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I lost a possible job because I didn't know how to multiply and subtract negative valued integers. I also don't know how fraction manipulation works. What reference books can I read that can help for me to learn all the basics of math then moving forward to high school and college material?

My profession requires math so I think I really need this.

This question is somewhat related to Tips for an adult to learn math -- from the beginning..

I'm looking for books or apps.

Update: I've signed up for Khan Academy and it is quite great, but it seems that all the lessons in there are in form of videos. I won't go into specifics but the ISP industry is one of the greediest right now and they implement caps, so if you know any non-video lessons that will surely help, hence why I stated books or apps. Khan Academy is great for monitoring progress though, and I will keep my account on it.

Another update: Actually, Khan Academy has an offline version called KA Lite, you still need to download their videos though, but this is immensely helpful if you want to set up dedicated machines for people to learn. Their logo is "65% of the world lacks internet access. 100% of the world needs education." which I agree on 100%.

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Khan Academy and purplemath (the free lessons) might be useful. However, they aren't apps or books, but it might be possible Khan academy has some app these days. – Hayden Jun 2 '14 at 1:37
Look around YouTube for basic math topics by title. Maybe get yourself an ordered list of topics you want to master either from a developmental math book or an instructor. Also, you might look into whether your local community college offers convenient developmental math courses at an affordable price. Take one class at a time, and in a year you could be taking college algebra! Free tutoring often comes with tuition even if you are only taking one class. Just look into it. – J. W. Perry Jun 2 '14 at 2:26
Regarding caps, KhanAcademy videos at 360p (which is quite comfortable) take only about 20 MB each. At 10 videos a day (300 videos a month), it would only take 6 GB/month. In India, even the cheapest broadband connections are better than this. – Ramchandra Apte Jun 2 '14 at 13:50
I didn't know that, that certainly makes the videos more appealing, thanks! – IReallyNeedMathNow Jun 3 '14 at 1:45

Just create an account at, this site is so amazing that it'll guide you from the very beggining to calculus and multivariable calculus (if you want to). It's totally free, and it will change your life. There are more than 5.000 videos. I used it and I aproove (i've watched more than 1000 yet lol). Also, they have exercises for all videos.

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I can vouch for Kahn Academy and claim that it is a great website from basic levels to reasonably advanced math. It will definitely suit your purposes and have good enough explanations for everything – Asimov Jun 2 '14 at 1:38
@Asimov I totally agree! He will master everything he needs, and maybe some things more! – Lucas Zanella Jun 2 '14 at 1:39
Hello there, as stated in my update, it seems Khan Academy's lessons are in the form of videos. Caps will burn, so if you know of any books that are great references, please do let us know. – IReallyNeedMathNow Jun 2 '14 at 3:15
I would like to add though that keeping Khan Academy even just as a monitor of one's progress using their fun tests is a great way to learn math, and I'm hooked. – IReallyNeedMathNow Jun 2 '14 at 3:16

I've heard good things about Khan Academy. Never used it though. Also, Google is cool for finding help, since there are usually videos on Youtube to explain stuff.

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Not sure how Google is a source. Google is just a tool for finding stuff and has no math explanations by itself. I presume that if he can ask a question here he knows how to Google something. Khan academy is good though. – Asimov Jun 2 '14 at 1:45
Fair point. Google is a good way to find free resources on the internet, that's why I consider it a resource. It is the resource that connects you to the resources that will help you solve your problem. :) – FundThmCalculus Jun 2 '14 at 1:47

The website Patrick JMT is also a great resource. It is one person who makes many (250+) videos, ranging from arithmatic (which is what you should start with) to algebra, to trigonometry, statistics and calculus if you want to explore further maths.

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An excellent book that goes from the beginning up to differential equations and statistics is Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers by Jan Gullberg. It's easy and interesting to read and covers a lot of ground. The 'interesting to read' part is essential to good learning; I highly recommend this book. Use other resources such as PatrickJMT if you want more in-depth treatment of topics you'll explore in that book.

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Perhaps this isn't targeted for adults, but I think these games are pretty well-structured, keep things interesting and really make you practice:

cluefinders math

cluefinders sixth grade

zombinis logical journey

math missions

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Try It covers the elementary grades 1-5

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My long-time favorite, which I have mentioned here a number of times, is "Mathematics for the Million" by Lancelot Hogben.

It is available for $15 from Amazon:

Once you have that, I like "What Is Mathematics?" by Courant and Robbins.

Also available for under $15:

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I cannot speak highly enough of, an online courseware product based an an innovative artificial intelligence platform that uses AI to adapt the lessons to your needs to some extent.

Khan Academy is great but there are different types of learning preferences, Khan uses a lot of videos whereas aleks is much more like codeacademy where it gives you step-by-step problems to solve along with directly relevant explanation to do the problem and then on to the next problem in their really elegant and pleasant to use user interface. So rather than giving a lecture then letting you go do separate labs where you would need to rely on human support, with aleks the system itself is phenomenal at giving you all the instruction you need in a highly interactive format all within your browser.

Another crucial point here for adult learners is that, I have found for myself that I had pockets of information, I had a fair amount of math knowledge but I forgot certain important details and so my mind was like swiss cheese when it came to math. There were things I forgot from introductory courses but it was horrible to try to sit through a whole introductory class just to remember a few tidbits I had forgotten. Aleks really shines in this area, it is adaptive so it will adapt the lessons towards your weak areas while not forcing you to spend a bunch of time on things you already know.

I struggled for years trying various approaches to remedial math and for me Aleks was revolutionary, nothing I tried even came close to how much better it is than anything else I have tried. Their course selection is not the most thorough, but if they offer any subject you need to learn or brush up on, I cannot recommend it highly enough. And btw they also have lots of k-12 courses already aligned with state standards ... AWESOME product for kids as well.

Note: I have no affiliation with Aleks and I have no idea who runs it, I am simply a user who stumbled upon it several years ago to my great benefit.

Good Luck!

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