over the summer? If so, how did it work for you?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2014 #2
    Anyone up for doing this?
  4. Jun 13, 2014 #3


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    What type of grad program will you be entering? DId you go to that school as an undergrad? If not, look on their web site to see what their students would have learned, and make sure you don't have any holes. If you have no holes, then it can depend a lot on what you are studying, what your interests are, and how much you really want to do this summer...
  5. Jun 13, 2014 #4
    I'm going to be entering as a master's student in computer engineering. I'm prepared to do a lot this summer since I have a bit of spare time. Any suggestions on how I should plan a summer study?
  6. Jun 13, 2014 #5


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    It sounds like you would profit from self studying from Concrete Mathematics. Mostly discrete stuff, light on proofs (as suits engineering rather than mathematics), but serious work.
  7. Jun 13, 2014 #6
    Thanks for the recommedation! Is anyone else out there doing a self study this summer? I'm wondering if it would be better to study with others.
  8. Jun 13, 2014 #7
    I will be doing my first calculus course this summer, so not necessarily self study.
  9. Jun 14, 2014 #8


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    Concrete Mathematics is not a general discrete math book, there are topics it doesn't cover for example combinatorics or graph theory.

    So for a more general book, I'll choose the one below for being encyclopedic and rigorous. You can find a preview on Google Books, just search for it. The Amazon reviewers don't like it so much but this is for review and you are heading into grad school now. Knuth is valuable for the more arcane topics that it covers as well as for the getting-your-hands-dirty approach that it follows.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. Jun 15, 2014 #9
    What courses will you be taking next year? What textbooks are recommended for those courses? Why not make a head start on the recommended texts?
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