I have been out of school and working for 17 years now. I cannot remember anything I learned about trigonometry, algebra or geometry (which I think is as far as it went in those days) but I do find myself interested (more now than then) in mathematics.

Is there any good (preferably free) online material that I can reference? Being able to download and go through it in my own time would be most helpful. What would also be helpful is material that is fairly concise (i.e. not too drawn out).

Partly I would like to learn for my own personal interest, but as a programmer (albeit in a business environment) I think it can also help me in my job. Maybe you can also recommend a learning path, e.g. which branches of maths to study first.


Take a look at the lecture notes by William Chen, and the books by The Trillia Group. Rummaging around the 'net for lecture notes for first /second math courses at universities around the world should net a nice collection. And you will also find homeworks and exams with solutions, for practice.

In any case, do the math: It is almost never worth it to print out some book (many are available on-line free, possibly in form of older editions or preprints) if you can buy a nicely bound copy at your favorite on-line bookstore.

Oh, and stay around. You'll learn more by looking at the questions (and answers) flying around here than any class could teach you. Less structure, sure. But definitely more fun.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the pointer to the William Chen lecture notes. They look like a good read. $\endgroup$ – mydoghasworms Apr 19 '13 at 21:42

You can start by a refresh with Gelfand's books on elementary math. There's also this list which starts by suggesting books in elementary math all the way to algebraic geometry.

And don't just read, do tons of problems :)

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I think the hint about doing problems is probably one of the best suggestions. $\endgroup$ – mydoghasworms Apr 22 '13 at 17:58

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