1.5 How to Use this Book
You will find exercises scattered throughout the chapters. The idea is that these should be completed when encountered to ensure that you have understood central concepts and ideas before continuing. There are more exercises in the second part of the book as it covers more technical topics than the first.
I have tried to write in a style that makes it possible to follow the book on one's own. This is also the reason why it is relatively light on mathematics. The amount of mathematics taught at the undergraduate level varies greatly between different fields, so some readers will be less familiar with mathematical concepts than others. Since it is not an end in itself to have to struggle with these concepts, I have tried to be inclusive rather than exclusive in the way that these are presented. This probably means that students in the engineering and physical sciences will be slightly bored by some passages. If you feel that they are not helpful, you should of course feel free to skip over them.
Although most chapters should be quite straightforward to read, some parts are necessarily more technical than others. When reading Chapters 7 through 9 you will probably need to switch to a lower gear and possibly re-read some passages to get through. Do not lose heart over this. It is not your fault that some parts of the terrain are rougher than others.
Many of the computational exercises in this book refer to worksheet functions in Microsoft Excel®. The reason ...