Online courses and textbooks I recommend

IMO textbooks are pretty terrible for self-study, primarily because they’re written to complement lecture-notes at universities. They’re full of unnecessary detail because they’re effectively a back-up reference, and the problems are generally poorly thought out (compared to say questions you’d get when studying, where the prof needs to make sure the questions are doable and cover the most important parts of the course).



And William W. Cohen’s A Computer Scientist’s Guide to Cell Biology.




Calculus by Michael Spivak. Note: you absolutely need somebody to guide you/help with the problems from the book. The Correct™ way to self-study books like this is to email a professor at a local college and ask them if they could help you with stuff you don’t understand and problems (hint: they will be happy to help).

Linear algebra





Probability Theory and Statistics

Interesting resources I haven’t looked at closely: intro to stats for neuroscientists

How to study with online courses?

Online courses are not a panacea. When you take a university course, you have:

Note that online courses don’t provide seminars and office hours, which are frequently even more important than the lectures themselves! When I try to self-study anything I get stuck on material all the time and when I took Calculus, Linear Algebra, Statistics, etc. in the university I visited office hours almost religiously.

What is the alternative to office hours and seminars? It seems that the only viable alternatives are

None of these are perfect.


Further reading

Ask HN: Top Coursera Courses? (a)

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