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I need a math mentor

  1. May 8, 2005 #1
    i am a boy aged 16 and i am not so good at maths and physics,when i mean not so good i mean not as good as some people,at least i read questions and i get intimidated.also i got here through a friend Abia Ubong ,who happens 2 be the best maths student in school,and i get disappointed when he gets easy ways with numbers ,is there any way i can get better though he is not proud,but i sometimes get jealous of his skills ,i know he is talented but i am not,pls i need quick help.
    Also i need a good maths mentor,but i have got no funds because i am poor.
    any help will be a ppreciated.THANK U
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2005 #2


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    Gold Member

    SO what are you asking for??? :confused:
  4. May 8, 2005 #3
    Sometimes the smartest people don't make the biggest discoveries. Some of the greatest discoveries have been because of intuition and creativity and plain old hard work. You don't have to be born a mathematical of scientific genious to contribute. With enough hard work and proper training, many people can become damn good scientists and mathematicians.
  5. May 9, 2005 #4
    Just do mathematics. That's it; that's all the advice you need.
  6. May 9, 2005 #5
    My brother picks up maths a lot better than I do, but I am prepared to do the hard work, I taught myself maths and physics at 19; I was not in any way a good student at school, disruptive at most times.

    Mathematics definitely is not natural for me, but it just takes dedication to learn.
  7. May 9, 2005 #6
    There are two parts of your post that stand out for me, one is irrelevant really, and the other is one word - intimidated. This, I can relate to.

    Mathematics and physics are riddled with strict laws of operation - an intimidating place, I know.
    But there was this one thing my really cool calc lecturer said to me which turned that around for me completely.

    We had this problem, actually it was a trig limits problem where the numbers were just ugly all over the place and really intimidating looking. She just smiled and said don't be scared of them, they are very tame actually just push them into the form that you want and the rest is history.

    OK so it's probably the dumbest thing you ever heard, but those words were music to my ears..

  8. May 9, 2005 #7
    Math is like a sport or a video game, it takes lots of practice. Some people will catch on quickly because they have a knack for it. Others will have to work harder. You friend may learn a new concept by working only a few related problems while you may need to work dozens to learn the same concept. Be persistant and do the math. Practice, practice, practice and you will succeed the way you want.
  9. May 10, 2005 #8
    Ha, Monet, I get you. I had a similar experience. I walked into a mathematical methods for physics class that i'd heard horror stories about. intimidated. I was only taking it because it was required for my then major. Anyway, i expressed my fear to my professor and she said something like: "It is only difficult as long as you don't understand it. Everytime you get stuck, come and we'll figure out a way to unstick you." I did that, and it turned out to me my favorite class. I went on to take the second part of that class the following semester (the 2nd half wasn't required). Isn't it amazing how much the things professors say can impact our experiences as students? And oh, I later switched my major to physics. Those words changed my life!
  10. May 10, 2005 #9
    Am i the only who notices him asking for money?
  11. May 10, 2005 #10
    franz I don't know about asking, but I think he is thinking that Universities are for the rich (or upper class citizen), and he is not.
  12. May 10, 2005 #11
    I think many people try to control math too much. Think of it like the Force. It's not something you can control, it's something that can flow through you. Don't reject it or try to master it, let it flow through you. Don't be afraid to use it or to work hard on it. That's what math is. Tedious and complicated. You just have to take it one step at a time.

    I think the reason people have a hard time with it is because it has set rules with no real "why" answers. "Why is 2+2 4?" It just is. That's the way the universe works. You just have to accept it.

  13. May 10, 2005 #12
    In my experience, math was a little challenging for me at first. My basic math was a little on the weak side compared to most of my classmates, even in middle school, but I was studious and persistent in high school. After working through endless problems in my upper-level math courses and building up a good work ethic, I noticed that things got easier (studying wise) even though the actual mathematics got more and more complex and complicated.

    After a while, it didn't really bother me anymore and now I have gained a comfort level reading technical papers (so long as I understand the prerequisites). Now I can come across most mathematical textbooks and understand what they are trying to convey (its just a matter of getting used to breaking down the material and building it back up again).

    Sure, concepts such as the partial derivative look or that funky looking integral [tex]\int[/tex] look very intimidating, but once I figured out how they are used, the basic concepts aren't that difficult to learn. Everything slowly fell into place.

    mathelord, stay with the math and it will stay with you. Be persistent and always try to learn things that seem new and foreign. Someone on this forum said "Attention brings teachers" so I wouldn't worry so much about the mentoring part. If need be, you can always ask questions here. There are lots of knowledgable people here. It is also said that there is never a stupid question, but there perhaps may be stupid quetions :tongue2: [/insidejoke]

    Good luck and keep at it.
  14. May 10, 2005 #13
    thanks u all after reading all these i think i MIGHTbecome a bit good at it ,but i doubt i will ever be as good as my friend,he just get it easy with numbers ,but i hope i will try to be good at it too.
    thank ya all
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