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Recommended readings for PRIMES applicants and students




Sandor Lehoczky and Richard Rusczyk, The Art of Problem Solving, Vol. 1: the Basics (AoPS, 2006); The Art of Problem Solving, Vol. 2: and Beyond (AoPS, 2006).

Paul Zeitz, The Art and Craft of Problem Solving, 2nd ed. (Wiley, 2006).

A Decade of the Berkeley Math Circle: The American Experience, edited by Zvezdelina Stankova and Tom Rike (American Mathematical Society, 2008).

Evan Chen, The Napkin project


Linear Algebra


Gilbert Strang, Introduction to Linear Algebra, 4th ed. (Wellesley-Cambridge Press, 2009).

Video lectures by Prof. Gilbert Strang on MIT OpenCourseWare.

More advanced reading (abstract linear algebra):

Sheldon Axler, Linear Algebra Done Right, 3rd ed. (Springer, 2015).

Sergei Treil, Linear Algebra Done Wrong

Isaiah Lankham, Bruno Nachtergaele and Anne Schilling, Linear Algebra - As an Introduction to Abstract Mathematics (Lecture Notes for MAT67, UC Davis, 2007).


Abstract Algebra


Algebra Fact Sheet

V.B. Alekseev, Abel’s Theorem in Problems and Solutions (Kluwer, 2004).

Joseph Gallian, Contemporary Abstract Algebra, 7th ed. (Brooks Cole, 2009).

More advanced reading:

Michael Artin, Algebra, 2nd ed. (Addison Wesley, 2010).


Number Theory


Ivan Niven, Herbert S. Zuckerman, and Hugh L. Montgomery, An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers, 5th ed. (Wiley Text Books, 1991).

Harold Davenport, The Higher Arithmetic: An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers, 7th ed. (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

Lecture notes and assignments for the course 18.781, Theory of Numbers, by Prof. Abhinav Kumar, on MIT OpenCourseWare.




Miklos Bona, A Walk Through Combinatorics: An Introduction to Enumeration and Graph Theory, 2nd ed. (World Scientific, 2006).

More advanced reading:

Richard P. Stanley, Enumerative Combinatorics, Vol. 1, 2nd ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2011).


Knot Theory


Colin Adams, The Knot Book (American Mathematical Society, 2004).


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