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March 5th, 2015, 06:25 PM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Feb 2015 From: Wisconsin Posts: 6 Thanks: 0  Weird question about my math learning experience
First off I'm at Calculus 1 and an American. In America and I think Europe how math is taught is that you are told math equations and are expected to just "go with it" and after you learn everything at school THEN you use what you learned and apply it. I on the other hand has started to use and apply the math heavily while learning it at the same time. By doing this method I encounter problems in math while applying it to things like computers that things just can't be solved with the level I am at. When this happens it feels that what I am trying to do will be explained or examined in a higher level math but the problem is I don't know for sure! What I try to do I don't know what type of math it is or it could be just "very" high level math I am currently at, or it might not even be math at all! It could be physics instead or combination of both. When this happens I tend to assume things in math and I don't know if I have right or flawed logic. For example, I have worked with the y shape and I wanted to get a parabola y^2 instead but I couldn't get the parabola with "normal" means. So I assumed "there is a math that can turn y into y^2" I then asked my math professor that question and it turns out that Topology is the math that does this. So my assumption was right! I have taken a discrete mathematics class before, and when I assume something like I said before I try to find a contradiction in something to see if I am right or not. However math is VERY crazy at times and when you think something is "impossible" there ends up being a way of getting it and it seems finding a contradiction doesn't always work. For example The distance formula: (((x2x1)^2)+((y2y1)^2))^.5 Sometimes if the variables are a distance that is "not normal" (this is almost impossible to explain and it can happen on a computer) it is still possible to get an imaginary number. And by squaring the variable values it does NOT get rid of the negatives. To stop this you need to do this: (((x2x1)^2)+((y2y1)^2))^.5 I mean it seems impossible to get a negative after squaring but it IS possible in very rare and strange situations. With things like this how do I know if my math logic and assumptions are correct about things or it is flawed? 
March 5th, 2015, 08:30 PM  #2  
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms  Quote:
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March 5th, 2015, 09:06 PM  #3  
Senior Member Joined: Aug 2012 Posts: 1,999 Thanks: 573  Quote:
 

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