Is there any association of people studying Maths?

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In summary, a person who is unable to enroll in college due to job commitments may seek alternative methods of learning, such as self-study or hiring a tutor. However, it may be difficult to fully absorb college-level knowledge while working full-time. One may also seek online experts for guidance, but this may require thorough research.
  • #1
Hall
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If someone is quite old, say for Bachelor of Science Mathematics, and yearns (I don't know if that's quite a heavy word) to learn that level of Mathematics, can he find a group of people or association for his purpose?
("Is that person you?")
("Oh no!")

FAQs:
Q.Why does that person doesn't enrol for a college?
Ans. Well, he is in a job sector, cannot make time for college like a 19 years old student.

Q. Why not to simply buy textbooks of any prescribed syllabus and study them and ask for doubts, if any, on this forum?
Ans. He has tried that, he is doing it too, actually that's the thing he got to do there is no way out of it, but completely self-study is not able to fill some of the voids between his different types of knowledge. An association or co-living (I don't know if that word is specifically used for people in marital relations) with someone expert.

Q. Why do you think he can attain college level knowledge without attending any institute?
Ans. Ah! I don't have any reasonable reason to believe it, yet it doesn't seem utterly impossible and rare.

So, in nutshell, what could be the substitution of a lecturer for an autodidact?
 
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  • #2
Hall said:
can he find a group of people or association for his purpose?
Yes, we call them universities.
Hall said:
cannot make time for college
So you think you will learn faster without having an expert guide you? This seems unlikely.

I don't see how you don't have time to learn the material efficiently but have the time to learn it inefficiently.
 
  • #3
Vanadium 50 said:
I don't see how you don't have time to learn the material efficiently but have the time to learn it inefficiently.
That would in a formal sense often be the same as "earning a D".
 
  • #4
What is so unnatural about a man doing a job for 8 hours a day and six days in a week and not having time to go to college? Should he wait for his retirement, so, that he shall have free time once again? Even if he were to take a break from his job, no institute will let him complete his degree before 3 years.
 
  • #5
Hall said:
What is so unnatural about a man doing a job for 8 hours a day and six days in a week and not having time to go to college?
That is perfectly normal. However, what that man should not expect is to be able to absorb the equivalent of a full university degree in mathematics (or any other subject really) in any reasonable time on top of that full time job. Studying is hard and requires you to be well rested and focused. It is a full time job in itself even if you are not getting paid.

There may be some people who are able to do it, but those are typically geniuses and very far from the norm.
 
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  • #6
Hall said:
Even if he were to take a break from his job, no institute will let him complete his degree before 3 years.
If he were to take a break from his job, then after the "3 years" he must search for a new job because the job just broken from is lost to him.
 
  • #7
Hall said:
What is so unnatural about a man doing a job for 8 hours a day and six days in a week and not having time to go to college?
You can not be serious!
 
  • #8
Orodruin said:
That is perfectly normal. However, what that man should not expect is to be able to absorb the equivalent of a full university degree in mathematics (or any other subject really) in any reasonable time on top of that full time job. Studying is hard and requires you to be well rested and focused.
That is about what I meant when I said, "You can not be serious!"
 
  • #9
The next best thing to attending college, or maybe community college at night might be hire a tutor for math or physics who already knows physics or math at the graduate level. You would not be getting grades and it might take a lot longer than an undergraduate program, but it might satisfy your yearning to confer with the experts.
 
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  • #10
mpresic3 said:
The next best thing to attending college, or maybe community college at night might be hire a tutor for math or physics who already knows physics or math at the graduate level. You would not be getting grades and it might take a lot longer than an undergraduate program, but it might satisfy your yearning to confer with the experts.
Yes, but can I find some online expert? I mean... do you know of any way how to search for them?
 
  • #11
Orodruin said:
That is perfectly normal. However, what that man should not expect is to be able to absorb the equivalent of a full university degree in mathematics (or any other subject really) in any reasonable time on top of that full time job. Studying is hard and requires you to be well rested and focused. It is a full time job in itself even if you are not getting paid.

There may be some people who are able to do it, but those are typically geniuses and very far from the norm.
Yes, until he is a genius he should not expect to have a very sharp knowldge of Mathematics without attending a college.

But what should be the way for him for attaining at least medium level knowledge of B.Sc. Level Mathematics? Are there some institutions which offer video lectures (on payment basis) on topics Complex Analysis, Introductory Abstarct Algebra, Differential Geometry?
 
  • #12
mpresic3 said:
The next best thing to attending college, or maybe community college at night might be hire a tutor for math or physics who already knows physics or math at the graduate level. You would not be getting grades and it might take a lot longer than an undergraduate program, but it might satisfy your yearning to confer with the experts.
Can you please tell me what are community colleges? I really don’t know anything about them? Do they offer online/distance learning programs?

I’m focusing on online experts and institutions because I do not live in US and Europe.
 
