View Full Version : Good resources for maths and electronics

12-22-2004, 07:48 AM

I just finished year 12 and I am taking a year off to work full time for a software company in Sydney. After that I want to study Software Engineering or Computer Science, maybe with a double degree in Business/Commerce or Math.

While I'll be working as a .NET developer for the next year (developing debt management and recovery software in C# and .NET 2.0), which will give me excellent programming, design and experience for when I start the university course, I want to do something to learn about some other things the course may entail - mostly writing, math and electronics. I am hoping you guys know some good links and resources (anything visual or audio)

To improve my writing, I plan to write and submit a lot of tutorials and documentation about programming. But for the maths and electronics I am unsure where to start. I have a full year to prepare so I want to make the most of it.

This is what I have learnt about in math over the last few years (off the top of my head):
Calculus - derivatives, integrals and definite integrals and first principals stuff.
Trigonometry - trig. identities, trigonomic calculus, cot, sec and cosec functions.
Complex numbers, mandlebrot set, julia sets and quadratic iterations.
Statistics - confidence intervals, z-indexes, inferential statistics
Deductive geometry
Vectors, both 3D and 2D, and 3D vector geometry (great for game engines I guess)
Matrices - identity matrix, inverses and solving systems of equations using matrices.

Based on what I have learned, and I know people here are probably way more advanced in the field, where would the next logical step be? (I don't know what course I'll be doing just yet, so I don't know what the material I should be studing is yet, until I get accepted).

In electronics I know mostly nothing (not really a hardware guy), so some good e-books or videos would be good for that too.

I really want to make the most of the next year, so any help would be great!


12-22-2004, 10:13 AM
for math, id suggest a program like Maple (http://www.maplesoft.com/) , there are many tutorials that will guide you through various subjects and there are student modes that show intermediate steps to solutions.

12-22-2004, 10:33 AM
There are tons of other math programs out there, too - Mathematica, MathCAD, Matlad, to name a few.

12-22-2004, 10:44 AM
You definitely have a good math background! I recently graduated with a couple of mathematics undergrad degrees and am trying out this programming thing. The most helpful courses I would recommend taking and reviewing is Numerical Analysis and Set Theory. I've come to realize the theoretical math is often abandonned. I'm not a big fan of it, but if I could do it all over again I would have taken it more seriously. Optimization is a wonderful field and yields the discovery of many questions not yet answered. Theoretical math can help with identifying certain scenarios that reveal trends, which lead to better problem solving techniques.

Most schools offer a course called Mathematical statistics, which is a vital tool as well.

Good luck.

12-22-2004, 10:53 AM
Some good videos here on linear algebra http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Mathematics/18-06Linear-AlgebraFall2002/VideoLectures/index.htm

Watching 1 a day would be excellent.

Just so you know what to expect.

If you major in engineering you will most likely take a full calculus sequence, typically this is all the non-advanced calculus courses. Usually this two or three courses in the US. You will also take differential equations, and probably other math stuff I'm sure, maybe an engineer could comment more, I would think it would branch off differential equations, maybe stuff dealing with boundary value problems, laplace transforms, complex variables, etc.

If you major in computer science you will probably take two courses on discrete mathematics, and a little less calculus than an engineer would take, probably one or two courses instead of two to three, depends on the school. Combinatorics might be a good and interesting course to read up on also if you choose to go the computer science route.

Of course, since you will be taking these courses you may not want to read up on them, it's up to you. I just figured I'd give you some ideas of what to expect.

From what you already know and have listed, I would look into differential equations. I really enjoy these btw so I may be a bit biased here, but with what you know, you could definitely jump right into it.

12-22-2004, 12:30 PM
You can't go wrong with a standard university calculus book...they usually aren't great for statistics, but they do have pretty much everything else you've mentioned, and they're almost universally the same. The one from my school is Calculus Second Edition by robert smith and roland minton. Im not sure if it contains 'deductive geometry' (i have no clue what the hell that is) and I don't think it goes too in depth with the complex numbers thing, but it contains all the other fancy stuff you've mentioned (3D vector algebra, i.e how to multiply vectors together using dot products and cross products, matrices, etc).

'engineering mathematics' contains everything else you've mentioned (including statistics). It's quite rigorous and I only use it as a reference book (I'm not actively working through the examples in the book).

Engineering Mathematics (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0831131527/qid=1103740137/sr=8-2/ref=pd_csp_2/103-7980663-2275061?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)

If you'd like more information on it, something you can't find on amazon that only a book owner can answer, i'll gladly divulge.


In electronics I know mostly nothing (not really a hardware guy), so some good e-books or videos would be good for that too.

I just got finished a semester in university electrical engineering. It starts with the most basic principles of electronics (V = IR) and how to do simple things such as finding equivalent circuits. It then moves up through more complex stuff such as capacitors, 555 timers and how they work, karnaugh maps and using them to generate the most efficient gate setup (i.e how to get the same outputs with the fewest 'and' gates). Also in the book is our lab instructions for wiring a small radio controlled car using each of these components (we spent literally 45 hours wire wrapping each of the components on the gun board and mouse boards, and then using multimeters to test every connection for proper voltage). All in all it's really hard stuff, I'm getting out of it and either enlisting or changing majors, so I'd be willing to sell you my ECE notebook.

12-22-2004, 12:54 PM
Based on what I have learned, and I know people here are probably way more advanced in the field, where would the next logical step be?
multivariable calculus is the generalization of calculus in many dimensions and is essential no matter what kind of maths you are going to study.

12-22-2004, 03:26 PM

The Engineering Mathematics is a superb book. I can't recommend it highly enough.

I'm a bit of a whiz on electronics myself , it's been a hobby for me since I was about 5, and I've worked as an electronic design engineer.

I don't recall any great sites for electronic tutorials on the web, but there are certainly some bad ones. I'll have a look and report back.

Meanwhile, if you've any questions, feel free to send me a private message.

Good luck!

12-22-2004, 04:23 PM
I did have a quick look on google, but nothing fabulous jumped out at me. I'm sure there must be something out there though.

A good all-round book on electronics is "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz + Hill.

Also, I would recommend downloading this free simulator, then you can design + test circuit ideas on your PC.