For Academic Oriented Students with (some or lots of) Spare Time


I would like to suggest a few books for young and curious students who are looking for some academic fun. I reserve the right to be wrong with these suggestions. J


When I was a student (late 20th century and the beginnings of 21st) I was constantly having difficulty in finding the “right book.” (I still have the same difficulty. I am always open to suggestions.) We did not have the internet in those days and no one was telling me that “if you like this, why don’t you try that.” and the books that I have found in the library were either too easy or too hard for my information level.


Today the same challenge is still there and perhaps it is even worse. The number of sources have exploded along with the number of distractions, i.e. internet, facebook, msn, divx movies, etc. Finding the right information source without getting distracted by something more eye catching is much more difficult today. I don’t want a few good students to give up during this search and have decided to present a list of suggestions to, hopefully, help them.


The following is a list of some textbooks (or books) that I believe is of importance and suitable for you once you are done with the related courses in our curriculum.  


  1. Probability:

The probability theory is difficult. But it is indeed very much fun once you can cross the initial potential barrier. Most books on the topic explain the same stuff that you have been told in our EE230 and/or EE306 courses, but they do a little bit differently. The difference can be so tiny that only a highly trained eye can spot it and that is the goal actually, finding the differences! It is like hearing the same Nasreddin Hoca joke that you have heard millions of times, but hoping for the guy telling the joke to make it with a new twist. This introduction should not misguide you, the devil is, as usual, in the detail. You can never master the depth of  Nasreddin Hoca jokes well enough neither the probability theory.

·        [Ross-I] A first course in probability / Sheldon Ross. QA273 .R83 2010 (Ross has always excellent examples. A highly recommended read)

·        [Ross-II] Introduction to probability models / Sheldon M. Ross. QA273 .R84 2003 (A little bit more advanced than Ross-I. Adds onto excellent examples. Another must-read)

·        [Papoulis] Probability, random variables, and stochastic processes Athanasios Papoulis, QA273 .P2 1991. (Great book. Difficult to read. Highly recommended to get an early start)

·        [Cinlar] Introduction to stochastic processes, Erhan Cinlar, QA274 .C56 (After taking EE306, you may enjoy the little niceties of this book. Author is Turkish.)

·        [Gallager] Discrete stochastic processes, by R. Gallager. QA274 .G35 1996 (A little advanced, but I have not seen some of the topics mentioned in this book elsewhere. Has clear introduction to some difficult topics.)


  1. Signal Processing:

·        [Nahin] Dr. Euler's fabulous formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills, Paul J. Nahin. QA255.N33 2006  (This is an excellent book complementing EE 301 course. This book discusses the basics of Fourier series, Fourier integral and many other little jewels. It is very highly recommended to students of all ages interested in signal processing. Should be available in the school bookstore.)

·         [Papoulis-I] Signal analysis / Athanasios Papoulis. TK5102.5 .P35 (This book looks at signal processing from Papoulis’ viewpoint. He is a giant in this field. I personally value his work very highly.)

·        [Papoulis-II] The Fourier integral and its applications./ Athanasios Papoulis QA404 .P32 (This book is more suitable once you are done with EE301. You don’t need EE430 knowledge.)


  1. Maths

·        [Lancaster] The theory of matrices : with applications / Peter Lancaster, Miron Tismenetsky. QA263 .L34 1985 (Linear algebra book. I have learned and still learning linear algebra from this book. Good supplement to Gilbert Strang’s linear algebra textbook.)

·        [Lax] Linear Algebra and its applications / Peter Lax. QA184.2 .L38 2007 (This book is recommended by Emre (Emre Tuna). I have yet checked this book. I will do that soon.)

·        [Arnold] Mathematical methods of classical mechanics / V.I. Arnold ; translated by K. Vogtmann and A. Weinstein. QA805 .A6813 1989. This book is recommended by Emre. This one can be more advanced than others. I will examine the book soon.)

·        [Kumanduri] Number theory with computer applications / Ramanujachary Kumanduri, Cristina Romero. QA241 .K85  (Nice to read. Be aware that you may not use this information at all as an EE engineer; but you may enjoy learning it, that is the whole point!)

·        [Byron] Mathematics of classical and quantum physics Frederick W. Byron and Jr., Robert W. Fuller. QC20 .B91 (This is the same mathematics that we use in engineering. May require some more maths background beyond the differential equations course.)

·        [Luenberger] Optimization by vector space methods / David G. Luenberger. QA402.5 .L8 1990 (Requires some functional analysis background. Can be a difficult read if you do not have any functional analysis knowledge)

·        [Rudin] Functional analysis / Walter Rudin. QA320 .R83 1991 (This is as gentle as it gets introduction to the functional analysis. The standard textbook on the topic.)

  1. Physics

·        [Books of French] French's Books French has many books such as Newtonian Mechanics, Vibrations and Waves and An Introduction to Quantum Physics. I can recommend all of them. But especially the “Vibrations and Waves” QC235 .F74 can make you appreciate the undergraduate circuits and electromagnetics courses that you have taken. If you enjoy this topic, I am definitely sure you will also enjoy Prof. Walter Lewin videos teaching Vibrations and Waves from the same textbook, MIT-OCW 8.03 (Lecture Videos).  (Also see videos of 8.01 and 8.02)

·        [Feynman] Feyman Lectures in Physics is a classic. It is in three volumes. Lectures are edited transcripts of real lectures given by Feynman in Caltech. Feynman does not teach you how to solve physics problems, but tells you how he interprets these problems and how he approaches them. The solution is the most boring part. It feels like watching a very talented surgeon or watchmaker/repairmen in action! Sometimes very thrilling. Feynman is, needless to say, a giant in this field. QC23 .F47 2005  

  1. Control

I do not work in the control field and have little to no experience in the graduate level topics of control field. Please consider asking the suggestions of a control field professor in our department, if you are really serious in your reading.

·        [Luenberger] Introduction to dynamic systems : theory, models, and applications / Luenberger, QA402 .L84 (This book is very charming and quite easy to read. I can recommend it once you are done with EE 302. Luenberger is a giant in this field.)