Found in 8 comments on Hacker News
biot · 2014-04-12 · Original thread
This might be along the lines of what you're looking for:

  "This extraordinary work takes the reader on a long and
   fascinating journey--from the dual invention of numbers
   and language, through the major realms of arithmetic,
   algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus, to the
   final destination of differential equations, with
   excursions into mathematical logic, set theory, topology,
   fractals, probability, and assorted other mathematical
   byways. The book is unique among popular books on
   mathematics in combining an engaging, easy-to-read
   history of the subject with a comprehensive mathematical
   survey text."

csmuk · 2013-11-18 · Original thread
That's closer to it although a little sparse by the looks. Possibly a very short introductory course.

If asked, I tend to direct people towards the following books:

Note: you need both the student manual (which most people don't know exists) and The Art Of Electronics.

To cover the maths background required, I recommend:

They are not cheap but worth it.

Oh and a calculator. Any old cheap scientific (Casio/TI/HP) will do as long as it doesn't make errors.

The big problem for me was the maths initially. It doesn't take long before you hit a brick wall at the age of 12. My 10 year old daughter is learning algebra and programming (in python!) though at school so things are looking up.

kryten · 2013-06-20 · Original thread
Even better: One surgeon wrote a mathematics book in a decade in Microsoft Word!

It's better than anything I've read from any mathematician. They seem to forget that people don't know what they are talking about to start with.

biot · 2013-06-10 · Original thread
For those who actually want to learn more math, but find traditional education lacking, I recommend this book:

It's filled with a lot of history on why things are as they are and it builds up a substantial base of math knowledge from there. I can't comment on whether the additional background information would help someone who is math shy to "get it" but, from the parts I read, it certainly rounded out (and expanded) my knowledge.

fallous · 2013-01-11 · Original thread
I can only imagine this kind of excellent visualization combined with this book:

I'm pretty sure the result would be the utter destruction of my productivity for a few years.

jasim · 2012-06-08 · Original thread
I've Silvanus sitting in my shelf, but am yet to look into it yet.

A couple of recommendations (not specific to just Calculus):

- What is Mathematics? (Courant

- Calculus (Apostle

- Mathematics from the Birth of Numbers ( This book was written by a Swedish surgeon without any background in Mathematics. He started working on this when his son started attending university. A recommended read.

- The Calculus Lifesaver (Adrian Banner). This book is supposed to be a guide for students to crack their exams. But I found the book surprisingly informative.

- Godel Escher Bach. I've read only the first couple of chapters. My interest in mathematics was rekindled to a great degree by Godel and the Incompleteness Theorem. (

- The concept alone makes me happy! Metamath is a collection of machine verifiable proofs. It uses ZFG to use prove complicated proofs by breaking it down to the most basic axioms. The fundamental idea is substitution - take a complicated proof, substitute it with valid expressions from a lower level and keep at it. It introduced me to ZFG and after wondering why 'Sets' were being taught repeatedly over the course of years when the only useful thing I found was Venn diagrams and calculating intersection and union counts, I finally understood that Set theory underpins Mathematical logic and vaguely how.

- The Philosophy of Mathematics. From the wiki: studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. It helped me understand how Mathematics is a science of abstractions. It finally validated the science as something that could be interesting and creative.

I think the Philosophy of Mathematics should be taught during undergraduate courses that has Maths. It helps the students understand the nature of mathematics (at least the debates about it), which is usually pretty fuzzy for everyone.

raju · 2009-08-01 · Original thread
I just picked up Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers []. I think this was posted in a comment on HN. Its a tome of a book, but from what I have seen so far, it looks really interesting.

Definitely not a quick summer read though IMO

jgalvez · 2009-02-01 · Original thread

Everything you need to know in the correct sequence.

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