Yay books! I am such a nerd. =) Here’s a list of the books I (or I and my wife) received for Christmas and my birthday:

Categories for the Working Mathematician Categories for the Working Mathematician, Saunders Mac Lane

I’ve picked up lots of little bits of category theory here and there just from hanging out in the #haskell IRC channel, reading various papers, etc., but I decided I need to learn it formally for myself. I’ve already started this one, it’s pretty dense but I’m enjoying it so far.

Types and Programming Languages Types and Programming Languages, Benjamin C. Pierce

This is the area I’m interested in doing research in, so I’m trying to get a leg up on some of the fundamentals before I start grad school. It seems like a really great book so far (I’m on chapter 11 or something like that).

The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicle 2: Generating All Tuples and Permutations The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4, Fascicles 2 and 4, Donald E. Knuth

w00t! Knuth rocks.

Inversions Inversions, Scott Kim

Scott Kim’s mathematically-influenced word art is amazing.

Exercises in Visual Thinking Proofs without Words: Exercises in Visual Thinking, Roger B. Nelson

This is a neat book full of visual proofs. Hopefully it can provide me with some interesting material for my other blog.

Nature's Greatest Secret The Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest Secret, Scott Olsen

Ditto for this one. Also, Wooden Books (the publisher) makes really beautiful books — you can tell they pay a lot of attention to things like typesetting, layout, and materials.

Flight, Volume OneFlight, Volume Three Flight, Volumes 1 and 3, Various (Kazu Kibuishi, ed.)

I can’t say I am some huge graphic novel fan or anything, but I really like these collections of graphic-novel-short-stories.

An Indian History of the American West Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, Dee Brown

Got this one from my uncle, who always gives us interesting books. This one looks difficult, but interesting and important. I’m really looking forward to reading it in that this-probably-won’t-be-fun-but-it-will-be-good sort of way.

About Brent

Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Hendrix College. Functional programmer, mathematician, teacher, pianist, follower of Jesus.
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3 Responses to Books!

  1. Harmen says:

    Funny how you skip Flight #2 since it’s indeed the least interesting one.

  2. Brent says:

    Well, we already had #2. I don’t think I’m familiar enough with their contents, considered as a whole, to be able to render judgments on their interestingness, so I’ll have to take your word for it. =)

  3. pozorvlak says:

    Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee is very good, but it’s explicitly revisionist, and deliberately goes too far on some issues to counter the prevailing view: if you don’t already know some of the history of the American West, you might end up confused and thinking things like “who was this Kit Carson guy, and can he really have been as bad as all that?” Answer: no, he probably wasn’t, but nor was he as good as the standard accounts would tell you.

    Categories for the Working Mathematician‘s a tricky one. I mean, it’s a great book, and I use it all the time, but it’s much better for reference than it is for learning the material for the first time (and don’t worry too much about all the business with universes in Chapter 1). There are also some inexplicable omissions, like Lawvere theories. I often find Borceux’s Handbook of Categorical Algebra more useful, but that’s one to get out of the library! Try Googling for “category theory lecture notes”…

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