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In need of some advice.

  1. Nov 16, 2009 #1
    Hello all,

    This is my first time posting and I wasn't exactly sure where to post a question such as mine so I apologize in advance if I've posted in the wrong place.

    For those of you who wish to give me advice it is necessary for me to give you some background on myself. I am 24 years old and I have just recently gone back to school to graduate. Awhile ago I realized that there is nothing I want to do more than study physics. I must say that I feel I am a smart person eventhough I haven't graduated and never really paid attention during class due to laziness. But when I did pay attention math and science were my strongest subjects. So needless to say I got by in math by memorizing the formulas. But now I want a deeper understanding of math. So I've gone back to school(distance ed) and I'm starting from the beginning with math(8) and science(8). I've gone through my math book and basically it's just a review of math 7, which was so long ago I don't remember. The lesson on a particular subject will just give you a very brief explanation of how to do it, then drill it in to you by answering questions. And after each lesson I'm left wondering why. Why do you do it this way? Why does this work? For instance, in the geometry section, it teaches you how to calculate the area of a circle by (A=pi r^2) and that's all it tells me, it does not go into the explanations of why.

    I have skipped ahead in my science text and looked through the chapters on physics and I can easily grasp the elementary concepts and the math, such as d=m/v, which is easy I know. But what I'm most concerned with is when the problems in physics start becoming more complex and my understanding of math isn't as deep as I would like it to be. I don't just want to have a deeper understanding of math because it's necessary for physics but because I truly love math.

    Another thing about myself is that although I don't know if this constitutes a mathematical mind but I do think in a very logical and rational way but I also have a very strong imagination, and mental math has always been easy for me. I'm also a very curious person about everything which I know is a good trait to have when involved in the sciences.

    So my question is this, how can I achieve a deeper understanding of math? I'm very worried that I may have missed the boat and now it's just too late to study physics at the university level and recieve a phd. I know this goal is quite ambitious but this is what I want. I don't care how long it takes me to get to university, I don't care how much I would have to sacrifice my social life and I don't care about the money as long as I have a solid foundation.

    I'm sorry for such a long winded post but I have no one else who can help me with this. So if someone out there can give me some advice based on the information I've told you? What your thoughts are on the chances of someone in my position achieving this goal? Recommend books or sites. It would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
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