I am considering reading the book Mathematics made Difficult by Carl E Linderholm. PDF: http://i7-dungeon.sourceforge.net/math_hard.pdf . How much math do I need to know in order to benefit from reading this book (what level of mathematical maturity does it assume)?

  • $\begingroup$ I skimmed a few pages and it doesn't look like a very pleasant read. What do you want to learn about? Maybe asking yourself that question can lead you to some good books. $\endgroup$ Jun 16, 2016 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ The answer is in the book itself, at the very beginning: p. 9, second paragraph. I didn't unterstand the zen story so the book is not for me. Also flipped through some pages, I fully subscribe to Matthew's view. $\endgroup$
    – Dr_Be
    Jun 16, 2016 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ The book is a satire that uses advanced math to prove elementary results. A search on "Mathematics made difficult" yields plenty of reviews. A typical comment: "As such, many of the jokes will be lost on a reader with no familiarity with the language of category theory. But there are plenty of other jokes that even a high schooler should be able to appreciate." $\endgroup$
    – grand_chat
    Jun 16, 2016 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ @grand_chat: I came across this book in my university's library in my first undergraduate year, and even then it was obvious to me that it was satire. The title itself was a spoof on all those other books on the shelves with titles like "calculus made easy", "trigonometry for beginners", "calculus for the practical man", etc. It really becomes obvious when you see the diagram for How to read this book in the Introduction, which makes fun of all those similar chapter dependency charts one sees in the prefaces of math books. The beginning Chapter 1 (Arithmetic) leaves no more doubt . . . $\endgroup$ Jun 17, 2016 at 14:30


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