These 3 free books can be your wand, hat, and cauldron.

Pick them up entirely free(!) or as a nice hardbound for the shelf for your step into ML research.

Deep Learning Book

by Ian Goodfellow

This is the book I learned neural networks from scratch with!

This book has three main chapters from ML basics, to neural networks, to ML research.

Cover of the deep learning book

This will look nice on a shelf

There is also a free online version of the deep learning book.

(Me as a broke student appreciated that a bunch…)

Elements of Statistical Learning

by Trevor Hastie

This is the classic.

When people ask me about the statistics of machine learning, I point them to this book. But don’t be fooled. It has great illustrations and structure that make it very accessible.

Get your hardcopy here

Elements of statistics is also available free in all its 12 glorious versions.

Probabalistic Machine Learning

by Kevin Patrick Murphy

Machine learning is often seen as frequentist statistics.

This book aims to provide a Bayesian lense to classic ML algorithms and modern techniques like transfer learning.

Grab a copy of ProbML

This one has a draft version available for free.


For your ML study, observe these books three:

  • Deep Learning Book
  • Elements of Statistical Learning
  • Probabalistic Machine Learning

Filled to the brim with knowledge that’ll get you very far.