Questions about studying mathematics without formal instruction.

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43
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17answers
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Good book for self study of a First Course in Real Analysis

Does anyone have a recommendation for a book to use for the self study of real analysis? Several years ago when I completed about half a semester of Real Analysis I, the instructor used "Introduction ...
43
votes
4answers
5k views

Do you prove all theorems whilst studying?

When you come across a new theorem, do you always try to prove it first before reading the proof within the text? I'm a CS undergrad with a bit of an interest in maths. I've not gone very far in my ...
35
votes
5answers
6k views

(Theoretical) Multivariable Calculus Textbooks [duplicate]

(Note that I have used bold text frequently simply to highlight the key points of my question for those who do not have the time to read through it thoroughly (it is not very long, however); I hope ...
11
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7answers
1k views

A linear operator commuting with all such operators is a scalar multiple of the identity.

The question is from Axler's "Linear Algebra Done Right", which I'm using for self-study. We are given a linear operator $T$ over a finite dimensional vector space $V$. We have to show that $T$ is a ...
19
votes
7answers
17k views

Good abstract algebra books for self study

Last semester I picked up an algebra course at my university, which unfortunately was scheduled during my exams of my major (I'm a computer science major). So I had to self study the material, ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Expanding problem solving skill

I have a great passion for Math but my lack in problem solving skill always keeps me away from the "good stuff". I always wanted to be better at Math and one of the things I figured out was to keep ...
17
votes
3answers
870 views

Choice of $q$ in Baby Rudin's Example 1.1

First, my apologies if this has already been asked/answered. I wasn't able to find this question via search. My question comes from Rudin's "Princicples of Mathematical Analysis," or "Baby Rudin," ...
42
votes
9answers
6k views

How to effectively study math?

Maybe this is too general for here, but I am having a lot of difficulty studying math. Just got out of the military and I guess I am not use to this yet but when I run into a problem I have trouble ...
43
votes
8answers
6k views

When to learn category theory?

I'm a undergraduate who wishes to learn category theory but I only have basic knowledge of linear algebra and set theory, I've also had a short course on number theory which used some basic concepts ...
10
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8answers
17k views

Calculus book recommendations (for complete beginner)

Well I have not started calculus yet but I am really keen to. I would love if you suggest some books. Points to be noted: I really don't like the way textbooks are written so please no "textbooks" ...
162
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28answers
17k views

Too old to start math

I'm sorry if this question goes against the meta for posting questions - I attached all the "beware, this is a soft-question" tags I could. This is a question I've been asking myself now for some ...
25
votes
7answers
19k views

Good books for self-studying algebra?

I have a few weeks off from school soon, and I was hoping to self-study a bit of algebra. I don't think this question has been asked on here before, but does anyone have any suggestions for algebra ...
59
votes
6answers
8k views

Studying for the Putnam Exam

This is a question about studying for the Putnam examination (and, secondarily, other high-difficulty proof-based math competitions like the IMO). It is not about the history of the competition, the ...
13
votes
9answers
4k views

A Book for abstract Algebra

I am self learning abstract algebra. I am using the book Algebra by Serge Lang. The book has different definitions for some algebraic structures. (For example, according to that book rings are defined ...
40
votes
6answers
8k views

How Do You Go About Learning Mathematics?

I really like mathematics, but I am not good at learning it. I find it takes me a long time to absorb new material by reading on my own and I haven't found a formula that works for me. I am hoping a ...
25
votes
11answers
16k views

How to start with mathematics?

I fell in love with mathematics a bit too late when I've already taken decisions regarding my future, career-wise. Now I would like to learn math on my own but I'm a bit confused as where to start. My ...
27
votes
8answers
4k views

How can I learn to “read maths” at a University level?

When I look at math, it's like my mind goes fuzzy. The only way to describe it is in terms of what I can relate it to. You know how when you read, you see the letters and words, but your brain picks ...
13
votes
5answers
7k views

Which calculus text should I use for self-study?

I am 36 years old, and have forgotten a lot of math from high school, of which I only took up to Algebra 2. However I am teaching myself mathematics and am now, as an adult, completely fascinated ...
4
votes
2answers
285 views

General question on relation between infinite series and complex numbers

This is a strictly preliminary question. I hope to elicit some discussion/s which will lead to a more acceptable form for the question on this site. I'm trying to understand how the study of the ...
151
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6answers
6k views

Best Sets of Lecture Notes and Articles

Let me start by apologizing if there is another thread on math.se that subsumes this. I was updating my answer to the question here during which I made the claim that "I spend a lot of time sifting ...
232
votes
22answers
13k views

On “familiarity” (or How to avoid “going down the Math Rabbit Hole”?)

Anyone trying to learn mathematics on his/her own has had the experience of "going down the Math Rabbit Hole". For example, suppose you come across the novel term vector space, and want to learn more ...
34
votes
3answers
4k views

Motivation and methods for self-study

First, a little background: Beginning with calculus in my first semester of college, I fell in love with mathematics. That was the point at which the concepts became interesting to me, and I started ...
72
votes
8answers
19k views

Learning mathematics as if an absolute beginner?

I dread mathematics, and I believe it's because I have come to associate mathematics with the experience of terrible teachers. All of my math teachers have been grumpy, but one in particular was the ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Path to Basics in Algebraic Geometry from HS Algebra and Calculus?

In this question, Why study Algebraic Geometry?, Javier Álvarez, develops a succint but encompassing description of algebraic geometry and its spread across different areas of mathematics. Indeed, it ...
11
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6answers
7k views

In what order should the following areas of mathematics be learned?

