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- Thread starter Tyrion101
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"Is 32 really too old to begin higher math?"

No.

No.

- #3

Drakkith

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I know of no age too old to learn math of any type.

- #4

UltrafastPED

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I would recommend starting with one class ... then your focus is very limited. You can build up as time and money permit.

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arildno

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But, being highly competent is not the same as being a genius, and it is the highly competent who are typically sought after for their skills, since the geniuses are too few to begin with.

So, go ahead with your studies!

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I'm 29 and just finished 3 semesters of calculus (James Stewart's book). It took up gobs of time but I loved it.

If I could take the courses again, I would learn to read my book sooner.

Learn the rules of deriving and integration before you start the course, it will make things much easier for you. Just like driving a car. This comes from practice, lots and lots of practice.

Someone on this forum recommend this guy: Dr. Adrian Banner, a Princeton mathematics professor.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGqzsq0erqU6cwuyDoAh1GYEFF2hB_YFc

I watched his videos and took notes. The great thing about this is, I can pause the videos to finish my thoughts. I can rewind without raising my hand. The videos are about 2 hours long but took me 3-4 hours to watch and take notes.

Gaussian Wings, holla!

:D

- #7

dlgoff

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Don't forget about https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=703563. The math is excellent IMO.

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- #9

arildno

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They will review your current level, of course. Only incompetents would do otherwise.

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"Is 32 really too old to begin higher math?"

Only if you can no longer count to 32.

Only if you can no longer count to 32.

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- #12

reenmachine

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I would lie if I said my age didn't bother me some days , but in the end either you waste your time thinking about it or you spend it actually giving it a shot.

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I have a classmate that just turned 37 and he is a senior nuclear engineering major. He keeps up with the rest of us who are in our early 20's and he does really well. I think you just have to be willing to put in the time and effort. Like one of the other posters mentioned, calculus and differential equations can really be interesting especially in engineering applications.

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- #15

arildno

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Just remember:

If you haven't made any progress even as you reach your next prime birthday, you should consider quitting then.

If, however, you are not able to figure out WHEN your next prime birthday is, you should consider quitting now (hint: It is after your next square birthday).

PS:

If you had to use my hint, figure out for yourself what you ought to do.

- #16

chiro

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If you don't know something just ask. If you want to become the best you can then surround yourself with other like-minded people. Use your resources like your professors and lecturers: they are there to help you and you might as well make the best use of your money.

Math is really about three things: representation, transformation, and constraint. All of mathematics uses these concepts in one way or another regardless of the mathematics you do.

Each course will have a particular focus (computational, theoretical, mix of both) but they all have specific structures of these three things that facilitate the goal of what the course is about.

Also just remember that you have the forums with quite a lot of expertise if you are stuck. I'd imagine there has been quite a few people who have posted on the homework and other forums who have relied quite a lot on the expertise and generous nature of volunteer home-work helpers.

- #17

arildno

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I would, however, point to a critical factor for success:Math is really about three things: representation, transformation, and constraint. All of mathematics uses these concepts in one way or another regardless of the mathematics you do.

Aesthetic pleasure at results. If maths doesn't take on an emotional significance for the one doing it, too much of it will become a tedious nightmare, and you won't be able to pursue it with needed vigour.

Mathematicians are humans first and foremost, and they must, in general, like what they are doing if they are to succeed. Just like everybody else.

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IMHO, the reason that people in their 20's are seen as more likely to do great work is because they have not yet fallen prey to the many distractions of life. Focus, single mindedness, obsession...call it what you will, but it gets harder to maintain after one discovers beer and girls.

Go forth and calculate!

- #19

arildno

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However, for others, once time is less frantic (say, when kids have moved out of the house) THAT might be just the moment when picking up studying will be most rewarding.

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