Mathematics for X

There are many books with title like Mathematics for X, and you can substitute X for your prefered field. In general, I don’t like such books. Although there are some reasonable ones in terms of the topics they cover and the treatment of the topics, as these ones, they are always terrible to really teach the math theory. To learn calculus, I rather recommend a calculus books, made for teaching Calculus (my prefered is Stewart’s, particularly the English version of Calculus Early Transcendentals), not something called “Calculus for X”. If you want to study real analysis, pick a serius book, as Tao’s or Rubin’s. If you want to learn stats (here is where such books proliferate, unfortunately), pick one with Mathematical Statistics, like Casella and Berger’s. Learn mathematical statistics first, learn how to think like a mathematician or statician, learn the Theory not the rules of thumb.

Many Professors learn Math theory instrumentally, and I think maybe that is one of the reasons economists use weird notations and incorporated them in the field. More often than none, such notations are non standard between mathematicians. Of course many economists are very skilled in applied math. However, I think it is terrible the way Abstract Algebra and discrete methematics are taught in advanced economic courses when students are learning rational choice, social choice, and game theory. Even the treatment of real analysis is a way below the way one should learn such topic. These days I came accros this book. I didn’t check carefully, but it seems to address my disatisfaction with the usage of math notation and manipulation in almost every presentation of classical economic theory that I have seen so far. It is an old book though, so maybe even the Math notation does not like nice there.

References

A. De la Fuente. Mathematical methods and models for economists. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

C. P. Simon and L. Blume. Mathematics for economists, volume 7. Norton New York, 1994.

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