Nearly three years ago, I wrote up a blog post about how to learn physics: “So You Want To Learn Physics.” It’s been a big hit over the years, and I frequently get lovely emails from readers who have been following the learning plan (sometimes, for a couple of years!) and are having lots of fun learning physics.
I find learning very rewarding. It’s rewarding in the classroom, but even more rewarding (and fun!) when conducted independently. It takes a bit of self-discipline, but I’ve found that building the sort of discipline required doesn’t take very much effort (or time): all it takes is sitting down, once or twice a week, and spending 30 minutes to 1 hour of focused time. This is all you have to do to learn physics, and it’s really all you have to do to learn almost anything.
And that’s why I’ve started working on another learning plan for readers of my blog, this time focused on mathematics. I took a few math classes while studying physics at Penn, but the majority of my mathematics education has happened outside the classroom, and I have quite a few math books (I think I’m in the hundreds now) that I’ve read (or, at the very least, skimmed through) over the years.
As I put together this new plan — which, of course, will be called “So You Want to Learn Math…” — I’ll be going through my collection of math books, from easiest to most difficult, and will work through the problems and figure out which books might be the most helpful for people learning math for the first time.
This might take a while — I’m guessing that it will be done around Summer 2021 at the earliest. I’ll update my reading list (link) with the math books as I work through them, so you’ll be able to track my progress there.
Up next is a list for philosophy. But I’m always reading and studying philosophy, so that may happen in parallel…