School of Mathematical Sciences

What should I read over the summer before starting my degree course? menu

What should I read over the summer before starting my degree course?

What should I read over the summer before starting my degree course?

We don't expect students to buy or read any specific books before the start of the course, although the general interest maths books by authors such as Simon Singh, Martin Gardner, Janna Levin and Ian Stewart are worth reading. You might also like to browse the excellent Plus magazine. (One of the editors, Marianne Freiberger, was a PhD student and then a research fellow in the School of Mathematical Sciences at Queen Mary.) However, if you want to do some more specific reading then look at the reading lists for our level-4 semester-A modules by clicking on the module codes in our online module list and then clicking on the "Reading list" link at the bottom of each module details page. Our main recommended module texts should be available in the Queen Mary bookshop at the start of each academic year, which is where and when we normally expect most students to obtain their books, although of course you are free to shop elsewhere. We expect all our new students to buy a specific text book (Thomas' Calculus) that covers our calculus courses (Calculus I and II in the first year, and part of Calculus III in the second year) and is tied to an interactive maths web site (MyMathLab). We offer the latest edition of this book plus an access code for the web site at a discount price in September, so it is not advisable to buy it in advance (or secondhand).

Schaum's Outline series of text books are good, and usually available very cheaply from Amazon. The following should be relevant, depending on your chosen course, and should provide useful optional background.

A-level revision (and beyond):

First-year university (and beyond):

Another relevant book is A Concise Introduction to Pure Mathematics.