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How to remember?

  1. Jul 2, 2013 #1
    My question is for those who're experienced in Mathematics ....I like doing math, learning concepts, solving problems ,But since textbooks are inexistant in my country ,the only way I can learn is with ebooks by sitting hours in front of my laptop or a tablet(although it's not mine),and it gets pretty frustrating and painful..and I think that stress is causing me to forget things I learned....so is there a way to optimize and enhance my memory and work with many concepts at the same time ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2013 #2
    You have to work problems. It's not about remembering, it's about understanding.
  4. Jul 2, 2013 #3


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    Hey theoristo.

    I would recommend you find away to classify the most important concepts in a way that is easy to remember, simple to describe, and broad enough to capture the concepts that matter the most.

    The more experienced you get, the better your classification schemes become, and the better they are used to understand the field that you are trying to master.
  5. Jul 2, 2013 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    I've taught prodigies and people with eidetic memories who were no good at actual physics.
    Memory was not the problem.

    You do need some memory skills and there is a lot written about how to improve your memory - usually over-hyping the benefits.
    You can rote-learn lists of figures, for eg. by reading them to yourself just before you go to sleep and then using them right away the next morning.
    But learning science is like learning a language - you have to live it to get fluent.
  6. Jul 5, 2013 #5
    Like other people said, focus on understanding rather than remembering. Unfortunately, you're almost certainly going to forget most of the stuff you learn, and it will happen at an alarming rate if you're not using it frequently. However, when you really understand stuff, you'll find that you're able to reconstruct an amazing amount of knowledge that you might not know off hand. You'll be able to take the stuff you do know and turn vague recollections of other stuff into facts that you're confident in.

    More specifically related to your question of reading textbooks, I find that when an author references a result, it's good to be in the habit of making sure that you not only remember the result, but you remember where it came from (at least at a high-level). It might even help to imagine you're explaining it to someone in person. When you say "using result A," and they ask "okay, but where did result A come from?" would you have a decent answer? If not, it's probably worth going back and skimming over result A again.
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