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I graduated highschool a while ago, hardly remember anything and have no idea where to begin relearning. I am looking for math text/book recommendations from basic algebra to precalculus.

  • cheers
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If you can, get yourself J.E. Thompson's series of x for the Practical Man books, where x is any of Algebra, Trigonometry, or Calculus. – J. M. Apr 27 '12 at 4:49
will give it a look thanks. – nitrous2 Apr 27 '12 at 5:12
The great mathematician Gelfand wrote a number of nice high-school level books: Algebra, Trigonometry, Functions and Graphs, The Method of Coordinates. – Michael Greinecker Apr 27 '12 at 7:00

I highly recommend A Course of Pure Mathematics by G. H. Hardy for when you feel you have re-acquainted with high school mathematics. This one is written for those ambitious first year university students who have no prior analysis exposure but have the zeal to learn the details which high school calculus exposure just omitted because it might hurt majority pupil's head and put them off mathematics for good.

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That is not an answer to the question. – Michael Greinecker Apr 27 '12 at 8:26
This book cover some algebra, geomtry, complex numbers, pre-calculus, calculus and some material beyond. It appeals to newbies intuition and is not constantly formal like Rudin. I genuinely think it forms a great bridge for students with high school exposure of mathematics but no formal undergrad math experience.well i did add the clause for when u are ready to go beyond re-acquaintance with high school maths. I think it is constructive to the topic at hand. – Comic Book Guy Apr 27 '12 at 21:52

I think that Courant and Robbins What is Mathematics? is a very good introductory book yet. It is worth reading and I have spent some time on it before starting my undergraduate studies. The title is not reflecting the real content of the book.

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(+1) for the mention. It is a very good book. I have read it and it is a very good treatise in "not-so-advanced" math :) – funktor Apr 27 '12 at 11:41

It depends how good you want to be at mathematics. In any case, Problem Solving Strategies by Pólya is an excellent place to regain one's footing. From there I would perhaps look at some of the books in the Art of Problem Solving series (; There are forums on this website on which it would be more appropriate to ask the type of questions that you are likely to run into.) Then perhaps you could move on to The Art and Craft of Problem Solving to round things off after finishing up calculus. More resources include: Khan Academy, The Online Math Circle,, and try searching for videos done by a person named Vi Hart if you are looking for inspiration. But this is all overkill if you just want a basic grasp of high school mathematics.

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will take a look. thanks – nitrous2 Apr 27 '12 at 5:42

For an introduction to set theory (to prove things like the associative property of addition), I recommend:

Classic Set Theory for Guided Independent Study

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little to advanced. thanks though. – nitrous2 Apr 27 '12 at 5:34

If you have the patience and you really want to learn, I'd recommend you check out Khan Academy. His videos are very easy to understand and if you like watching his video, as far as you are concerned, you can go beyond what you'd normally be expected to know.
You can get yourself ready for college by watching his calculus playlist (SV to MV Calculus covered) or his Linear Algebra Playlist.

I can go on forever about how great it is, especially for curious High school students (It really doesn't cover things beyond Calculus or Elementary Linear Algebra but still, it is good place to start.)

Edit: If the OP prefers books to video lectures then I'd say that he try the Schaum's Series or Bob Millers Math For the Clueless Series. I can only think of good books for problem solving strategies (Like Polya's "How to Solve it" or Krantz "Techniques in Problem Solving") but if you want books on high school material, I guess this is one way to go.

Edit 2: In one of the newer answers, there has been a mention of "What is Mathematics" by Richard Courant and Herbert Robbins. It is a very good book and it touches from simple concepts of the Number System to some Geometry to fairly advanced topics in Mathematics like Theoretical Calculus (Analysis) and General Topology. It has all you require for High School and if you like it it gives you a very nice basis to move forward. There is no harm knowing something about Neighborhoods or Connectivity of objects, is there?

I Hope it Helps

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Thanks, aware of khan academy, I like it for video lectures, but I still prefer having stuff to read and practice with also. – nitrous2 Apr 27 '12 at 5:07
@nitrous2 Edited! How about now – funktor Apr 27 '12 at 5:41
will take a look, thanks! – nitrous2 Apr 27 '12 at 5:42

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