Formal Sciences Books

As in other parts of the Direct Knowledge website, formal sciences is one of five main sections of material. Other sections including applied sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences,, are also available to help build knowledge and skills in all areas. The section of formal sciences books contains the five further categories of accounting, actuarial science, computer science, math, and programming.

Formal Sciences Books - Math teacher drawing fuction graph on a blackboard during mathclass shallow DOF, color toned image

There is one common trait joining these categories as part of the formal sciences: Each studies formal language that describes formal systems. Math, statistics, general logic, and other similar fields all need a formal language for us to work in and understand them. The formal sciences give us those languages, and the formal sciences books here help you master them.

Behind the Cover

Unlike books in the natural sciences, the books in formal sciences won’t focus on studying the natural world to better understand it. Rather, these books study systems designed to categorize certain areas. They help scientists in other areas by giving them better ways to describe findings or develop inferences about them.


For example, accounting is often referred to as the “language of business”. Understanding it is critical to effectively measuring, processing, and communicating findings on finances of businesses. The financial accounting books on Direct Knowledge work on teaching this language and how to apply it in the field. Books such as Financial Accounting and Principles of Financial Accounting even include practice problems to reinforce the knowledge. Some books are designed specifically for beginners or students in college. Others are perfectly suited for experienced professionals just looking to learn something new or even brush up on the fundamentals.

Actuarial Science

Similar to accounting, actuarial science relies on the language of math and statistics. It also often focuses on the field of finance, but can play important roles in other areas such as insurance, natural hazards, and pensions. Formal sciences books in the area of actuarial science focus on minimizing risk through understanding a range of topics such as probability theory and economics. Risk Management for Enterprises and Individuals is somewhat of a one-size-fits-all when it comes to avoiding risk. It’s great for professionals with big decisions to make that affect many other people. But it can also serve as a great introduction to the topic for people who are new to it.

Computer Science

You won’t find a lot of really old formal sciences books in this category as computer science relatively new. But that doesn’t stop it from being immensely popular and prolific. Computers are the way of the future (and the present), so understanding how to use them is critical for many. The field looks at developing programs that represent the interactions between processes and data by using algorithms. These processes allow us to make incredible computations and create intricate digital masterpieces. An Introduction to Web Development and Programming will give you an idea of how computer languages help create things like web pages and computer applications. Books such as this one introduce various tools to beginners. These tools let them follow along one step at a time in practicing their own web development.


Anyone looking to get into computer science will also surely need to check out formal sciences books specifically on programming. This category provides various books on individual programming languages. Each language has its own benefits and quirks, so it’s always good to have at least a few under your belt. Some of the most popular languages are Python, Java, JavaScript, and R. Books such as Think Python can give anyone a good introduction to the topic with hands-on exercises and challenges. Think Java offers the same opportunities for Java, and Eloquent JavaScript is there to help make sure you don’t get the two very different languages confused. There are also books that focus on the parts of languages that commonly cause problems for new students. Linear Regression Using R looks at data modeling in R and the specific tricks that can help you grasp the language.

These formal sciences books help students grasp the fundamentals of computer science to prepare them for more challenging concepts. They start with the math and algorithms that make the language run, so the student can then use the language. More advanced use of these concepts leads students to creating their own applications.


Potentially the most fundamental formal science, math plays a crucial role in all of the others listed here. It has been around for millennia in many cultures, modern and ancient. Some of the math we use today comes from these ancient cultures. But much of the math we used today has come from great refinement over time, especially in the past few centuries.

Math gives us various formal languages that help us identify and use patterns. The formal language it uses is made of numbers and symbols. These numbers and symbols allow for representing abstract concepts and logic itself. But getting to such abstract ideas can be tough if you don’t understand the language. Like any language, it can be tough to learn and require a large time commitment. But the formal sciences books here are often designed to help students struggling with the sometimes complicated concepts. They focus on certain tough areas and reinforce the ideas with practice problems, diagrams, and examples.

The series of Calculus 1, 2, and 3, provide a thorough guide through the topic. And, these books follow the common structure of college classes, making them great supplements for either school or independent study. Other math topics include Proofs, Intro to Number Theory, and Intro to Linear Algebra. Through them, you’ll learn the fundamentals of math as well as some of the ways they apply to practical situations.

An Informal Way to Learn Formal Sciences

The formal sciences books here give you a way to learn these topics in the way that’s best for you. The eBook format allows easy access anytime, anywhere. And, the practice problems and examples found in many of the books give you the chance to put your knowledge to the test, but all at your own pace.

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