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How to self-study math?

  1. Jan 12, 2015 #1
    I'm fascinated with math and regret I never really pursued it. I want to self study to bring myself up to the point of being able to understand differential and integral calculus. I was good at algebra but I want to review and study a step by step syllabus.

    So what are the areas of math studied in high school and college that takes you from pre algebra to integral calc?

    Pre algebra...
    Integral calc
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2015 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    The names of courses could be

    Algebra I
    Algebra II
    Calculus I (Diiferential calculus)
    Calculus II (Integral calculus)

    Often the subjects of geometry and trigonometry are covered in the course Pre-calculus. Some schools have courses titled Geometry and Trigonometry.

    Have you studied particular mathematics that you find interesting? Or is it just the general idea of learning mathematics that interests you?
  4. Jan 12, 2015 #3
    There are several areas that interest me but I know Im not ready to pursue them until I brush up on what I should know and study calculus at a minimum.

  5. Jan 12, 2015 #4


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    The maths syllabus for the UK high schools is available online here:

    http://www.examsolutions.net/maths-revision/syllabuses/GCSE/period-1/Higher/module.php [Broken]

    It's all worked videos, step by step. After "GCSE" there are several A-level modules on the same site.

    Might be a good place to start to see what you can do.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  6. Jan 12, 2015 #5
    There are great online resources from places like MIT: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/find-by-topic/#cat=mathematics. I would mix it up with more popular books like "The shape of Space" or "Who is Fourier?" (I would suggest starting with what I consider to be easy books, but the last time I did that I got some screams of anguish on how difficult the math was in them. )
  7. Jan 13, 2015 #6
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Jan 14, 2015 #7
    There is an huge difference between self-studying and taking a real class. When you're self-studying, you won't feel the sting of a bad grade on a test, which, in a normal class where you must pass, would propel you to studying for ungodly amounts of time out of desperation. The structure of a class is also very important. If you're really set on self-studying, though, I would recommend educator's courses (I have the ones from Pre-Calc, all the way up to Calc II). I think they provide a pretty fair representation of what you'd encounter in a real class, less the tests, of course.
  9. Jan 14, 2015 #8

    when I finally decided to study physics, I've noticed that my maths weren't all up to speed due to a background in humanities.

    The most helpful website I found for maths is https://www.khanacademy.org/ (of course free). Which is a really good source to study maths from the very beginning up to any level you like. And you can follow from pre-algebra to advanced maths. It has tons of tutorials, as well as step-by-step videos. And you can track your record and see how you performed.
    Another good source (also free) is http://alison.com/ here you can register online for courses of several subjects.

    I would also recommend Open University. Is no free, but the math courses at level 1 (10,30 and 60 credits) are fascinating and will bring you up to speed with the maths you need at higher levels of physics. Then you can always continue at level II and III. Another option, before you enrol on any course, is to try them for free with http://www.open.edu/openlearn/ also from Open University. And decide if you want to do any.

    Hope that helps.
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