Data science bootcamp - Mathematics prerequisites

Hello everyone,

I’m currently specialized in HR, and the time has come for me to try new things that suit me better. For this, I am aiming for a data science bootcamp, which requires a minimum level in mathematics to integrate the training.

Here is what is stated on the site:
“In order to join our Data Science course, you also need a minimum level in Mathematics and to be familiar with concepts covered in high school’s scientific section. We need you to be comfortable with functions, their derivatives & systems of linear equations”.

The context is as follows: the technical selection interview should take place around December, and I haven’t touched a math textbook for about 15 years, knowing that it has never really been a favorite subject for me (except now, otherwise I wouldn’t be bothering you with my problems).

So, I’m wondering what I should work on to be, as they say, confortable with:

  • Functions
  • Their derivatives
  • Systems of linear equations

Thanks in advance for your help!

For motivation (as in the why) and inspiration, consider checking out 3blue1brown’s essence of calculus series (3Blue1Brown: Calculus - YouTube). It heavily emphasizes trying to contextualize why calculus is useful and interesting.

For actual technique, daily practice is hard to beat. Check and Paul’s Notes ( for free reference material on calculus. I would read a chapter and try to solve as many problems as possible just for fluency of technique. Note, a lot of the difficulty in calculus comes from using precalculus concepts, so it’s never a bad idea to shift a gear back to review some of those things too. Youtube MIT lectures are good too but maybe after working through the material, since they tend to be sharp.

Systems of linear equations falls under matrix algebra which is a subset of linear algebra. Precalculus books usually have a chapter on this (not very interesting usually). Linear algebra has a solid book by Friedberg, and the MIT lectures by Strang are also key if you want to know the basics well.

Finally, it’s really useful to have a community to freely ask questions with (like this one!). Math stack exchange is a strong forum and there’s also a Mathematics discord if that’s more your cup of tea. Just know that usually for math forums they are big on the poster showing attempts and a constructive critique of what they tried as well as formatting the question properly (like here :slight_smile: )


This is a topic that appears here frequently.

In addition to what @toastedpitabread mentioned, I’d also check out this thread as there are some good suggestions from a CC DS curriculum developer (and former mathematics teacher):

and, as @mtf points out on that thread, learning python (or having a basic understanding of it) is also recommended. You will get a lot of Python learning on the DS path, but, there’s also the Python 3 course here too.