Math Refresher Books

When I started the first page of Spherical Astronmy by Robin M Green, I realized I couldn’t remember any of my high school math.  Wow, I remember being so good at math!  I took AP Calculus in high school and know can’t remember what a cosine is.

So, I searched around Amazon and found a great series of books called Master Math by Debra Anne Ross.  I got the books on Basic Math & Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry.  I started reading them with the intent of reading the entire books.  But, after a while, I realized that most of this I would probably forget again and I didn’t know which parts applied to astronomy.  So, I ended up skimming them.  Winking smile

I also got one of other books called Precalculus Mathematics in a Nutshell by George F. Simmons.  Though the book was really short, it was really to the point and made for a nice summary.  This will provide a good basis for my work on the Astronomy Calculator.

Astronomy Calculator Reasons and Goals

Astronomy Calculator was an inspiration.  Unfortunately, I get remember the exact circumstances for that inspiration.

One part probably has to do when I was brainstorming about building mobile astronomy apps and realized it would be cool to display the time of sunset.  I did some Google searching and couldn’t find a service that I could use.  So, I thought I would probably have to build my own.  I did some research and found a few books on astronomical calculations.  Thus, Astronomy Calculator was born.

The second part had to do with theory and thus math.  In my daydreaming about astronomy, I realized that predominately I wanted to look up at the sky.  But, then I figured I would want to know why.  So, I did some research into astronomical theory and found a book.  However, I quickly learned that my math skills were rusty so more books where needed as a refresher.

My goals for Astronomy Calculator are two-fold.  First, I want to create a series of astronomical calculations to ask questions about astronomy, the stars, the moon, the planets, and the sun.  I want these calculations to be easy and straightforward.  Secondly, I was learn how to do web programming to put this all online.  If you are interesting in the technical details, I am blogging at ML2 Solutions on these topics.