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April 26th, 2014, 08:29 AM  #1 
Member Joined: Aug 2012 Posts: 41 Thanks: 0  I suck at university math
Hey there, I have a problem: As soon as I get asked to prove something, I get it all wrong. So how does this work? When I was in college, a math teacher once told me "You don't understand math, you get used to it" It's just terribly frustrating to do problems and then have the impression to have only a passing understanding of it. It feels like I am spinning my wheels. I think I got one or two and it took me a ridiculous amount of time to get them. When I read the answer to the proof problems, eventually, it all makes sense, but I can't seem to come up with the answers on my own. 
April 26th, 2014, 02:23 PM  #2 
Math Team Joined: Apr 2012 Posts: 1,579 Thanks: 22 
Start with some simple proofs and work through them until, as your instructor said, you get used to thinking out a proof strategy. Any special subfield of mathematics that you are interested in? 
April 27th, 2014, 04:22 AM  #3  
Senior Member Joined: Dec 2013 From: Russia Posts: 327 Thanks: 108 
Could you describe your difficulty more precisely, perhaps with examples? You are saying that you have problems with writing proofs, but from this quote: Quote:
Quote:
Problems with proofs also fall into two kinds. Some proofs require ingenuity, a nonobvious trick. This skill is acquired only with practice, and some people and better at it than others. On the other hand, I see lots of attempts on math forums that just break the basic rules of proofs. They are similar to writings with many spelling and grammatical errors. If a person has a dictionary and makes an effort to learn the rules, he/she can definitely become better at it. There are books that teach writing proofs. Please consult this and linked questions on math.stackexcchange.com.  
April 27th, 2014, 06:39 PM  #4 
Math Team Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 7,675 Thanks: 2655 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra  
May 26th, 2014, 07:53 AM  #5 
Senior Member Joined: Jul 2013 From: United Kingdom Posts: 471 Thanks: 40 
What problems are you having difficulties with? Can you be more specific? What would you like to prove? 

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