The export regulations that you mention apply to a specific set of technologies, often related to defense/military, space, and energy technology. Explicitly excluded from regulation are things released to the public domain and any mathematical, scientific, or engineering principles taught in schools or universities. If you can go to your local library, an organization's (such as the IEEE or ACM) digital library, or do the work for a course, the material is probably safe for use. Unless you're doing advanced R&D work or are bringing in knowledge that you've obtained while working on controlled technology, I would suspect that anything you might work on would not be regulated. If there's any question, the best person to ask would be an expert in export control regulations.
Note that, individuals are indeed subject to the regulations and they are rather easy to violate. Simply carrying a computer or flash drive with regulated content outside the US or showing an algorithm to a foreign person is considered an export under US law.