I am a student beginning high school from India. I have recently developed a taste for physics and mathematics. I am doing Lagrangian and Quantum Mechanics in Physics. But my mathematics is not too good. I have just finished the high school course (basic calculus and stuff). Could you help me out and suggest some books for the following topics:

  1. Algebra (Linear and Abstract)
  2. Analysis (Real and Complex)
  3. Combinatorics
  4. Geometry and Topology.
  5. Number Theory.
  • $\begingroup$ This is a decent learning road map. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 15:19

2 Answers 2


If you've completed the equivalent of first-year University-level Calculus and want to learn more math for further studies in physics, the following might be helpful:

Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, 3rd. by Mary L. Boas

The table of contents is here.

At the minimum you should cover this book before moving on to more advance material.

For more advance reading material / textbooks, you might find the following also useful:

How to learn math and physics by Prof. John Baez;

The Road to Reality: a complete guide to the laws of the universe by Prof. Roger Penrose, FRS

For textbook suggestions, there are many good ones available on the market, so it will depend on your own likes / dislikes and approach to learning / studying; but some of the well-known and recommended are:

1. Algebra:

A. Linear Algebra:

B. Abstract Algebra:

2. Analysis:

A. Real:

B. Complex:

3. Combinatorics:

4. Geometry and Topology:

This is a vast area with many excellent textbooks in various sub-branches.

A. Geometry:

For basic geometry I'm not sure if any "standard" / well-known work / textbook is popular or recommended.

B. Topology:

For General Topology (i.e. point-set):

J. Munkres, Topology, 2nd.

5. Number Theory

Many good introductory books exist, among them:

Additionally, Schaum's Outlines are excellent supplements / study aids / problems and solutions to all the above subjects.

  • $\begingroup$ Are Artin's Algebra and Hoffman and Kunze's Linear Algebra accessible to me? $\endgroup$
    – Anirban
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Anirban: I don't know about Artin's Algebra, but Hoffman/Kunze's Linear Algebra should be accessible to you. However, if you're interested in applications, Gilbert Strang's Linear Algebra might be a better fit, possibly followed by Strang's Introduction to Applied Mathematics. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 17:21

For Analysis, check out the books by walter rudin , u have two versions of the same book , based on sizes.

also u can try thomas's calculus by thomas finney.

If u got ample time, may be you can even try out the books by apostol.

go to complex analysis only once you are done with real analysis.

for complex analysis, i would suggest the book by L V Alfors ( First fields medal winner)

Number theory , use the book - Number theory an introductory course by Ivan Niven, Zuckerman

There are many books available for number theory in the market but this one stands apart.

  • $\begingroup$ I have heard of Rudin's books. Do you mean the Principles of Mathematical Analysis or Real and Complex Analysis? $\endgroup$
    – Anirban
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ I meant he principles of mathematical analysis $\endgroup$
    – Bach
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ thomas's calculus is too basic to be considered college-level, but the other suggestions are great $\endgroup$
    – user404974
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 22:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .