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Mikhail Liebenstein

Academic Books you buy midlife to make sure you haven't forgotten things you learnt

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So in you're in your late 30s earl 40s and want to make sure don't forget some of the hard stuff you did at University, what books have bought?

Here is my list:

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And the best of all which I had to re-buy as some ******* spilt beer over my original copy back in 1996

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10 minutes ago, thecrashingisles said:

This week, to save me from guilt, I'll give them to someone special.

Literally, I filled a skip. Very cathartic. When I start forgetting what I know I won't need to know it.

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Took all mine to the charity shop, for the same reason I pass on Haynes manuals for cars I no longer own with the vehicle usually. Surely no-one who doesn't move into academia uses such broad concepts in their job, if at all. I have noticed a lot of graduate friends and family do cart a box of old university textbooks from property to property when they move. I always assume it's to delude themselves they learnt something worthwhile rather than accept it's three years of largely pointless busywork albeit high brow busywork.

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4 minutes ago, LiveinHope said:

Literally, I filled a skip. Very cathartic. When I start forgetting what I know I won't need to know it.

This must be very early Wham?

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Never really rated Kreyszig (my edition had the piccie of the bridge on it, 6th7th8th or 9th maybe). Thought Riley, Hobson Bence was better, but it is difficult to be objective some years later. Kinda depends on the specific problem at hand at the time of reading.

General maths texts are tricky to write, often the author(s) try and cover everything in detail and the end result is a tomb no one wants to carry around. Omit a few steps and it can become a frustrating experience.

A couple of good 'uns imo:

H Anton - Elementary Linear Algebra

E Hecht - Optics

RJ Barlow - Statistics

If you want a (very readable) workout, I recommend JA Peacock- Cosmological Physics.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, The Knimbies who say No said:

Never really rated Kreyszig (my edition had the piccie of the bridge on it, 6th7th8th or 9th maybe). Thought Riley, Hobson Bence was better, but it is difficult to be objective some years later. Kinda depends on the specific problem at hand at the time of reading.

General maths texts are tricky to write, often the author(s) try and cover everything in detail and the end result is a tomb no one wants to carry around. Omit a few steps and it can become a frustrating experience.

A couple of good 'uns imo:

H Anton - Elementary Linear Algebra

E Hecht - Optics

RJ Barlow - Statistics

If you want a (very readable) workout, I recommend JA Peacock- Cosmological Physics.

 

 

Statistics - Biometry: Sokal and Rohlf or Legendre and Legendre: Numerical Ecology. Never owned them, just borrowed, so they didn't end up in the skip

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9 minutes ago, The Knimbies who say No said:

Never really rated Kreyszig (my edition had the piccie of the bridge on it, 6th7th8th or 9th maybe). Thought Riley, Hobson Bence was better, but it is difficult to be objective some years later. Kinda depends on the specific problem at hand at the time of reading.

General maths texts are tricky to write, often the author(s) try and cover everything in detail and the end result is a tomb no one wants to carry around. Omit a few steps and it can become a frustrating experience.

A couple of good 'uns imo:

H Anton - Elementary Linear Algebra

E Hecht - Optics

RJ Barlow - Statistics

If you want a (very readable) workout, I recommend JA Peacock- Cosmological Physics.

 

 

Think I had this, presumably in a much earlier edition, and seem to recall it was very good - just looked at the author's wiki and it seems to be highly rated in general. Interesting also, he was a polytechnic lecturer, and I'm sure I've noticed this trend that some of the best books are often produced by old polytechnic lecturers.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Advanced-Engineering-Mathematics-K-Stroud/0230275486

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4 minutes ago, 200p said:

You only need to keep up to date, whatever is in your "working knowledge".

 

This ^.

I decided to change direction and so, out with the old and in with the new. I didn't fancy accumulating twice the volume of stuff. Now, right now, I have nothing.

i was worried i might wake up the next day and regret it. But it hasn't happened yet.

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12 minutes ago, LiveinHope said:

Statistics - Biometry: Sokal and Rohlf or Legendre and Legendre: Numerical Ecology. Never owned them, just borrowed, so they didn't end up in the skip

I think I remember overhearing a couple of statistical types meeting at the water cooler and chatting about the weather, as you do:

Anne: "There's a 10% chance of rain today, I heard on the radio"

Bob:"Incorrect. What you mean is "It will rain today: The likelihood of that statement being correct is 10%""

Quite a subtle but important distinction.

 

Edit, they may have married in the end.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, The Knimbies who say No said:

I think I remember overhearing a couple of statistical types meeting at the water cooler and chatting about the weather, as you do:

Anne: "There's a 10% chance of rain today, I heard on the radio"

Bob:"Incorrect. What you mean is "It will rain today: The likelihood of that statement being correct is 10%""

Quite a subtle but important distinction.

:lol:

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22 minutes ago, SNACR said:

Took all mine to the charity shop, for the same reason I pass on Haynes manuals for cars I no longer own with the vehicle usually. Surely no-one who doesn't move into academia uses such broad concepts in their job, if at all. I have noticed a lot of graduate friends and family do cart a box of old university textbooks from property to property when they move. I always assume it's to delude themselves they learnt something worthwhile rather than accept it's three years of largely pointless busywork albeit high brow busywork.

You say that, but I studied engineering including a lot of electronics, and despite having moved into IT due to offshoring, `I've strangely found my electronics suddenly relevant due to the appearance of Internet of Things. 

The other thing that I find very worrying is that current graduates don't seem to be able to keep up with a lot of the 40 and 50 year olds in term of learning new stuff. It's odd, as when I was in my 20s it was very clear that something like mathematics was a young man's profession (at least if you want do the hard new stuff), but now I think science, engineering and computing have almost become like law where you need an understanding of what went before to really innovate. The advantage most of the 40 and 50 year olds have is that they actually studied things like electronics and when doing computing had to use a Unix command line. The trouble the 20 years olds have is they were brought up on GUIs, followed by touchscreens. But strangely this also applies to what should be soft skills like sales, you can hire a 40 year old guys on £80k base £160k OTE and they will close the same revenue as ten 20 year olds on £30k, and at higher margin.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, SNACR said:

Think I had this, presumably in a much earlier edition, and seem to recall it was very good - just looked at the author's wiki and it seems to be highly rated in general. Interesting also, he was a polytechnic lecturer, and I'm sure I've noticed this trend that some of the best books are often produced by old polytechnic lecturers.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Advanced-Engineering-Mathematics-K-Stroud/0230275486

Interesting, there is a basic tension between academic climbers and teachers, in my limited experience. Teaching duties are often seen as a necessary burden of departmental academia, and it is often not unheard of that the finest academic research brains in the department, on whose reputation prospective students are attracted, are often the least interested/accessible. The duties get dumped on junior types or the odd person who is generally interested, seldom seen. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see some of the best teaching brains at institutions which were not as interested in research.

There are some very capable types who simply manage to do it all of course, and the Peacock I listed above is one such individual.

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Never got rid of mine. I love books and knowledge too much, and have never really moved away from applying a lot of it in one way or another. I've also picked up some hardcore stuff I'm interested in along the way.

I have a lot on chemistry, some physics, pharmacology, maths, computing, psychology, safety and marketing, amongst others!

My job tends to need dashes of all of these at some point or another, and it's all stuff I'm interested in so can't imagine ever getting rid of anything. I am a bit precious about books in general too though, and never get rid of any...

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1 minute ago, The Knimbies who say No said:

Interesting, there is a basic tension between academic climbers and teachers, in my limited experience. Teaching duties are often seen as a necessary burden of departmental academia, and it is often not unheard of that the finest academic research brains in the department, on whose reputation prospective students are attracted, are often the least interested/accessible. The duties get dumped on junior types or the odd person who is generally interested, seldom seen. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see some of the best teaching brains at institutions which were not as interested in research.

There are some very capable types who simply manage to do it all of course, and the Peacock I listed above is one such individual.

I also had 2 editions of Stroud, one beige and orange stripes and the other pinky stripes if I recall.

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