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Academic Guidance Academic Guidance - Academic guidance for those pursuing a college degree... what college? Grad school? PhD help?


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January 9th, 2014, 02:15 AM   #1
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Pre-Refresh/Catchup for upcoming Discrete Math Uni Course

Hello all

I am studying Software Development at University and while my programming language grasp has been excellent, my math at this level is pretty much abysmal...

I am starting second year of a three year course and I now have to do Discrete Math as part of the course. Now, I have already attempted this course as I started mid-year and had to choose something out of normal sequence and it was this.. Bluntly, I failed... very depressing for me as I have D and HD for all other subjects so far...

Attempting again this semester, in 2 months time and I want to be better prepared. Some background on me:
I am 37 years old, and last time i done anything directly maths related was in Year 12 back in 1994... (I failed the math subject back then too, so it wasn't a good subject)
Even though I failed, I do find general math a non-issue and actually enjoy it, my problem I believe is largely beyond standard Algebra. (Prior to the year 12 course, i had always done well in math)
I get confused once notations become involved as I have not really done anything, shall i term it, "Formulaic"...

What I believe I need most is either a book or lecture video that explains what meanings behind anything beyond basic algebra are and their notations..

An example of what occurred last attempt at this subject:
The lecturer wrote on the board some algorithm that had a log (logarithm) within it.. I had never had any understanding of such things and the lecturer gave no explanation of the structure of the algorithm other than the required answer in context of the problem asked. This is no good for me as I cant understand the solution if i cannot understand the problem...
I was astonished when i watched an opencourseware MIT lecture on introduction to proofs and the lecturer actually taught instead of what out lecturer did, was so good to see an explanation of the notations he used...

So the advise I am seeking is, where do i start to refresh? It has been so many years since any prior math course, i could not tell you what my "level" of math comprehension is, so i don't know where to start.. I look at some books or videos on sets, matrices etc (All part of the Discrete Math course I am doing) and i seem to always come across a part where it seems i am expected to understand some notation or expression, and i simply don't...

Please do not ask me to seek the University's assistance, as their assistance, from last time i attempted, was literally "go down the corridor and turn right, there is a guy there that gives assistance to students", and of course had about 10 students lined up waiting for assistance already... I did, at that time, pay for a tutor, which did help immensely in giving me understanding of Sets and Matrices, but am hoping to avoid a tutor as they can only really help in the current problem, and not give refresh up to where i am at.. ( Unless i want to pay them for many more hours to refresh... )

I am really looking for PRE Discrete Math, and what is expected to be known before attempting this subject. If i can understand the basic principles of the problem, I am capable of learning the subject.

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for some valued opinions.
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July 17th, 2014, 09:03 PM   #2
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Yes discrete math is not easy one. Well lots of online videos and math course online sites available there to describe you about the subject so you do not need to think much more about it. Few math videos are very good about discrete math and you will feel that a good tutor is helping you.
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