So you'd like to...

learn math/physics the nontraditional way

A guide by Alex K. Chen (Simfish InquilineKea) (Redmond, WA)

Products sampled from this guide:
Hate how math/science is taught the traditional way? (or find it stultifying?) Feel like you could learn the same material in a fraction of the time you spent to learn it? (and wish you had more intuitive understanding of the material rather than superficial understanding of it?) Well, here are some more nontraditional books you might like. Feel free to email me more suggestions at simfish@gmail.com. Sometimes, the demystified guides can also be helpful (although many smart students disdain them), but you can easily find them on your own.

There are other alternatives as well: sometimes, subjects are more rewarding when you study application first and theory second. Astrophysics books are really nice at motivating understanding of physics equations, for example. On the other hand, I've also included books that are notably more rigorous than the standard books (where I feel that the standard textbooks can be stultifying and the rigor rewarding). And sometimes, you do learn a lot faster through Wikipedia than the textbooks (Wikipedia's better at finding the stuff that's relevant and/or emotionally salient to a large fraction of the population. Sure, they're not epistemically more significant, but learning is a human process).

Some more textbook suggestions at http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/theorist.html (although they're more traditional).

Other good links: http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/, hyperphysics (obviously). Sometimes, Princeton Review prep books can motivate you a lot better (research shows that you learn better when you're constantly testing yourself, but problems often take too much time/energy to be consistently used as such a test).

Also, Springer Undergraduate Math Series = the closest thing you can get to Princeton Review for undergrad math.

Advanced Analytic Methods in Applied Mathematics, Science and Engineering
Visual Complex Analysis
Linear Algebra Done Right (Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics)
A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equations
Real Analysis
Complex Analysis (Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series)
Spacetime Physics
Div, Grad, Curl, and All That: An Informal Text on Vector Calculus (Fourth Edition)
An Introduction to Mechanics
Quantum Mechanics (2 vol. set)
Introduction to Economic Analysis
Exploring Abstract Algebra With Mathematica®
Mathematics and the Physical World (Dover Books on Mathematics)

Products mentioned include:
1.  Advanced Analytic Methods in Applied Mathematics, Science and Engineering  by Hung Cheng
$75.99 Used & New from: $55.75
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2.  Visual Complex Analysis  by Tristan Needham
$71.28 Used & New from: $46.57
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3.  Linear Algebra Done Right (Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics)  by Sheldon Jay Axler
$37.20 Used & New from: $25.00
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4.  A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equations  by Daniel A. Fleisch
$30.01 Used & New from: $22.60
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5.  Real Analysis  by John M. Howie
$39.96 Used & New from: $25.00
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6.  Complex Analysis (Springer Undergraduate Mathematics Series)  by John M. Howie
$39.15 Used & New from: $6.75
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7.  Spacetime Physics  by John Archibald Wheeler
$96.23 Used & New from: $41.99
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8.  Div, Grad, Curl, and All That: An Informal Text on Vector Calculus (Fourth Edition)  by H. M. Schey
$43.98 Used & New from: $30.77
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9.  An Introduction to Mechanics  by Daniel Kleppner
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10.  Quantum Mechanics (2 vol. set)  by Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
$193.47 Used & New from: $180.00
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11.  Introduction to Economic Analysis  by R. Preston McAfee
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12.  Exploring Abstract Algebra With Mathematica®  by Allen C. Hibbard
$55.79 Used & New from: $34.16
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13.  Mathematics and the Physical World (Dover Books on Mathematics)  by Morris Kline
$14.93 Used & New from: $4.23
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Alex K. Chen (Simfish InquilineKea) (Redmond, WA)
Qualifications: inquisitive undergrad
Last updated: 1/14/11
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