# Mathbook for dummies, any recomendation?

This topic is 1652 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

## Recommended Posts

Hi,

This may seems like a wierd question but could any of you guys recommend a book about math, Seeing how I think I need to raise my currently knowledge in math. As I barely understand the math behinds alot of the tutorials I been looking through, Especially Matrix related ones.

The last thing I learned from school was "derivative"(Google translate). The book doesn't need to be game related. I feel like I have struck a big wall cause I don't have a great knowledge about math, so my programming gets stuck alot and for long time for math related problems. I understand that matrice math is College level (Well, from where I am atleast :l), so if there are any books that would cover the parts between Derivate > Matrice would be very nice.

##### Share on other sites
For a short concise read I'd recommend the following:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0486636348

##### Share on other sites

Derivative is calculus. If you were able to grasp calculus then you have everything you need to learn linear algebra(probably the most useful form of math for game and graphics programming, and is all about matrices), specifically, the geometrical kind as the theoretical kind is sort of useless for game programming.

FWIW, math skills rust if you don't use them so make sure you have a solid foundation of college-level algebra.

For Linear algebra I'd recommend "Practical Linear Algebra: A Geometry Toolbox" by Gerald Farin. I've read the book myself and it was an excellent introduction to linear algebra for solving geometrical problems.

For a more game oriented math book, I'd recommend "3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development", note that even though it says primer it expects you to have a firm grasp on "basic" mathematical skills(e.g, college algebra, trigonometry, calculus). Note that it covers a lot of linear algebra too, just with more game specific topics.

If you have a hard time understanding these books, check out KhanAcademy and see where your math level stands and begin working towards them.

Thanks for the KhanAcademy site. No idea that existed ^^

##### Share on other sites
Edited by NightCreature83

##### Share on other sites

I will check out most of the book, and the Khan and the MIT free courses is quiet awesomes, didn't know people uploaded those kinds of videos

##### Share on other sites

NightCreature83's second link is a book I'd second as a fairly graspable book for someone who might not be terribly familiar with higher-level mathematics. A good chunk of the book is devoted to linear algebra, but it goes quite a ways further than that too. It and wiki/google/wolfram are my first stops when I need to re-familiarize myself with some bit of math I've forgotten.

For someone that's really green, the Khan accademy videos are great, just because they start at the absolute beginning, and the visual presentation makes things really clear.

##### Share on other sites

This is no book but I have to recommend this guys tutorials as a complement to

Algebra for Dummies,

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Algebra

Trignometry for Dummies,

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Trigonometry

This guy is AMAZING.

Edited by Sinmar

##### Share on other sites

This is no book but I have to recommend this guys tutorials as a complement to

Algebra for Dummies,

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Algebra

Trignometry for Dummies,

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Trigonometry

This guy is AMAZING.

I'd try to make it a rule of thumb not to buy books that insult its readers on the cover.

##### Share on other sites

...

I'd try to make it a rule of thumb not to buy books that insult its readers on the cover.

You should grow a thicker skin then, if you let things like book titles insult you. The whole line of "dummies" books just use it as a friendly pejorative to invite even the most-uninformed to feel comfortable picking up the book. It doesn't mean the reader is a dummy, it says "Hey, its Okay. We're all dummies at one thing or another." A particular dummies book may be good, or not, but its sill to dismiss the literally thousands of books with the word "dummies" or similar pejoratives in the title out of hand.

##### Share on other sites

I would actually advice you against buying any kind of math book, when all its information is available for free on the internet:

For Kids:

http://www.math.com/

For All:

A list of other free math-learning websites:

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/08/a-list-of-great-free-math-websites-for.html

Online Megacalculator:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/

Enjoy!

I'd try to make it a rule of thumb not to buy books that insult its readers on the cover.

With regards to insults, I personally subscribe to the idea that if you don't get it, then people can't do it.

Edited by Malabyte

##### Share on other sites

This reminded me of EWD's comments:

But things have changed. These days it is quite common that students don't even know the name of the person who is lecturing to them, let alone that they feel proud to be his student! And it is equally common that faculty talk about students, in particular undergraduates, as if they were animals from another planet. Students are no longer seen as part of the solution, but as part of the problem, and textbooks and lecturing techniques have become so condescending that, if I were a student, I would take offence. I don't think that I could stand a lecturer that assumes that my attention span is no more than 7 minutes or who feels obliged to feed me a cartoon every 5 foils, and subjects me to multiple-choice tests because I am supposed to be functionally illiterate. I invite you to read carefully the catalogues of publishers of mathematical textbooks: obviously, colour math is better than B&W math, most books are recommended for being intuitive instead of formal, for being chatty instead of crisp, for being vague and sloppy instead of rigorous. It is clearly an article of the New Faith that teaching the real thing would be counter-productive: just as our students are supposed to live on junk food, they are supposed to thrive on junk science.

The loss of mutual respect has affected more than just the educational process, it has corroded publication as well. In 1975 I received a letter that objected to the style in which I had written an article for the Communications of the ACM (= Association for Computing Machinery). The complaint was that, by separating my concerns more strictly than usual, I had addressed my intended audience in a style they were not used to. The writer continued with the well-known quotation from P.T.Barnum that "No one ever got broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American people." and urged me to bear that in mind whenever I wrote for the programming community. So, 25 years ago, the rot had already set in; at the end of the century it would lead to an endless series of fat, yellow books titled "Such and such for dummies". Allow me to quote in contrast from "The elements of Style" by Strunk and White, because it reflects a much more inspiring spirit; "No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader's intelligence, or whose attitude is patronizing.".

##### Share on other sites

If you're into on-line courses, check this one out:
Coding the Matrix: Linear Algebra through Computer Science Applications

While that is a good resource in general, it's not what the op would want to go to immediately.
As suggested, khan academy is fantastic. The op can start at a level he feels comfortable with and the explanations will get the intuition across faster.

betterexplained.com is also a good place to cross reference while at khan.

All the best.

b

##### Share on other sites

The book I learned on, Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, was just released in a new edition.  I did a write-up about it here.  It is not a complete beginners text, but if you have a late high school level math education or have spent a few hundred hours at Kahn Academy, it's a great resource.  This book covers just about every single topic in 3D graphics, it goes into a fair amount of detail on the subject and actually breaks down the equations instead of just throwing them at you.  I have a sample lesson in the link above to see what you think of it. You may struggle a bit, but everything you need to know is basically in there.

If you are looking at basic level math, the stuff you need for a 2D game, I have a collection of math recipes with full running code examples, covering the math you need to make 90% of 2D games ( velocity, rotate to face, collision detection, etc ).

##### Share on other sites

all this recomendation, both the books and online free courses is pretty awesome. As much I like free stuffs books makes it easier for me to learn math for some reason :l, But I will totally check out the free courses like KhanAcademy to see where my "level" is in math, than buy a few more of the books. Am currently "lost" where I am seeing how I barely heard some of the math words. Xd