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- Thread starter Niaboc67
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The courses specific to your major will do a better job of showing you how to use the math that you learned in calculus, linear algebra, discrete math, etc. to solve "real" problem, but that's assuming you've learned the material in the first place. So one place of motivation is that if you don't learn it today, you're gonna have some catching up to do later on.

As far as keeping it interesting ... maybe try and see which problem types lend themselves to algorithmic solutions. Write pseudo code describing how to solve them. Some problems, like finding derivatives, are (almost) purely mechanical and lend themselves to fairly straightforward algorithms. Others, like finding limits, aren't so straightforward in general. But the types of limit problems that get assigned in calculus classes usually fall into one of three or four "categories". So see if you can identify the various cases and write an algorithm for each case.

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Simon Bridge

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The fun in a language comes from how you use it, and tends to be personal.

OTOH: you can always learn to like something by reinforcement - reward/punishment, you know.

Much of school uses this Pavlovian approach ;)

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mathwonk

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If you're a programmer looking for calculus applications, I'd have to say computer graphics, particularly physics simulation. Of course, that requires you to learn computer graphics if you don't know it already and a little physics. There aren't that many actual programming jobs where you get to apply calculus, but this is definitely a place where you can put it to work from a hobby point of view if you know how. So, for example, I wrote a little program recently that simulates a ball the hits the ground and bounces, using 0.5gt^2, which is a somewhat trivial application of calculus to physics. More generally, you could tell the computer what the acceleration or velocity is and have it display the ball's motion according to that. That's one of the big applications of integration.I love aspects mathematics, especially those which when I can apply it to real situations.

If you think that's abstract, you ain't seen nothing. I thought I had reached the peak of abstraction when I took my first topology class, but I hadn't seen nothing at that point, either.However, when mathematics becomes so abstract like aspects of precalculus/calculus it becomes faint for me, at times.

The way I keep it interesting is to try to visualize a lot of it, but it can be challenging to do that, if your teachers don't explain it that way. This might give you some hints:How do you keep it fresh, interesting and rewarding? I am a computer science major and I want mathematics to be my best friend. In short, I am just wondering what tips you can give me to keep mathematics interesting.

http://www.maa.org/sites/default/files/pdf/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf

Not all of it is going to be thrilling, though, I think. Stuff like trig integrals just isn't the most riveting thing in the world, I think. I think the "application" of that stuff, if you want to call it that, is mostly just so that you get more practice applying the concepts in different settings. You may never use some weird trig integral, but learning how to do it could breed a little more familiarity with integration by substitution and other techniques. I think if you get though your calculus class and all you remember is what a derivative is, what an integral is, enough to do some basic examples and apply the concepts, plus the fundamental theorem of calculus, then that's 90% of the point of the class right there, for most people. You'll have a new way of looking at the world. The most useful part of it is probably just the basic concepts. But if you didn't spend some time practicing with it, doing problems, it wouldn't sink in as well.

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symbolipoint

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If you're into game development and programming, think back to the basics of Pong. It uses rudimentary physics for the ball speed, direction of movement, and angle.

Think of precalc and calc functions as writing functions in your favorite programming language. A single argument function in programming is similar to a function of X, while a multiple argument function in programming could be loosely related to a vector.

If your professors aren't giving applied examples of the material being taught, use some critical thinking, and thinking out side of the box, to see how it can be applied in day to day events.

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Simon Bridge

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Ask in a different thread if you want details.I am learning about exponential and logarithmic growths although it seems a bit confusing at times, are they essentially interchangeable?

Short answer: no.

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There will be some portions you may have to research a little more to understand better, especially if you are one of those students who doesn't want to feel like "that guy" and ask a bunch of questions.

In my experience (I've only ever been to community college so far), the professors generally don't go into much detail about a lot of the constants, like e or K (plus some constants in one form of math will be completely different in others), so some portions maybe be challenging to understand.

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