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Is acceptable requesting books and materials for mathematical classes? Any body may need some textbooks or any materials for mathematics education. Can we accept this questions as high quality expert level questions ?

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  • $\begingroup$ I am very interested in an answer to this question, and it has been my experience that book recommendations (always plural!) are often critical for finding a way forwards in the process of self-education. $\endgroup$ – user89 Mar 18 '14 at 21:15
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In my opinion we should welcome focused and specific requests for suggestion of books and related resource.

By contrast, question that solicit nothing more than a search for the obvious terms in a catalogue would yield, should be put on hold until made more focused.

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In general, I am against asking for book recommendations on this site simply because it is extremely easy to search for books on any subject and get reviews of those books. Instead of posting a question, searching on Amazon or a university's book store should yield more than enough information for the average person.

On the other hand, if someone is trying to find additional materials that are not covered in a textbook and cursory searches have yielded nothing of value, asking a question to find what other educators have used might be acceptable. Though I don't anticipate this type of thing coming up very often.

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    $\begingroup$ @David_G You are right, but in the experience viewpoint educators should know which book or material have effect on students. Also searching in internet return millions of results that decision based on them needs be expert. $\endgroup$ – Huseyin Mar 19 '14 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Huseyin I don't know if most educators are experienced with more books than just what they've used. I would be most interested to find out, but if it's not part of a course they've taught or took, I don't think they would know more than a reviewer on Amazon... $\endgroup$ – David G Mar 19 '14 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ @David_G You are correct. But I think sometime one question may be specific and it needs to be replied by experienced persons, must be exist here. But ordinary subjects like as derivatives and limits can be found anywhere, then this type of question can not be qualified topic. $\endgroup$ – Huseyin Mar 19 '14 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ @David_G I disagree. Some books don't have reviews on amazon, specially new ones. It's easy to get caught up in old references, as in this question. In my experience most people don't go through a bibliography search (even online), and calling others to chime in greatly reduces the effort in finding an actually usable book. $\endgroup$ – Mark Fantini Mar 22 '14 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Fantini is that something we want to encourage? $\endgroup$ – David G Mar 23 '14 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ @David_G I didn't express myself well. According to what I said, you're right, that's not behavior we want to encourage. What I tried to say was that an extensive bibliography search does not reveal which books are useful or at the right level for your purposes. Reviews are highly subjective and you may be led into a trap. This is when the questioning comes handy: others may have done the same mistake or found exactly what they wanted (hopefully what you desire as well). Pooling these comments help you make a better informed decision. $\endgroup$ – Mark Fantini Mar 23 '14 at 23:59

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