[SciPy-user] Some mathematics/statisctics books

David Warde-Farley dwf@cs.toronto....
Tue Jun 10 18:26:28 CDT 2008

On 10-Jun-08, at 3:35 PM, Karl Young wrote:

> I completely agree with Johann that the best way to start is to just
> dive into the tutorials and examples but there are a few books around
> that might not be bad to have at your side when doing so.

I just looked through the Gershenfeld book's table of contents, and  
while it's full of tons of useful stuff, it may be the wrong place to  
start. Certainly, don't try to read the book in sequence from start  
to finish if you don't have the requisite background.

What background? Probably some linear algebra at least, and some  
single and multivariable calculus. The OP didn't specify what level  
of education he's had in these matters, so just in case I'll include  
a few books.

I'm not too familiar with books on single-variable calculus but Tom  
Apostol's book on the subject appears to be quite well reviewed. It's  
also been around since the 1960's so it should be possible to find an  
inexpensive used copy.

As for multivariable calculus and linear algebra, a book that I'm  
fond of that takes an integrated approach to these two subjects is  
"Multivariable Mathematics" by Theodore Shifrin, ISBN 047152638X.  It  
goes through a lot of examples but doesn't sacrifice rigour. It won't  
help you much if you haven't done any single variable calculus.

My supervisor introduced me to Gilbert Strang's "Linear Algebra and  
its Applications", which I quite like. People seem to either love or  
hate this book, but it endeavours to help you develop intuition for  
linear algebraic concepts, and is quite light on theory, heavy on  

Hope that helps,


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