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Good books on mathematics

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I'm looking to purchase a few good books on mathematics aimed at people who have a good understanding of maths (degree level education) but struggle with some of the more advanced topics.


I read a lot of techical papers and I'm often discouraged when presented with page-long equations that rapidly change through unknown rules of algebra and when terms such as 'third degree polynomials' are thrown in. I would like to find a book that doesn't end with the term 'for dummies' but which also doesn't assume the reader is an expert in their field.


Being a game programmer I have a really good undertanding of trigonometry and calculus but I'm more so looking for a book that decribes how to understand mathematics as it's presented to the reader (if that makes sense). The main reason I ask is because I was reading a paper today on Cubic Splines which I mostly understood but struggled a bit when it came to calculating the derivatives, particulary the part with the system of equations.


I surfed the web a bit and seen a book called "Mathematics: Its Content, Methods and Meaning" which I though might be useful but I decided to post here first to see if you guys had any good recommendations.



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