Good (must) reads

Before I go to bed, on a raining day or when I am alone, I like to read. From Fantasy Books to Magazines. However, after finishing university I started reading more self-help and professional books. Since then I have read numerous books. As such, I want to share the list below with you which I believe is worth reading when you are interested in professional development.

  • Getting Things Done by David Allen

Should need no introduction. It is the book on productivity and effectiveness in your daily work. It rests on the idea of moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable work items. This allows attention to be focused on taking action on tasks, instead of recalling them.

  • Strenghts Finder by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton

A self-help book about finding your own talents which result in an individual’s tendency to develop certain skills more easily and excel in certain fields in a sustainable way while failing or not being able to sustain success or high levels of effectiveness in other fields. However, note that each talent also has pitfalls.

  • One Minut Manager by Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson

A very short book about three techniques of an effective manager: one-minute goals, one-minute praisings and one-minute reprimands.

  • I don’t have to make everything all better by Gary B. Lundberg & Joy S. Lundberg

A book about effective communication with your partner, children, friends, parents, colleagues and anyone else. The book addresses an all too common dilemma that arises when others expect you to solve their problems for them. The book is refreshingly straightforward and inspiring using entertaining.

  • Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter & Holger Rathgeber

A must read about change management. It tells the story of a colony of penguins facing a dilemma. But contained within the story and the characters is a powerful message about the fear of change and how to motivate people to face the future and take action.

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Like Getting’s Things Done and the One-Minute-Manager, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a self-help book about effectiveness. As the title says it explains 7 habits how one self can be more effective in both personal as professional life. It is a bestselling book and a must read for everyone who wants to work in becoming more effective.

  • The Emotional DNA by Pierre Capel

The book to understand emotions and where they come from. Feelings namely do not exist, they emerge. When we talk about our feelings, we know exactly what we are talking about. But if we want to know how they emerge, where they come from and what they do to us, then we are not so sure. For many people, feelings are like a fog that floats through our body. But is that true? Feelings are linked to a rock-solid biochemistry, that has an enormous impact on our functioning.

  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Twenty-Five Hundred years ago, Sun Tzu wrote this classic book of military strategy based on Chinese warfare and military thought. Since that time, all levels of military have used the teaching on Sun Tzu to warfare and civilization have adapted these teachings for use in politics, business and everyday life. The Art of War is a book which should be used to gain advantage of opponents in the boardroom and battlefield alike. The Art of War is still a recommended read for military officers in training.

  • How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

The bestselling book of Dale Carnegie’s about proper day-to-day communication. Its advice has remained constant and applicable across the years for a reason. It’s simple and his techniques make perfect sense. Definitely a must-read.

High quality interesting freely publicly available e-books

During my studies at the Eindhoven University of Technology some professors have been referring to freely available e-books. Some of these are mentioned here, others I just did find useful for other reasons. I tend to expand this list whenever I find an freely publicly e-book which I think is worth sharing.

Please contact me if one of the links is broken.

A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation

By Richard Murray, Zexiang Li and Shankar Sastry

A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation presents a mathematical formulation of the kinematics, dynamics, and control of robot manipulators. It uses an elegant set of mathematical tools that emphasizes the geometry of robot motion and allows a large class of robotic manipulation problems to be analyzed within a unified framework. The foundation of the book is a derivation of robot kinematics using the product of the exponentials formula. The authors explore the kinematics of open-chain manipulators and multifingered robot hands, present an analysis of the dynamics and control of robot systems, discuss the specification and control of internal forces and internal motions, and address the implications of the nonholonomic nature of rolling contact are addressed, as well. The wealth of information, numerous examples, and exercises make A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation valuable as both a reference for robotics researchers and a text for students in advanced robotics courses.


