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HELP - my math is like Swiss Cheese

  1. Mar 8, 2008 #1
    i need an education plan. Im not illiterate with math but i have so many holes. Ive tried again and again to sit down and learn it but i feel like its all full of holes. I understand Euclidean distance with QAM but my some of my lower level algebra lacks. Ive officially taken up to calc 1 but never finished it because i was just too lost. I love physics, im considering pursuing an engineering degree in the next year or two but in reality, i need to fix my math first. where do i start? what book(s) or sites should i be referring to? thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2008 #2


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    Depends on where you need work. Sounds like you may need a college algebra book for starters.

  4. Mar 8, 2008 #3
    i spent about 6 hours a day for the last 3 days going through a college algebra book. i couldnt believe how much i forgot. It all came back pretty quick and i did learn a few things as well. whats the next step? with engineering in mind, what math subject should i be sure to hit?
  5. Mar 15, 2008 #4


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    That's great that you've invested that much effort into reviewing college algebra. You probably will want to break it down section by section to be sure you are comfortable with all the topics. This will probably take more than 3 days.

    The next step is to find a good college calculus text. (you may want to look at more than one book, not all authors can communicate the concepts well).
  6. Mar 15, 2008 #5


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    If you don't want to jump into calculus again right away, then a pre-calc/trig class would be beneficial as well.

  7. Mar 16, 2008 #6
    This is very good that you want to relearn all your mathematics. Calculus was invented as a tool for physics anyways.

    Your time span should affect the majority of your decision. If you don't have a lot of time to study, start with the calc book, a calculus 1 course book. I don't think the theory in lower level calculus is that difficult to learn, the hard part is doing the algebra. So this way you will be forced to go back and learn your algebra. If you have time though, start brushing up on the algebra books. I know it sucks, you don't want to read it because you feel like you know it already, but unless you can honestly tell yourself that you could open up a lower level algebra book to any page and be able to explain that section to a n00b fully, you need to review it.

    The best part about your self-educating desire, you can get the math books free from any college student. A lot of people dread math and would be more than willing to give you their math book. Along with it you could take their class notes and class syllabus, outlining the important or beneficial homework problems.

    I have taught myself many subjects from sciences to foreign languages. Because I have a hard time paying attention in class, I get all my information from reading the book anyways. The only problem with me is that i found class is better, because i am forced to learn it and go through with it, as where i am at home reading a biology book, its not very difficult to put it down and forget about it forever.

    There are also a lot of online tutor sessions that come free with some math books. There are probably a lot of college kids that are willing to let you use their user name to access online tutors as well.

    Good luck!
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