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I found the article rambling and mostly pointless...

However, if you have a weak background in math and want to get up to speed before going into calculus and beyond, I have 2 suggestions.

1) Lial's Basic College Math[1] is adequate and will get you up to speed. 2) Serge Lang's "Basic Mathematics" is great and will cover all you need to go into a rigorous theory based college math class.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=lials%20basic... The editions basically the same... pick the cheapest

[2] http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Mathematics-Serge-Lang/dp/038796...

Since we are on the topic of math textbooks, I will suggest the No bullshit guide to math and physics which is a math textbook written specifically for adult learners. See http://minireference.com/ for more info.

<discl>I'm the author</discl>

It's an interesting looking book, and I'm somewhat inclined to buy it. Bookmarked!

I agree that you don't need to read thousands of pages to learn calculus. However, I don't want to stop at calculus. Basically, what I'd really love to have is a "mother of all maths textbook" -- a thick and heavy tome that compacts information from all the other thick and expensive books (which I'm never going to read) and different fields of mathematics. With enough detail that you can actually learn from it -- so it shouldn't be just for review and looking up formulas you couldn't memorize. I'd like to call it a reference book I can forever keep in my bookshelf (under my bed) and always look in it if I'm unsure about something...

If someone has book suggestions, I'm all eyes.

I've looked at a bunch of these math compendiums while researching what to include in my book, and this one seemed the best so far: http://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Content-Methods-Meaning-Do... The writing isn't very hand-holdy, but it covers a lot of important topics, and without too much fluff.

For a more "math for general culture" I'd recommend this one: http://www.amazon.ca/Mathematics-1001-Absolutely-Everything-... which covers a lot of fundamental topics in an intuitive manner.

I have both books on the shelf, but not finished reading through all of them so I can't give my full endorsement, but from what I've seen so far, they're good stuff.

The Princeton Companion to Mathematics is exactly what you are looking for http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8350.html

I hope you get a well informed answer. There are famous (so to speak) examples of such things:


I've been looking for something just like this.

Do you plan to release an ePub or mobi-format book? I'd prefer to read it on my ereader, and PDFs don't reflow on smaller screens.

I've been trying to get the .epub working for a long time, but its not easy to convert all the equations and make them look nice. Recently I found some very good new tools[1], so hopefully I'll add .epub/.mobi to the eBook bundle soon.

Do you know of any math books that are available as .epub? I'd like to see how they implement equations... PM me if you would like to be a beta tester.

[1] https://github.com/softcover/softcover

Just get Calibre and convert your pdf to epub.

The article wasn't pointless at all. He's saying that a conceptual understanding is important, but so are things like flashcards. I know growing up my ability to quickly do simple math and recognizing patterns quickly always helped me speed along quickly.

The problem is that unless you are also able to approach things like a constructivist, you will end up with a bunch of disjoint facts. I think that most people just don't understand math well enough to understand this key. The more math I know, the more I wish I hadn't memorized anything, but derived more things. There are many cases these days that I will have to go back and derive an equation for the first time because I was never taught the equation.

Her department is "Industrial & Systems Engineering", she doesn't need to know much more math than how to do arithmetic and a Chai squared. Not that I know more math than she does, it's just not a true part of the mathematical disciplines. She and I probably both just use the tools handed to us and don't understand the beauty or the ugliness. One of the big problems with math today is that nobody understands that arithmetic isn't math. It would be like a baseball player being called a woodworker because she used a wooden bat.

she. the authors name is barbara oakly.

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