Mathematical Control Theory

By Eduardo Sontag

Mathematics is playing an ever more important role in the physical and biological sciences, provoking a blurring of boundaries between scientific disciplines and a resurgence of interest in the modern as well as the classical techniques of applied mathematics. This renewal of interest, both in research and teaching, has led to the establishment of the series Texts in Applied Mathematics (TAM). The development of new courses is a natural consequence of a high level of excitement on the research frontier as newer techniques, such as numerical and symbolic computer systems, dynamical systems, and chaos, mix with and rein force the traditional methods of applied mathematics. Thus, the purpose of this textbook series is to meet the current and future needs of these advances and to encourage the teaching of new courses. TAM will publish textbooks suitable for use in advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate courses, and will complement the Applied Mathematics Sciences (AMS) series, which will focus on advanced textbooks and research-level monographs. v Preface to the Second Edition The most significant differences between this edition and the first are as follows: Additional chapters and sections have been written, dealing with: nonlinear controllability via Lie-algebraic methods, variational and numerical approaches to nonlinear control, including a brief introduction to the Calculus of Variations and the Minimum Principle, – time-optimal control of linear systems, feedback linearization (single-input case), nonlinear optimal feedback, controllability of recurrent nets, and controllability of linear systems with bounded controls.


Synchronization and Linearity : An Algebra for Discrete Event Systems

By François Baccelli, Guy Cohen, Geert Jan Olsder and Jean-Pierre Quadrat

This book proposes a unified mathematical treatment of a class of ‘linear’ discrete event systems, which contains important subclasses of Petri nets and queuing networks with synchronization constraints. The linearity has to be understood with respect to nonstandard algebraic structures, e.g. the ‘max-plus algebra’. A calculus is developed based on such structures, which is followed by tools for computing the time behaviour to such systems. This algebraic vision lays the foundation of a bona fide ‘discrete event system theory’, which is shown to parallel the classical linear system theory in several ways. This class of synchronized systems finds its main current industrial applications in the modeling, optimization and control of communications networks, computer architectures, manufacturing and transportation systems. The book should hence appeal to students and researchers in probability-statistics, applied mathematics, (industrial and electrical) engineering, operations research, as well as computer and management scientists.


Convex Optimization

By  Stephen Boyd and Lieven Vandenberghe

Convex optimization problems arise frequently in many different fields. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject, and shows in detail how such problems can be solved numerically with great efficiency. The focus of the book is on recognizing convex optimization problems and then finding the most appropriate technique for solving them. It contains many worked examples and homework exercises and will appeal to students, researchers and practitioners in fields such as engineering, computer science, mathematics, statistics, finance, and economics.


Linear Matrix Inequalities in System and Control Theory

By Stephen Boyd, Laurent El Ghaoui, Eric Feron, and Venkataraman Balakrishnan

In this book the authors reduce a wide variety of problems arising in system and control theory to a handful of convex and quasiconvex optimization problems that involve linear matrix inequalities. These optimization problems can be solved using recently developed numerical algorithms that not only are polynomial-time but also work very well in practice; the reduction therefore can be considered a solution to the original problems. This book opens up an important new research area in which convex optimization is combined with system and control theory, resulting in the solution of a large number of previously unsolved problems.


A Brief Introduction to Neural Networks

By David Kriesel

Neural networks are a bio-inspired mechanism of data processing, that enables computers to learn technically similar to a brain and even generalize once solutions to enough problem instances are tought. The manuscript “A Brief Introduction to Neural Networks” is divided into several parts, that are again split to chapters. Part I: From Biology to Formalization — Motivation, Philosophy, History and Realization of Neural Models. Part II: Supervised learning Network Paradigms. Part III: Unsupervised learning Network Paradigms. Part IV: Excursi, Appendices and Registers.


The Feynman Lectures on Physics

By Richard Phillips Feynman, Robert Benjamin Leighton and Matthew Sands

This revised edition of Feynman’s legendary lectures includes extensive corrections Feynman and his colleagues received and Caltech approved, making this the definitive edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. For all readers interested in physics.


Motion Mountain the adventure of physics

By Christoph Schiller

Motion Mountain is an entertaining and free e-book in six pdf files introducing physics – the science of motion. Explore the motion of wheels, birds, lightning, planets, light and empty space itself! Be fascinated by the beauty of nature and by the concepts of modern physics, from the principle of cosmic laziness – least action – to gauge symmetry!