I am considering electrical engineering as my field of study.

However, my math knowledge might not be as good as it should be.

What math books/resources would you recommend me to read?

  • $\begingroup$ The answers below capture the essence. To emphasize; a solid grounding in, and comfort with calculus and all its variants is essential. $\endgroup$ – copper.hat Feb 2 '13 at 0:36

In general, most electrical engineering (undergraduate) programs require the following math courses (these are in highest need to lowest need and they are the applied, as opposed to theoretical, level).

Note, "Pre-Calculus" topics such as exponents, logs, graphs of rational functions, etc. In addition, consider brushing up on your algebra skills, if needed. Algebra seems to be the bane for many in Calculus. You might need to brush up on those.

  • Calculus (several semesters)

  • Differential equations

  • Probability and Statistics

  • Linear Algebra

However, I would suggest looking at the college you are considering and find out their specifics as there could be differences.

Also, at the graduate level, there are, of course more math courses at a much higher level.

Book Recommendations


  • Precalculus Mathematics in a Nutshell: Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry, George F. Simmons

  • Pre-calculus Demystified 2/E, Rhonda Huettenmueller


Linear Algebra

Probability and Statistics

Free Resources

  • $\begingroup$ Any way I prefer Hoffman for all subjects. +1 $\endgroup$ – mrs Feb 2 '13 at 6:35
  • $\begingroup$ Nice job...Once again! + $\endgroup$ – Namaste May 4 '13 at 2:18

Basic electrical engineering, like most other engineering diciplines, depends on both calculus (differential equations describing electrical ciruit elements) and linear algebra.

Another very important aspect of electrical engineering, especially in signal processing (e.g analysis and filtering of audio signals) relies on basic complex analysis. Key concepts are integral transforms such as the Laplace and Fourier transforms (which are closely related). These transforms allow us to look at the spectral content of a time varying signal, in other words a signals frequency content.

If you have basic knowledge of calculus, have a look at Advanced Engineering Mathematics by Erwin Kreyzig.

  • $\begingroup$ Kreyzig IS a totally kickass book. I completely agree that it is the best reference of (undergrad) applied math there is, covering a HUGE variety of topics in the simplest possible manner while sacrificing nothing important. Very well written and easy to read...especially for self study. I go back to it to this day to look up stuff. $\endgroup$ – Fixed Point Feb 2 '13 at 3:43
  • $\begingroup$ @FixedPoint, why are the reviews 'not so good'? $\endgroup$ – Pacerier Apr 4 '14 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Pacerier Because reviews are personal opinions and some people are bound to genuinely dislike something no matter what others may think of it. In this case, some people think that Kresyszig is bad for first-time-learning-something but excellent for later reference/quick review and hence the "bad reviews". In my opinion, it is excellent for both because I have used it for both. An excellent introduction to basic ODEs/PDEs, linear algebra, numerical analysis, Fourier analysis, Numerical PDEs. It has helped me with graduate courses and exams too later on. $\endgroup$ – Fixed Point Apr 4 '14 at 23:27

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