I am in a biological field (medicine) but I have genuine passion for mathematics. I want to learn it on my own , in my spare time. Mathematics , as I gather, is learned best when you have grasped ...
36
votes
2answers
736 views

How do I find partners for study?

I want to find partners to study some post-graduate topics together online (because I'm pretty much out of steam as far as self-study goes, and I have problems finding a decent grad school). Are there ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the best way to measure mathematical ability?

Very soft question I admit, but it's something that's been bothering me for a while. I've been thinking that being self taught has the problem of accreditation. You can't evaluate a mathematician ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Learning path to the proof of the Weil Conjectures and étale topology

Assume you are an algebraic geometry advanced student who has mastered Hartshorne's book supplemented on the arithmetic side by the introduction of Lorenzini - "An Invitation to Arithmetic Geometry" ...
8
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4answers
3k views

Preparing For University and Advanced Mathematics

I am currently a college student, computer programming, who has developed an intense passion for mathematics. Following my graduation I wish to pursue a University degree in mathematics, the September ...
13
votes
1answer
4k views

How to self study Linear Algebra

I have no idea if this question is appropriate for this forum, but I hope you guys can overlook the fact that I asked it on a wrong forum (if I did) and still help me answer it (of course, if this is ...
4
votes
1answer
545 views

Looking for a logically coherent book for the self-study of differential equations

I'm looking for a logically coherent book for the self-study of differential equations. Let me clarify. By logically coherent, I don't mean proofs of the limit laws, uniqueness theorems etc. By ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Help proving exercise on sequences in Bartle's Elements

Self learning Analysis and found the following exercise in Bartle's Elements of Real Analysis: Let $X = (x_n)$ be a sequence of strictly positive real numbers such that $\lim \left({\frac {x_{n ...
2
votes
2answers
236 views

Natural Deduction and Identity

In Logic and Structure, p. 99, Van Dalen gives a brief summary of the rules for predicate logic involving identity. Now, I would like to think of myself as quite proficient in terms of constructing ...
71
votes
23answers
15k views

Complete course of self-study

I am about $16$ years old and I have just started studying some college mathematics. I may never manage to get into a proper or good university (I do not trust fate) but I want to really study ...
66
votes
6answers
4k views

Strategies for Effective Self-Study

I have a long-term goal of acquiring graduate-level knowledge in Analysis, Algebra and Geometry/Topology. Once that is achieved, I am interested in applying this knowledge to both pure and applied ...
66
votes
15answers
6k views

A good way to retain mathematical understanding?

What is a good way to remember math concepts/definitions and commit them to long term memory? Background: In my current situation, I'm at an undergraduate institution where I have to take a lot of ...
39
votes
12answers
3k views

I almost quit self-studying mathematics, but should I continue?

Before I move on to the main idea of this post, I need to tell you some background information about myself. Hopefully, it proves useful for you in giving me advice. I'm a 16 year old high school ...
26
votes
8answers
2k views

Complex analysis is more “real” than real analysis

In physics, in the past, complex numbers were used only to remember or simplify formulas and computations. But after the birth of quantum physics, they found that a thing as real as "matter" itself ...
16
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5answers
4k views

Is memorization a good skill to learn or master mathematics?

I sometimes spend inordinate amounts of time memorizing math articles or theorems/proofs or formulas. My question is "am I wasting time?" and will 'active thinking' or 'working out problems' be faster ...
21
votes
7answers
7k views

Game theory - self study

I want to self study game theory. Which math-related qualifications should I have? And can you recommend any books? Where do I have to begin?
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Relearning from the basics to Calculus and beyond.

Assume someone has very limited knowledge of math. (low level high school, 5-6 years ago) How would they learn from the basics of algebra, geometry and trigonometry to a solid foundation for calculus ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Books, Video lectures, other resources to Teach Yourself Analysis

So my limited mathematics education has been especially ignorant of analysis. In this vein, I'd like to teach myself some of the introductory basics. I'm intrigued by sources that might contain ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Good introductory books on homological algebra

Which books would you recommend, for self-studying homological algebra, to a beginning graduate (or advanced undergraduate) student who has background in ring theory, modules, basic commutative ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Learning schemes

Could someone suggest me how to learn some basic theory of schemes? I have two books from algebraic geometry, namely "Diophantine Geometry" from Hindry and Silverman and "Algebraic geometry and ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Use of determinants

I have been teaching myself maths (primarily calculus) throughout this and last year, and was stumped with the use of determinants. In the math textbooks I have, they simply show how to compute a ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Tips for an adult to learn math — from the beginning.

First let me start with I am an adult and I can't do simple maths. I some how got through all of my math courses in University (after several attempts) but I honestly couldn't tell you how... I ...
7
votes
1answer
506 views

What's the best way to teach oneself both Category Theory & Model Theory?

I've done a bit of reading around both Category Theory & Model Theory (CT & MT) as a novice in each field. I'm interested in how they might combine, particularly when applied to Algebra. [So ...
5
votes
2answers
810 views

Strategy to improve own knowledge in certain topics?

My background is physicist/engineer, and at university we studied only particular topics in mathematics. Some of the courses were never used and faded away with time, and I need to refresh the ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Rigorous Text in Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra

So I'm wanting a solid math book for Christmas. I have a solid background in Calculus and am currently working through baby Rudin. I really want a rigorous book dealing with multivariable calculus ...
5
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4answers
1k views

Self-teaching myself math from pre-calc and beyond.

Going to be starting grade 12 (pre-calculus) shortly and looking to get ahead. I would like to try some more rigorous stuff on my own and have a couple questions. Ideally I would like to be prepared ...