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Is there a canonical book on mathematics for programmers?

I need your recommendation for math books related to computer science in these areas:

  • Boolean Algebra (Boolean logic, gates, state machines, etc.)
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Probability & Basic Statistics

Please take note that i am self-learner, so please don't put books that is very hard to read or finish, i prefer book that is 300-500 pages more like an introductory book, also any recommendation whether or not the above list priority is correct, is highly appreciated.

-note: i am a self-taught programmer, so the materials in the first item in the list are very familiar to me, but i never took any formal course in it.


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migrated from Apr 9 '11 at 21:36

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

marked as duplicate by Mark Trapp Dec 13 '11 at 21:41

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I know, but i hope i put my question related to the tags i specified. – Skystar3 Apr 9 '11 at 21:22
For discrete mathematics books take a look in 63201 – ierax Apr 10 '11 at 15:48
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I have a couple of suggestions. However, before I present the books let me add that they are not 'for dummies' and they won't teach you a thing unless you work on them doing at least a couple of exercises and really spending some time trying to grasp them. They will surely take more than '21 days'...

One of the things I usually do with some exercises is to try to implement the solution. As you probably found out by now the easiest way to know if you have understood something, is to implement it.

Enjoy and good luck!

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This is a very good list for the stated reqs. I will say that although the Patterson and Hennessy book is very good, I found it dry and difficult to stick with the entire way through. – Kurtis Apr 11 '11 at 2:31
I have checked the first three book's TOC & reviews i found them meet my needs, thanks.. except for the last one, user reviews was not that good, can you recommend a better one or more easier to follow? – Skystar3 Apr 12 '11 at 16:31
+1 Thanks for the Concrete Math suggestion – Anthony Aug 14 '12 at 4:53

The first book that pops into my mind is Concrete Mathematics, especially for a self-learner. It would nicely fill the Discrete Mathematics portion of your journey. Donald Knuth is one of the co-authors. The content has been battle-tested in a course at Stanford, and it is as entertaining as it is educational.

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I don't think that this is a good book for self-learners and non-mathematicians. – ierax Apr 10 '11 at 15:45

I highly recommend The Cartoon Guide to Statistics. It's accessible if you can handle high school algebra, but I don't know of a better work for gaining an intuition for working with p-values and other tests of statistical significance.

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If you want to learn linear algebra (essential for search and information retrieval type work), I can highly recommend Strang's book:

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I would like to add:

Introduction to Algorithms

Discrete Mathematics and its Applications

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