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Title. I am looking for intuitive, light introductions. Evan Chen's Napkin isn't cutting it this time.
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Fulton and Harris is the standard reference. However, if you're looking for something more grounded I'd personally recommend steinberg's "Representation theory of finite groups : an introductory approach." You only need to know some basic linear algebra to get started.
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I liked Introduction to representation theory by Pavel Etingof, Oleg Golberg, Sebastian Hensel, Tiankai Liu, Alex Schwendner, Dmitry Vaintrob, and Elena Yudovina
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I’ve recently been working through Vinberg’s “Linear Representations of Groups”. His book has a wonderful “chapter 0” where he introduces the key ideas and emphasizes their power, and he loves the geometric. He also later talks about Laplace’s spherical functions from the representation-theoretic viewpoint. That said, it still takes some work to master his text, and he has some hard exercises along with some easy ones.
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