Found in 13 comments on Hacker News
dilap · 2020-07-16 · Original thread
i learned from this back in college:

one of my favorite text books ever. (tho it was paired w/ one of my favorite teachers ever, which i'm sure helped a lot.)

"Spivak's Calculus" is a reference to the book "Calculus" by Michael Spivak.

Many consider the book's presentation of the topic utterly beautiful, bordering even on the spiritual.

You can try "Data Science from Scratch" [0] to get some taste. It uses Python to teach essentials of data science, and ML altorithms. The code quality is very good, and there is an introduction to Statistics, Maths and Python to start.

Then you can continue with improving your maths (Linear Algebra [1], Calculus [2], [3]) and moving on with Statistical Learning [4] [5]. I am personally going now through this plan.







ludicast · 2015-03-12 · Original thread
I agree. As far as calculus goes, I am more enamored with books like Spivak's ( that take a proof-centric approach to teach calculus from first principles.

Incidentally, for those who want to learn linear algebra for CS in a mooc setting there are 3 classes running at this very moment: (from UT Austin) (from Davidson) (from Brown)

The first 2 use matlab (and come with a free subscription to it for 6 months or so), the last python. One interesting part of the UT Austin class is that it teaches you an induction-tinged method for dealing with matrices that let you auto-generate code for manipulating them: .

And of course there are Strang's lectures too, but those are sufficiently linked to elsewhere.

tokenadult · 2013-09-22 · Original thread
What would be a good book series (preferably a classic one that's stood the test of time) on math (Algebra, various Calculus topics, Statistics, etc)?

I'd like to edit this some more during the edit window for this comment. To start, the books by Israel M. Gelfand, originally written for correspondence study.

An acclaimed calculus book is Calculus by Michael Spivak.

Also very good is the two-volume set by Tom Apostol.

Those are all lovely, interesting books. A good bridge to mathematics beyond those is Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Forms: A Unified Approach by Hubbard and Hubbard.

A very good book series on more advanced mathematics is the Princeton University Press series by Elias Stein.

Is this the kind of thing you are looking for? Maybe I can think of some more titles, and especially series, while I am still able to edit this comment.

tokenadult · 2011-03-23 · Original thread
Cal Newport, the author of the submitted blog post, draws comments both here on HN and on his own blog pointing out that deep understanding of a subject doesn't necessarily equate to VISUAL thinking about a subject. There is a big literature on "learning styles" and some attempts by some schoolteachers to categorize children by what their preferred learning styles are. When I have taken learning style questionnaires, and when I have asked my wife (a piano performance major and private music teacher) about this, the answer on learning styles is "all of the above." I personally think, based on my observations of successful learners of a variety of subjects, that learning styles are themselves learnable, and a learner with a deep knowledge of a particular subject will know multiple representations of that subject. My wife has had many piano performance courses, and also music theory and ear training courses, and has learned visual representations of music both in the form of standard musical notation and in the form of "music mapping,"

which she has found very helpful.

As for mathematics, the subject I teach now, I have always cherished visual representations of mathematical concepts, for example those found in W. W. Sawyer's book Vision in Elementary Mathematics

But other mathematicians who taught higher mathematics, for example Serge Lang, recommended memorizing some patterns of multiplying polynomials by oral recitation, just like reciting a poem.

The acclaimed books on Calculus by Michael Spivak

and Tom Apostol

are acclaimed in large part because they use both well-chosen diagrams and meticulously rewritten words to deepen a student's acquaintance with calculus, related elementary calculus concepts to the more advanced concepts of real analysis.

Chinese-language textbooks about elementary mathematics for advanced learners, of which I have many at home, take care to introduce multiple representations of all mathematical concepts. The brilliant book Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers' Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in China and the United States by Liping Ma

demonstrates with cogent examples just what a "profound understanding of fundamental mathematics" means, and how few American teachers have that understanding.

Elementary school teachers having a poor grasp of mathematics and thus not helping their pupils prepare for more advanced study of mathematics continues to be an ongoing problem in the United States.

In light of recent HN threads about Khan Academy,

I wonder what Khan Academy users who also have read the submitted blog post by Cal Newport think about how well students using Khan Academy as a learning tool can follow Newport's advice to gain insight into a subject. Is Khan Academy enough, or does it need to be supplemented with something else?

rsheridan6 · 2011-02-25 · Original thread
Most books have problems and most have solutions guides for about half of the problems. I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Spivack yet:

   Anybody have insight into how to actualize these 
   nuggets into some semblance of a self-learning course?
Buy Calculus by Micheal Spivak. Solve at least one problem every day. Make it ritual and a daily requirement. Watch MIT lectures for corresponding chapter you are on.

To learn this, don't trouble over the path and reason at present. Buy the book and start. Right now.

Buy it. To learn this- buy it and start. Right now.

jimmyjim · 2010-07-21 · Original thread
Spivak's Calculus, is a good bet. But it's very theory-involved.
tokenadult · 2009-06-14 · Original thread
"A textbook author in Toronto made enough money from his calculus textbook to afford a $20 million house."

I know that calculus textbook.

It's workmanlike, but certainly not inspiring like Spivak's textbook.

tokenadult · 2009-05-07 · Original thread
I think it would be enlightening if you could provide the textbooks you buy.

Interpreting that as a request to name the textbooks I find useful, I'll do that here.

Elementary mathematics:

Primary Mathematics


Miquon Math

Secondary mathematics:

The Gelfand Correspondence Program series


Basic Mathematics by Serge Lang


The Art of Problem Solving expanded series

When a student has those materials well in hand, it is time to work on AMC and Olympiad style problem solving,

and also the best calculus textbooks, such as those by Spivak or Apostol.

Elementary reading:

By far the best initial reading text is

Let's Read: A Linguistic Approach

but there are many other good reading series, including

Primary Phonics


Teach Your Child to Read in Ten Minutes a Day

(I devote more time than that to reading instruction, typically, because I use multiple materials)

and quite a few others. There is more junk than good stuff among elementary reading materials, alas.

A snapshot of my bookshelf's "math" section, which really hasn't changed much since I was in high school and hadn't taken calculus:

W.W. Sawyer, What is Calculus About? and Mathematician's Delight

Courant and Robbins, What is Mathematics?

Hogben, Mathematics for the Million

Steinhaus, Mathematical Snapshots

Ivars Peterson, The Mathematical Tourist

Davis and Hersh, The Mathematical Experience

Polya, How to Solve It

Huff, How to Lie With Statistics

McGervey, Probabilities in Everyday Life

Raymond Smullyan: The Lady or the Tiger, Alice in Puzzle-Land, others

Anything by Martin Gardner. I happen to have picked up Mathematical Magic Show and Mathematical Circus, but I'm sure there are many other collections.

I also recommend cryptography stuff. David Kahn's The Codebreakers is not really a math book, but it is awesome and it stars mathematicians, as does Simon Singh's The Code Book. You could read Schneier's Applied Cryptography.

This is HN, so I would be remiss if I didn't point out that you can learn a lot of fun and useful math by reading SICP, Knuth, or any good algorithms book.

If anybody out there knows a good, spirited statistics book addressed to someone who knows calculus, tell me. I keep planning to go through Fundamentals of Applied Probability Theory but I never get around to it; see "Related Resources" here:

Having said all of that: I have a Ph.D. in physics/EE, so I've got to tell you, if you haven't tried calculus you haven't lived. ;) I'm not sure how to go about learning calculus in a fun way for a mathematician -- I took fairly standard first- and second-year college courses in calculus and physics and learned it that way. The folks on Amazon seem kind of enthusiastic about Spivak:

Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.