Advice Needed: Seeking Help with Math & Physics for Engineering Studies

In summary: ), then waves and statics and motion in fluids2nd semester will be electricity and magnetism and optics and thermodynamics.
  • #1
simphys
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Hello everyone, I am new here, and I was wondering if someone could provide me with some advice on how I should approach this in a smart way.

I basically really need some bigtime advice on the math part of Physics (or in general). I didn't have anyone to really talk with or that'd be able to give me advice on it until I found this amazing forum, so thanks for that!

I am going to start with the context first if that is okay.. will try to keep it short :)
I started studying math 6-7 months ago, but with precalc and a bit of calc and then came calc 1 at university and so I essentially skipped geometry.
For high school.. in general, it is safe to assume that my Maths from high school is close to non-existent. (and that especially for geometry as I did not have math for that particular whole year)
Also for physics, I didn't get physics in high school (or any science really besides a bit of biology and some non-connecting pieces of chemistry)
For the record, I am 19.

now..
So what you apply in physics of math, do you (implicitly perhaps) use geometry in solving it or some kinda intuition developed there? Cause I really feel that I miss some kind of outside part if you know what I mean..

The biggest hurdle is that I keep questioning the geometry part which implies that I START to question all my accumulated math skills those last couple months. Like oh man shouldn't I also go over precalc again this and that. Headgames..

To ask more specific toward the action part as I can keep whining all day long but without action no change's bound to happen...
The approach I was thinking of was to just simply do great time management and fill it in with geometry learning in the meantime during the semester if that is needed and perhaps going over a good algebra book after that to really make sure the foundations are solid? Again if that is needed. And also catch up with the analytical thinking that Physics provides. (ohyeah I study engineering so.. intro physics this semester was basically more practical with no conceptual explanation at all (/almost non-existent) so the accumulated knowledge is kind of empty knowledge in a way) There was a weighing I needed to make I either go to the exam or make sure I use that time to self-study it right now and really understand it as 2nd semster ofcourse builds on it. I chose the latter.
would you perhaps recommended to approach it a different way?As for books..
What books would you recommend?
Geometry:
I found this book online as a pdf on this site, geometry and trigonometry for calculus. (I'd use it mostly geometry but in precalculs I kinda struggled a bit more, because I didn't have that geometry of the triangles so wouldn't hurt to take the trig part too.)
I bought it two days ago, but then canceled it as I thought it might be better to ask for advice on this.
Would this book suffice to catch up with high school geometry?
or should I really go through it in a 'rigorous' way instead catching up with something like f.e. a book like this

Calculus:
for calculus I bought myself this one from peter lax. I am not a fan of them colorbooks at all and it seems interesting how it is laid out. He starts with series and then moves onto derivatives.
I thought it'd be a good way to go over calc again as there are parts that we didn't do like extremums (minimam maxima) and stuff like that.

Physics:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0135159555/?tag=pfamazon01-20
This is the one I bought for physics.Thanks in advance! I'd really very much appreciate some advice.
And also Thank you, @Mister T and @kuruman for the help and telling me where to post this kind of question. ( also to those that helped with that said homework problem :) )

Edit: changed the wording a little bit.
 
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  • #2
simphys said:
I started studying math 6-7 months ago
Is this really true? Didn't you start when you were just a little kid in grade school?
 
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  • #3
What physics courses are you taking and what physics courses do you intend to take?
 
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  • #4
Mister T said:
Is this really true? Didn't you start when you were just a little kid in grade school?
You got a point there😬
I meant past the veryvery basic algebra. Let's say that I didn’t know what a function was at the time
 
  • #5
gleem said:
What physics courses are you taking and what physics courses do you intend to take?
I study engineering, but if you meant what’s to come.
Electricity, waves and vibrations, electronics(not really physics) and statics and strength of materials
1st semester was energy and dynamics(only particled no rigid bodies)
 
  • #6
With little math in HS you lack about 4 years of practicing math (Algebra and trig) that other engineering student have had so they have a leg up on you. You might consider Schaum's Outline series just to get that practice under your belt. It like learning a musical instrument, you can learn the what the strings etc. do but to play the song you need to practice.
 
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  • #7
gleem said:
With little math in HS you lack about 4 years of practicing math (Algebra and trig) that other engineering student have had so they have a leg up on you. You might consider Schaum's Outline series just to get that practice under your belt. It like learning a musical instrument, you can learn the what the strings etc. do but to play the song you need to practice.
Completely agree. Thanks will have a look at them in a second!
But, so I assume that you recommend to not only look at geometry then basically.
My question then is, wouldn't it be better to start with the geometry first and then look into practicing more algebra and trig?
I think that the weakest link is my geometry and the geometry of trigs (and 3D for sure).
 
