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Doug_S. comments on The Beauty of Settled Science - Less Wrong

51 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 24 March 2008 05:30AM

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Comment author: Doug_S. 25 March 2008 05:08:59AM 1 point [-]

For the record, my math background consists of an undergraduate degree in computer engineering along with a math minor. I took the standard four-semester calculus sequence through differential equations, "Advanced Calculus I," two courses in linear algebra, and one course on calculus with complex numbers. My engineering courses covered Fourier analysis, transforms, Laplace transforms, and Z-transforms (all non-rigorously), and I also had one engineering course on (frequentist) probability theory. Finally, I also cheated on my humanities requirement by taking philosophy courses on formal logic that were basically math courses in disguise, and have picked up a lot of random trivia by reading things that looked interesting.

I've always been very good at math, picking things up quickly; even at Rutgers University, I was always among the best math students in my classes, so I think that I really can justify a claim that I'm among the top 1% of the population in terms of mathematical aptitude. I certainly don't know as much mathematics as someone with a math major is expected to know, but when it comes to reading about science, I'd much rather have the math available than hidden, even if I can't follow it all.

Anyway, thanks for the physics book recommendations; I'm seriously considering ordering at least one of those textbooks.