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Is math my downfall?

  1. Oct 30, 2006 #1

    I posted this a few days ago but it disappeared along with my registration. Anyway, this is a concern about my algebra skills. I'm in a calculus I class at college and things are going well. I'm able to learn/understand/apply things at the expected proficiency.

    My friend who is also a freshman is taking Algebra 1. A few weeks ago she asked me for homework help. I'm known for my love of mathematics, so I suppose she asked me for help thinking I'm a math expert. In truth, I don't think I am, and I don't make it apparent that I'm great at math or anything.

    Well, sadly, I found that I was unable to help her with her Algebra 1 homework, which was a simple d=rt type rate problem, like "John is riding his bicycle at 2 different rates. If it takes him 90 minutes and he averages a speed of 20 mph and his rates are x and x-20, respectively, what are his individual rates?"

    I felt embarrassed and ashamed that I was unable to solve the problem fully. I got far, but I couldn't come up with the answer. To make this feeling worse, I want to minor in mathematics. I just don't understand how I can be good at higher math but suffer with early high school math.

    How am I supposed to fix this hole in my algebra background? Will learning calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations be enough (i.e. when I get my minor)? I'm just worried that I'll have a math minor but won't be able to help my future kids with their math homework. :frown:

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2006 #2
    Take Linear algebra, calculus and Differential equations. Then take an Analysis class and an Abstract Algebra class. Follow this up with a high level honours probability class.

    After all this you should be able to teach your kids some math
  4. Oct 30, 2006 #3


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    No need to be worried about those related rates exercises from Algebra 1. You are still developing. You should have the competency of Algebra required for Calculus 1 since you are in it now and doing well. Just review the related rates problem solving approach which you learned in Algebra 1 and you will become good at them; better than when you studied Algebra 1 the first times.

    EDIT: I did not mean to suggest that those types of problems are unimportant; only that you can easily enough study them again and understand the solution approach.
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