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The Best Textbooks for Self-Study Thread

  • Thread starter emsidis
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi, I notice that there are many self-study students here on PF so I thought it'd be a good idea to make a quick reference of great books. Please add on as I'm currently only at the precalculus level. These books should assume relatively little to no prerequisite knowledge, explain concepts clearly and concisely and they should have many exercises to work with (and or a few worked out solutions).

General:
How to Solve it by G.Polya
How to Read and Do Proofs by Daniel Solow

Elementary Algebra:
Algebra Success in 20 Minutes or Less
Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide, 2nd Edition by Peter H. Selby
Elementary Algebra by Harold Jacobs

Geometry:
Geometry 2/e by Harold Jacobs
Geometry the Easy Way by Lawrence S. Leff

Precalculus:
Algebra and Trigonometry by Michael Sullivan
Algebra and Trigonometry, Right Triangle (2nd Edition) Marvin L. Bittinger
Cliffs QuickReview: Precalculus
College Algebra by Michael Sullivan
What Is Mathematics?: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods
by Richard Courant


Linear Algebra:
Linear Algebra Done Right 2/e by Axler

Calculus:
Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson
Calculus by Spivak

Math Software & Apps:
Maplesoft Maple 11
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,752
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What about Precalculus by Cohen? I'm thinking of purchasing an older edition for self-study.
 
  • #3
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For pre-calc I'd have to say PreCalculus by Blitzer is by far one of the best. Esp. with the CD where a teacher actually works out the problems & not just one or two, but many for each chapter. Just wish they'd make a Calculus text.
 
  • #4
OrbitalPower
You pretty much named the books I learned from, emsidis. Geometry by Jacobs was great. However, I'd like to add "Calculus with Analytic Geometry" by Larson/Edwards. It's so much better than the crappy textbook we were using at my college -- though it is also a traditional textbook -- which I couldn't stand. Filled with pictures, examples, calculator problems, conceptual problems, analytical problems, graphical problems.

Also, there was a series by JE Thompson of the pratt institute called "for the practical man."

Arithmetic for the Practical Man, Algebra for the Practical man, Geometry for the Practical Man, Trigonometry for the Practical Man, and Calculus for the Practical Man. These assume no prior knowledge of mathematics if you start from the beginning. I didn't read all of them, but they are all good in their own right, are written very well, and have some interesting methods in them. The Second Edition with the dust cover.

Richard Feynman learned Calculus from the series according to The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.

Linear Algebra by Georgi E. Shilov

Linear Algebra by Lang

Introduction to Partial Differential Equations with Applications by E. C. Zachmanoglou

How to Prove It
 
  • #5
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  • #6
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Need help! What's different: instructor versus student version textbook?

Hi All,

Any teachers/instructors/professors here? I need advice. I am a professional recently going back to school. Considering PhD studies in Telecommunications, which is a bit rigorous in math. I already decided on a math text that I want to review with on my own. I will probably also get the Schaum review as more of a quick mobile reference.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0132256886/?tag=pfamazon01-20

My only questions now are:

Will the instructor version of the textbook help me considerably more?
Do instructor texts have more or less explanation than student version?
Any other benefits in the instructor version?

I already know I will get instructor solutions manual because student solutions only solves half the problems. As for the textbook, I ask because I am self-studying, thus will not have the luxury of asking a professor for help.
 
  • #7
BioCore
Also, there was a series by JE Thompson of the pratt institute called "for the practical man."

Arithmetic for the Practical Man, Algebra for the Practical man, Geometry for the Practical Man, Trigonometry for the Practical Man, and Calculus for the Practical Man. These assume no prior knowledge of mathematics if you start from the beginning. I didn't read all of them, but they are all good in their own right, are written very well, and have some interesting methods in them. The Second Edition with the dust cover.
Would you say that this series is perfect for someone who wishes to improve on their math skills for chemistry and physics use, or would some of the other texts be better for this?
 
  • #8
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Engineering Mathematics

Engineering Mathematics Through Applications is a good text to work on your own because it has complete solutions online.
 
  • #9
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Sample chapters and complete solutions to all the problems in Engineering Mathematics through Applications is at the following url:
http://www.palgrave.com/science/engineering/singh/ [Broken]
 
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  • #10
mathwonk
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