Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Epictetus comments on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject - Less Wrong

167 Post author: lukeprog 16 January 2011 08:30AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (327)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: Epictetus 15 April 2015 02:47:20AM 1 point [-]

How can baby rudin possibly be recommended in almost all use cases there is something better -_-, less wrong is supposed to give good advice not status-signaling type.

I recommend Rudin because he dives right into the topology and metric space approach. It's a lot easier to pick it up when it's used to develop the familiar theory of calculus. It also helps put a lot of point-set topology into perspective. I appreciated it once I started studying functional analysis and all those texts basically assumed the reader was familiar with the approach. The problems are great to work through and the terseness is a sign of things to come for a reader who wants to go on to advanced texts.

There is a caveat. Rudin is not a good text for a student's first foray into the rigors of real analysis. IF one has already seen a rigorous development of calculus, Rudin bridges the gap with a minimum of fluff. If not, the reader is better served elsewhere.

I'm no expert in undergraduate math texts so maybe there's something else that works better. I read Rudin on my own in undergrad and with my background at the time I got a lot out of it, so I'm recommending it.

Rudin = Bourbaki and I thought we were anti-bourbaki here

Bourbaki has its place. There comes a time when you need a good reference for the general theory and that's where the Bourbaki style shines. It makes for bad pedagogy and is cruel to foist upon beginners, but on the other hand good pedagogical books tend to limit their scope and seldom make good references.

Comment author: SanguineEmpiricist 15 April 2015 02:57:10AM 1 point [-]

I agree with this post much more. My concern was more ability to learn the subject & less wrong aesthetic in this direction which I think is correct.