I'm sorry if this question goes against the site. I have completed my engineering in computer science; we were taught to get degrees only in our university :(.

I love mathematics but time passed during my engineering, and now I find the subject frightening especially when looking into the area of discrete mathematics, permutation combination, probability and number theory.

I have many ebooks but I don't know from where I should start. Engineering students of my age are very strong in mathematics, and I wasted my time in playing games and watching movies. Whenever I start studying any ebook, fear comes into my mind after seeing symbols and expressions, and I feel like I should start with some easy book. At the same time I look towards my age and useless degree and get frustrated: I should know these things, how I look at a problem, I lack the intuition to comprehend it.

Please guide me with the proper start from scratch and sequence to learn the mathematics.

  • $\begingroup$ What kind of a background would you say you have? I'd suggest reviewing calculus while picking up an introductory real analysis textbook to read/work through. A familiarity with proofs is a must if you intend to read very high-level mathematics books. $\endgroup$ – Clayton Feb 8 '13 at 4:30
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    $\begingroup$ CS? Have you tried Graham, Knuth, Patashnik's Concrete Mathematics? And Knuth's TAOCP is a good book, too. $\endgroup$ – Yai0Phah Feb 8 '13 at 4:30
  • $\begingroup$ CS means you consistently assign variables to values, so I think you can start your math career soon. Consider this website youtube.com/watch?v=jbIQW0gkgxo to begin calculus...it's by MIT so I think it'll be good $\endgroup$ – bryanblackbee Feb 8 '13 at 4:41

For computer science you will need discrete mathematics, probability and linear algebra. The most important and basic is discrete mathematics which you can start studying with any one of these books Discrete Mahematics by Rosen, Discrete Mahematics by Johnsonbaugh or Applied Comninatorics by Tucker. Also, keep in my mind that math is all about problem-solving so don't forget about the exercises. There is a nice set of video lectures on discrete mathematics at ADUni website. Another nice set of video lectues is by Skeina. Also check out Coursera for math and computer science courses.Video lectures are extremely helpful for self-learning a subject.


Personally, I would recommend taking some of the free online courses. Coursera.com for example have the following courses:

and in the more advanced category:

The reason I recommend using online courses over books, is purely a personal reason. I find it much easier to learn mathematics by watching lectures, than by reading books. Of course you also want to do some exercises, but that should be included in these courses.

PS: You can of course also find courses and lectures on other sites than Coursera, for example Khan Academy, EdX and likewise.


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