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March 30th, 2010, 02:32 AM   #1
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Best author, series, or publisher for learning 2ndary math

I am taking a 3000-level statistics course that is required for my degree plan. Things are decent. However, up to this point, I have hated mathematics with a burning passion for my entire life. I think there is no reason anyone should be this way about any field.

With that being said, I am undertaking some learning on my own for my own personal development. Is there any particular author, series, or publisher that you would recommend for learning secondary math? I do not like resources which assume I understand something very well or excludes notation based on its implicit nature. I would much rather suffer through something rhetorical.

I noticed a complete series from college algebra to real analysis from the same group of authors. What appeals to me about that series is that it is consistent. Would you recommend something like that?

If mathematics is like the field I am involved in, surely there is a great deal of variety and quality in textbooks.
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April 3rd, 2010, 02:52 PM   #2
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Re: Best author, series, or publisher for learning 2ndary math

If you'd perfer something rhetorical, searching through Dover Books (Borders always has several in stock) will give you something worth looking into; many of them are written in a much more rhetorical style.

If the consistency of that series (which, may I ask?) appeals to you, then it is very likely that it's worth it to go through them.

One thing about mathematicians, though, is we're lazy. Using notational shorthands and defintions is much easier (once you get used to it) than writing everything out every time, so as you get deeper, finding texts with a more rhetorical feel will be more difficult. Unfortunately, I'm not sure exactly what to suggest overall. Here are a couple random texts that have the more conversational style:

Hatcher's Algebraic Topology will most likely be a book you'd enjoy... but that's pretty late in the undergraduate curriculum (if undergrads see it at all), so I'm guessing you don't yet have the background to read it...

Gallian's Contemporary Abstract Algebra (which, ironically, I advise against elsewhere) is conversational, and more than sufficient for someone who isn't going to be spending a lot of his time doing math in the future.

I can't think of any more at the moment.

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