  • #9
I agree that geometry is very important too. And again practice is essential. You do not want to struggle with " the mechanics" of math when you are applying math to science or engineering problems.
 
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  • #10
simphys said:
now..
So what you apply in physics of math, do you (implicitly perhaps) use geometry in solving it or some kinda intuition developed there? Cause I really feel that I miss some kind of outside part if you know what I mean..

The biggest hurdle is that I keep questioning the geometry part which implies that I START to question all my accumulated math skills those last couple months. Like oh man shouldn't I also go over precalc again this and that. Headgames..
You are young enough that if you attend a community college, you should be able to FIRST go through the sequence of courses: Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and then "Pre-Calculus"(which is a combination of College Algebra and mostly rigorous review of Trigonometry). Once that is done, and if you wish to continue, you next could enroll in Calculus And Analytic Geometry 1. More would then follow.

That name is all one single course commonly called "Calculus and Analytic Geometry" 1. You will need to be very good and comfortable with algebra, have common Geometry knowledge, and will eventually need a very good understanding about Trigonometry.
 
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  • #11
simphys said:
Lets say that I didn’t know what a function was at the time
Well, that's a pretty sophisticated concept. There are many undergrads trying to understand it.
 
  • #12
simphys said:
electronics(not really physics)
What sacrilege! I took an electronics class in a physics department from a renowned German physicist way back in my undergrad days. He would not approve of your parenthetical comment! :mad:
 
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  • #14
symbolipoint said:
You are young enough that if you attend a community college, you should be able to FIRST go through the sequence of courses: Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and then "Pre-Calculus"(which is a combination of College Algebra and mostly rigorous review of Trigonometry). Once that is done, and if you wish to continue, you next could enroll in Calculus And Analytic Geometry 1. More would then follow.

That name is all one single course commonly called "Calculus and Analytic Geometry" 1. You will need to be very good and comfortable with algebra, have common Geometry knowledge, and will eventually need a very good understanding about Trigonometry.
Hey, thanks for the advice! But I don't know whether you understood the context :). I am currently studying Engineering at university so I was thinking that the best option would be to kind of catch up in between.
 
  • #15
gleem said:
I agree that geometry is very important too. And again practice is essential. You do not want to struggle with " the mechanics" of math when you are applying math to science or engineering problems.
Thanks, you are right. I am going follow up with those schaum practice books as well as go through a geometry book (the two books of kiselev most likely.) instead of that other book
And afterwards I'm going go through a book that acts as a recap of high school maths and will test my knowledge that way. And from there all the big opportunities are open.
 
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  • #16
simphys said:
Hey, thanks for the advice! But I don't know whether you understood the context :). I am currently studying Engineering at university so I was thinking that the best option would be to kind of catch up in between.
I possibly misunderstood what you either said or meant. As long as you ARE studying Engineering now, then you must have already done the remedial-level work, had at least one course of Trigonometry, and had at least one course which included "College Algebra". You would currently be in either Calculus 1 or higher. Review anything you want to when you want or when you need.
 
  • #17
I always review. As you gain more experience and practice, review of lower level material becomes less frequent, and if you have to, much faster.

If you feel you are weak in material below the Calculus level, then review it. Nothing more to it, and not that complicated of an idea.
 
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Related to Advice Needed: Seeking Help with Math & Physics for Engineering Studies

1. What is the best way to improve my math and physics skills for engineering studies?

The best way to improve your math and physics skills for engineering studies is to practice regularly. This can include solving problems, working through practice exercises, and reviewing concepts. It can also be helpful to seek out additional resources such as online tutorials, study groups, or tutoring sessions.

2. I am struggling with understanding certain concepts in math and physics. How can I overcome this?

If you are struggling with understanding certain concepts in math and physics, try breaking them down into smaller parts and focusing on one aspect at a time. You can also try explaining the concept to someone else or finding real-world applications to make it more relatable. Additionally, seeking help from a teacher or tutor can also be beneficial.

3. How can I manage my time effectively while studying math and physics for engineering?

To manage your time effectively while studying math and physics for engineering, it is important to create a schedule and stick to it. Prioritize your study time and make sure to take breaks to avoid burnout. It can also be helpful to set specific goals for each study session and track your progress to stay motivated.

4. I am worried about not doing well in my math and physics courses. What should I do?

If you are worried about not doing well in your math and physics courses, it is important to address the issue early on. Talk to your teacher or advisor about your concerns and ask for advice on how to improve. You can also seek out additional resources and practice regularly to strengthen your skills.

5. How can I apply my math and physics knowledge to real-world engineering problems?

To apply your math and physics knowledge to real-world engineering problems, it is important to understand the underlying concepts and principles. Practice solving problems that involve real-world scenarios and make connections between theory and application. You can also seek out internships or hands-on experiences to gain practical experience in applying your skills.

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