Gauss, Escher, Bach. Give me math that doesn't read like math!
September 27, 2012 3:55 AM Subscribe
I have a very strong background in humanities but I've completed three-year undergraduate course in math. Though I passed it without trouble, I feel like traditional textbooks didn't teach make me understand
a lot. What are best math resources (books, but not necessarily) that instead of trying to look like PM
read more like literature or work on your intuition and talk about big picture implications instead? Something like Godel, Escher, Bach
for various areas of mathematics.
posted by desultory_banyan to Science & Nature (25 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
What I'm trying to say, I guess, is: I don't work well with text that is trying to be beautiful by being as concise as possible. I need to ramble a bit and explain myself almost everything by way of analogy. And somewhere along the way I'll internalize the concept. Furthermore, I love texts which intermingle hard science with stories, historical and philosophical background.
Here are things I'd like to get better understanding of:
- information theory (plus complexity and all that Chaitin jazz)
- probability theory, stochastic processes, statistics (and bits of finance, actuarial stuff)
- calculus and measure
- algebra, symmetries, group theory
- various math tools used in physics (if I could ever understand math machinery underlying quantum mechanics I'll die a happy man), bits of physics also welcome, of course
...or anything else that's interesting and not hugely specialized, really.
What I don't want: totally entry level, big simplifications.
FYI, I'm studying in Eastern Europe, where (supposedly) there is much more emphasis put on 'going deep' when learning maths (which usually means just biting more than you can chew).