# Not in school. Need some help planning my studies post-calculus & intro. abstract algebra.

OK, so I left school (wasn't failing or anything), but I still love math and want to go on with my studies.

I want to, first and foremost, cover all the important topics a math education should cover. But, now that I get to more-or-less customize my curriculum, I've also set up personal goals of interesting topics I'd like to learn about and incorporate into my studies.

What I've seen so far:

• Calculus I-III, linear algebra I & II, ODE (need to refresh on this one, can't remember much ODE).

• Semester 1 of abstract algebra (groups), intro to number theory, intro to discrete maths (combinatorics, graphs, etc.), combinatorics, probability (though I really need to work on this one).

• Second half of "Contemporary Abstract Algebra". By far my least favorite book. Messy and almost unreadable. Dummit & Foote looks a lot better, so I'll try that one next time.

• "Proofs from The Book". Love it! Not a textbook, but I'm learning so much; and it's impossible to put down.

• I just ordered Pugh's "Real Mathematical Analysis".

• I'll start looking for a good Partial Differential Equations book soon.

Present goal:

I really want to work up to Spivak's "Physics for Mathematicians I".

From what I understand, prerequisites go up to Differential Geometry. So I figure reading his intro to DG I-III wouldn't be a bad idea.

And, if I'm not wrong, the prerequisites for his Diff. Geometry books are multivariable calculus and and differential topology.

With that in mind, is this a good sequence for completing my "undergrad" studies?:

1) Real analysis, PDE, second half of "Contemporary Abstract Algebra", Number theory

2) Complex analysis, General topology, Dummit & Foote,

3) Differential topology, Differential geometry


Is there anything missing or out of order? Is there anything that is too advanced and requires prerequisites I wasn't aware of?

• @fakaffTo address your question of order, I would suggest, having done it myself: – user12802 Jan 23 '12 at 17:50

Pugh is quite good.For a starter, I would recommend the lecture notes from a class by Fields Medal winner Vaughan Jones. They are fabulous.