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Math I want to succeed in a career in science, but i am not a math genius

  1. Jul 28, 2009 #1
    I am adequate at math, but I really don't like it. I love astronomy, physics, and other sciences. Would biology be a good career for me? I really appreciate some suggestions. I am pretty much average when it comes to recording data.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2009 #2


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    Depends on what you like, your skills and what you enjoy can change at any moment. You may grow to love math and become good at it while simultaneously learning to hate physics and astronomy. How old are you?
  4. Jul 28, 2009 #3
    I am 17
  5. Jul 29, 2009 #4
    Physics is REALLY math heavy. So if you are convinced you don't like math then you want something like bio. However, math, like everything, is a lot more about effort then most people will let on. If you are willing to put the effort in and are actually capable of being INTERESTED in math then that math-o-phobia could be very conquerable. Highschool math is very good at destroying any spark of interest. Math really can be VERY interesting.
  6. Jul 29, 2009 #5
    What do you mean by being average at "recording data"? Do you not like doing experiments? If you don't like maths, are not good at it, and are not good at doing experiments then perhaps you should think of a career outside *actual* science. Do you like writing? Maybe science journalism? Do you like teaching? Then you could teach science, and keep experimental demonstrations to a minimum! Do you like programming? Then do a computer science degree and earn millions working for Microsoft...
  7. Jul 29, 2009 #6
    I totally agree about math proficiency being about work ethic more than natural aptitude. I am a huge fan of the "perspiration theory". Also I believe in working example problems by rote. Some mistakenly assume "that stifles your problems solving skills". Actually just the opposite is true. When you work 100s of example problems per week by rote it makes you into a problem solving monster, aptitude or no aptitude. Learning math is very much like learning a language. The densest people I know are very proficient in at least one language. Math is mostly about technique and training. I hear people all the time say "I'm am so bad at math". I always respond by telling them "well, how the hell did you learn the English language? Math is a language. Do it everyday and you'll speak it like the Masters.
  8. Jul 29, 2009 #7
    I have the same problem, i'm 16 and going into college, i'm doing Physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics but its not all bout whether you like the subject that is required for the subject you are passionate bout, its how determined you are to succeed and achieve your dream in what you want, see maths as a challenge not a downside to it.
  9. Jul 29, 2009 #8
    Indeed, I believe I started in a program somewhat similar to you (though certainly not at 16, kudos to you). I was originally in a program that was called "Computational Science / Non-specialized" because I didn't know what science I liked. So I took phys, chemistry and earth sciences (and later bio). Anywho, I loved the *idea* of doing physics but I found the math to be a huge hurdle. I ended up switching into "/ Physics Specialization" in my second year only to get my *** kicked by physics courses , due mostly to the math (in my defense, I also didn't have the proper pre-req's for some of the courses since I had switched streams). I didn't fail anything but I did very poorly. For me I found the "learn vector calc as you learn E&M" approach to be very difficult. My learning style is such that when I learn a new concept I basically try to break it, I take it off that pedestle and look for flaws, if I can't find any I accept it. It was very difficult to do that for the math AND the physics that required the same identical math simultaneously. So what did I do? I started to self-study the math before hand from books that were not "math for physicists" but "math for mathies" (with the exception of boas which is an awesome book). I took AMATH (applied math) courses in complex analysis and differential geometry and such BEFORE I went into the courses that needed them. And I found it was a world of difference. Once the math was second nature the physics just fell into place.
  10. Jul 29, 2009 #9


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    Mathematics is alive in all of the sciences and is used both intensively and extensively in the physical sciences. At the same time, learning the Mathematics BEFORE you need it for courses will mean that you can focus more on understanding the sciences than on trying to simultaneously learn both the science and the required Mathematics for it.

    DARTZ, you just need more development time. Study many things and you will find which are you best talents. This may take two years for you to fully understand.
  11. Sep 6, 2009 #10
    there are many math webs that makes learning math easier.
    check math forums as well and 24yahoo (dot) com

    Good luck
  12. Sep 18, 2009 #11
    If you're only 17, you may grow to love math. I love math but didn't at your age... I thought math was useless and pretty boring. I was good at it. I got A's throughout high school (and I was a terrible student, yet still got A's in math). If you told me that some day I'd like it I would have laughed at you... And then in 12th grade I got to calculus and loved it. The next year in college I took multivarable calculus and differential equations and loved it even more. Now I'm taking set theory and linear algebra and I love them... So at your age, you really haven't taken any real math (well I'm just guessing... I don't know your true credentials... I suppose you could have done some self-studying and learned advanced math)... All you've probably taken are the boring basics... Try some upper division mathematics and then find out if you like it...
  13. Sep 18, 2009 #12
    I failed almost all the math classes I took in high school, but once I got to uni I really buckled down and spent a lot of time really learning the subject. I spent a lot of time reading the history of mathematics and philosophy of mathematics. I have tutored a few people in calculus who were great in math in high school but can't do it in uni. There is a massive difference between high school math (which is basically arthimatic) and studying mathematics as a system.

    If you put in the time, do lots of research on your own and truly love it then you can definitly be good at mathematics and you will actually get better at it as you progress in school.
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