Maths: A Student's Survival Guide

A Self-Help Workbook for Science and Engineering Students by Jenny Olive

What the cover to the new edition looks like

Welcome to my book home page!
This is the cover of the second edition, published in September 2003 by Cambridge University Press.

I've made this webpage and its links to explain what my book is for, and how it might help. I wrote it particularly to fill in the gaps which some first-year college and university students have. It's designed so that it can be used by people working on their own, so all the exercises have full solutions. Also, I've used forwards and backwards references to link topics together as much as possible so as to show their uses and how they affect each other. My book should help anyone who is having a bumpy ride with their maths.
The new edition includes some changes and additions in the text, arising from reader feedback and suggestions. I've also added a new chapter on vectors which is based on my web vector pages. Putting them in book form has made it possible to expand them and add lots of examples and problems. The book costs £19.95 in the UK and $40.00 in the USA.

What people have said about the first edition.

I've put some useful advice on getting started (and successfully continuing!) in
help with starting maths problems.

If you've got any comments or suggestions I'd be pleased to hear from you.
You can email me by taking out the xyz from but please don't send attachments as I don't open them. The xyz is against robot viruses.

a cat with a mouse

The links below give full details of the contents of each chapter.

  1. Basic algebra: some reminders of how it works
  2. Graphs and equations
  3. Relations and functions
  4. Some trigonometry and geometry of triangles and circles
  5. Extending trigonometry to angles of any size
  6. Sequences and series
  7. Binomial series and proof by induction
  8. Differentiation
  9. Integration
  10. Complex numbers
  11. Working with vectors   NEW in the second edition

I am planning to put extra bits here connected to the different chapters. Here are the first two.

Having this site means that I can easily put right any mistakes which have slipped through my checking. I'm doing this in corrections. (Most recently added to in January 2002)
All of these have been put right in the new edition.
Just in case I find any mistakes in the 2nd edition, I'll put the corrections in 2nd edition corrections.
I'm also using my website as a way of sharing some other mathematical stuff which I've written.
There are now three sets of linked pages:

Maths Help ... working with vectors
Introducing groups and symmetry
Maths Help ... working with percentages
I wrote this set of pages to help non-mathematical students with numeracy tests.

Thanks for visiting my web pages. I hope you'll come again!

cheerful dog
Last updated January 13th 2004