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December 30th, 2015, 08:56 PM   #1
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Help! I love math but am not very good at it...

Hello!
The title of the thread says it all.

I love math, and want to learn all that I can about new subjects, and theories.
The problem that I am running into is that I am not very good at it, and I am having trouble progressing in my studies...

As this is my first post, I will introduce myself.
I currently live in Utah. I have an associates degree in general studies from a local community college. The highest math I have taken in college, and passed, is Calculus 1.

A problem I am having is that the last math class I took was nearly six years ago, and I don't remember enough of the basic principles to pick up where I left off, and progress with self study.

I guess what I am asking is, what is the best method to find out what areas of math I am still confident in, and what areas I need to re-learn, so that I can move forward?

Is there a checklist or test that I can use to say "yes, you know enough of topic (A) to move forward into to topic (B)" and so on. I know that in math, the basics need to be learned before moving onto higher math, because it all builds on each other. I feel like I am missing some blocks, and need to sure up my foundation before I can build any higher...


thank you for letting me post here, I look forward to learning from you guys.


-Newbie


P.S.
Sorry for the disjointed post, I have been up for way to long, and need to sleep. Looking back at my post I am having a hard time following my own train of thought, I hope you can understand what I am trying to say...

Last edited by skipjack; December 30th, 2015 at 09:03 PM.
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December 30th, 2015, 09:29 PM   #2
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Why not acquire some textbooks intended for teenagers and see how you get on?
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December 30th, 2015, 09:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipjack View Post
Why not acquire some textbooks intended for teenagers and see how you get on?
Thanks for the reply

That's a good idea, I wI'll do that. Do you know of any that you can recomend?

or perhaps I can contact a local junior high /high school and ask some of the teachers?
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December 31st, 2015, 03:30 AM   #4
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I was assuming you could borrow some from a library. Alternatively, some older textbooks are out of copyright and can be found on the internet. For example, C. V. Durell is a highly respected author, and some of his books were first published over a century ago, but the mathematics is much the same.
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December 31st, 2015, 06:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipjack View Post
I was assuming you could borrow some from a library. Alternatively, some older textbooks are out of copyright and can be found on the internet. For example, C. V. Durell is a highly respected author, and some of his books were first published over a century ago, but the mathematics is much the same.
Thanks for the reply.

I took your advice and found several of Mr. Durell's books online, I will also check the local library later today and see what I can find.

I have another question.
What is considered the most natural progression of math subects?

For example: (addition/subtraction)-->(multiplication/division)-->(fractions )-->(algebra )-->(geometry)-->(trigonometry)-->(calculus)-->...
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December 31st, 2015, 07:02 AM   #6
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Whilst Durell's books were ideal for 1950s schoolchildren, I doubt they will meet your needs.

You say you have an interest in science?

Mathematics Recovered for the Natural and Medical Sciences

by Dennis Rosen can be had from £0.01 second hand and is written specifically for your request.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mathematics-.../dp/0412410400

The book is very chatty and also has some great cartoons.

Another author, W L Ferrar, around or just after the time of Durrell, wrote a book called

Mathematics for Science

This is more formal but also excellent.

Another good way is to look at the
Teach yourself series.

Teach yourself Algebra, Geometry, Calculus (in that order) are easily understandable.

As to order you cannot study all of one then move on to the next.

To understand calculus you need some algebra and some geometry and a little arithmetic (but not questions about grocers and % profits)
You need to revisit each topic many times and cross fertilise from the others.

Again you are (presumably) not taking exams so you do not need more than an appreciation of what is going on in any topic and don't need the ability to produce your own solutions and answers.

Last edited by studiot; December 31st, 2015 at 07:09 AM.
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December 31st, 2015, 09:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studiot View Post
Whilst Durell's books were ideal for 1950s schoolchildren, I doubt they will meet your needs.

You say you have an interest in science?

Mathematics Recovered for the Natural and Medical Sciences

by Dennis Rosen can be had from £0.01 second hand and is written specifically for your request.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mathematics-.../dp/0412410400

The book is very chatty and also has some great cartoons.

Another author, W L Ferrar, around or just after the time of Durrell, wrote a book called

Mathematics for Science

This is more formal but also excellent.

Another good way is to look at the
Teach yourself series.

Teach yourself Algebra, Geometry, Calculus (in that order) are easily understandable.

As to order you cannot study all of one then move on to the next.

To understand calculus you need some algebra and some geometry and a little arithmetic (but not questions about grocers and % profits)
You need to revisit each topic many times and cross fertilise from the others.

Again you are (presumably) not taking exams so you do not need more than an appreciation of what is going on in any topic and don't need the ability to produce your own solutions and answers.

Thank you for your reply, I will look into the items you suggested.

I suppose that you are correct. there does not need to be a complete understanding of every detail of the previous subject, but rather enough to understand the topic at hand and the ability to revisit things not understood, or necessary to progress.
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January 4th, 2016, 04:37 AM   #8
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Math Focus: Algebra, analysis complex, graph, geometry
math is fun, i think you can enjoy in many problem math. because, if you enjoy math. I think help you in study math every day.

i have some eBook you can Free download. This way to download: open google > idmathcirebon > about > bibliography. Full english ...

So if you enjoy in problem solving math. you can easy math in every day ...

Thanks,
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January 4th, 2016, 06:48 AM   #9
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Thanks for the reply.

I agree, having a passion for something makes studying and learning more about it much easier.

Last edited by skipjack; January 4th, 2016 at 12:36 PM.
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January 8th, 2016, 03:30 AM   #10
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After my gce a level in maths, physics, chemistry and further maths, I have been home for four years due to financial problems. This year, I had the chance to go back to school and start with my university course. I am offering applied maths. It was not easy for me at the beginning because I forgot the basics of almost everything. What helped me much wasn't the hard work but the self-confidence it built in me.

Just saying since you have the will to learn you can make it. At first, I used to spend hours everyday on the basic ones to understand. What I am trying to say is this "start where you think you have to start since you are your own teacher". It would also be good if you can use a program that can guide you like which part of maths you need to know that would help you in your studies work or business then you go for it.

Last edited by skipjack; January 8th, 2016 at 03:35 AM.
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