Niwot Ridge Resources

A Source of Information for Mission Critical Systems, Management Processes, and Strategies

Math Books

On the shelf of any professional software engineer should be some number of math books. Without these books, the profession of software developed is reduced to "writing programs." In principle this is not a problem, until it becomes one. A problem of performance analysis, reliability calculation, and general mathematical modeling of systems. Many of these texts I have used in my practice. Others have been used in the class room.

Probability and Statistics

  • Probability and Statistics, Blum and Rosenblatt, 1972. This is an all encompassing text, with calculus based statistics and probability. 
  • Introduction to Probability and Statistics with Reliability, Queuing, and Other Computer Science Applications, Kishor Trivedi, Prentice Hall, 1982. This is the classic computer science math book.
  • Introduction to Probability Models 7th Edition, Sheldon Ross, Academic Press. The text is suited for those wanting to apply probability theory to the study of phenomena in fields such as engineering, management science, the physical and social sciences, and operations research.
  • Advanced Theory of Statistics: Vol 1 Distribution Theory, Kendell and Stuart, McMillan, 1977 is part of a three volume series, which consists of Advanced Theory of Statistics : Bayesian Inference, Vol 2B, Advanced Theory of Statistics : Classical Inference and the Linear Model, Advanced Theory of Statistics : Design and Analysis, and Time-Series. 


  • The classic book on calculus is Thomas. I had one in college, but have since lost it. Good used book stores have them from 5 times the original price.

Queuing Theory

  • Queuing Systems Volume 1: Theory and Volume 2: Computer Applications, Leonard Kleinrock, Academic Press. This are the classic queuing theory books. If you don't own this set, you should have at least heard of them.
  • Simulating Computer Systems: techniques and Tools, M. H. MacDougall, MIT Press. This is a useful book with software included that describes the theory and practice of simulating computer systems.
  • Queues, D. R Cox and Walter L. Smith, Chapman and Hall. This is a foundation book describing the theory of queues and their application.
  • Renewal Theory, D. R. Cox, Methuen's Monographs. This is another foundation book that should be on the shelf. 
  • The Practical Performance Analyst, Neil J. Gunther, McGraw Hill. This book is not really about queues, but is a replacement for queuing theory books used for performance analysis. In this book, systems are assumed to be in macroscopic meta-stable states. With this assumption much of the non–closed form queuing theory problems are removed and a much simpler approach is provided to solving common problems

Systems Modeling


Performance Analysis

General Engineering Math

Differential Equations (both ordinary and partial DEQ's)

Linear Programming


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