  • #13
Hall said:
I’m sorry, but I really didn’t get that. Are you suprised at working hours or at his expectations?
Review very carefully what @Orodruin said in the post #5. (As I emphasized in post #8).
 
  • #14
There's no free lunch.

It'll still be very difficult going to the university while working full time, but there's not really a good substitute and even if you stumble upon other enthusiasts it'll be very difficult to determine how reliable they are. I think without the university you'd very likely run into people claiming to be experts and showing you incorrect things.

I think the university or college would be worth a try, or see if you can give it a go easing into it part-time. I'm also going to work full-time often times more than 8 hours a day too and the part-time strategy has been working excellent for me; I also started off in a community college (community college or junior college is usually a 2 year program instead of a 4 year program) and it was a path that I really value and felt like professors made very obvious efforts to support my learning goals.

Anyhoo the whole no free lunch thing... It's kind of like buying cheap items... you can expect a cheap outcome. It's not to say that it's 100% guaranteed to be this way, but generally speaking... I think you can understand the trend. In the case of your learning goals time is your money, and so if you want to go cheap with the time and effort you invest into it... what can you expect?
 
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  • #15
Hall said:
But what should be the way for him for attaining at least medium level knowledge of B.Sc. Level Mathematics?
If it means so much to him. Quitting his job and doing a BSc in mathematics.
Hall said:
Are there some institutions which offer video lectures (on payment basis) on topics Complex Analysis, Introductory Abstarct Algebra, Differential Geometry?
After two years of a lot of distance teaching, you should be able to find a lot of lectures online. It is going to be a jungle though and it is unlikely that someone would be willing to dig out relevant lectures for you and create a curriculum. You will also miss the entire support apparatus of an actual course where you can pose questions directly to the teacher and get feedback on your work. These are crucial elements of learning. The actual lectures are not. I don't exit a lecture hall believing for one second that the students just absorbed everything I told them. Absorbing it requires a lot of work with problems, asking me questions, asking each other questions, getting feedback, etc.
 
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  • #16
I didn't work while studying for my BSc. If your grades are important then it's impossible to study for Bsc and working. Unless you are enrolled to the open university, they are more flexible and suited for people who also work.
 
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  • #17
MathematicalPhysicist said:
I didn't work while studying for my BSc. If your grades are important then it's impossible to study for Bsc and working. Unless you are enrolled to the open university, they are more flexible and suited for people who also work.
Yes. I thought of going with what @Orodruin said, that is digging up the internet and preparing the curriculum for him. But how to do that digging? I mean do I have to go to dark web also? Coz I don’t think google is going to give me something really useful if I were to type “complete video lectures on introductory abstract algerba”.
 
  • #18
Hall said:
Coz I don’t think google is going to give me something really useful if I were to type “complete video lectures on introductory abstract algerba”.
Did you try?
1652174951127.png
 
  • #19
Hall said:
Yes. I thought of going with what @Orodruin said, that is digging up the internet and preparing the curriculum for him. But how to do that digging? I mean do I have to go to dark web also? Coz I don’t think google is going to give me something really useful if I were to type “complete video lectures on introductory abstract algerba”.
There are books and there are ways to read them... I never really understood something unless I read it from a book and after that asked questions here or somewhere else.

Try to contact professors via email, sometimes they answer especially if it's about their book which they wrote.
 
  • #20
Orodruin said:
Did you try?
View attachment 301290
Well, I don’t mean any disreagrd but the way you said “Did you try” sounded like an accusation that I was simply sitting idle and complaining that the world is bad.

I took Real Analysis lectures from Bill Kinney, and I came to know that he was not teaching those lectures a in univeristy the way Prof.David Jerison or Prof. Gilbert Strang was doing, so, I thought of keeping him a little down in my list. You said there was excessive tecahing online in these two years of COVID, so I thought I might find some university lectures.

Please don’t infer that I’m saying Bill Kinney is incompetent, all I saying is upto my knowledge, he is not tecahing in an University prescribed curriculum.
 
  • #21
MathematicalPhysicist said:
Try to contact professors via email, sometimes they answer especially if it's about their book which they wrote.
That’s a good idea! I think Sheldon Axler will reply if something is asked about his book, as he spent sometime on Maths Stackexchange (presumably he didn’t like the quarrel-some environment there and left).
 
  • #22
MathematicalPhysicist said:
There are books and there are ways to read them... I never really understood something unless I read it from a book and after that asked questions here or somewhere else.
Can you please share your experience how you cope up with the university when they completed one full chapter of Lineaer Algebra in just one week?
 
  • #23
Hall said:
and I came to know that he was not teaching those lectures a in univeristy
This is not necessarily a good criterion. The subject coverage and credentials of the lecturer are much more important than whether the lectures were given at a university, at a summer school, or something entirely different. Bill Kinney is a professor in mathematics at a university so the credentials are certainly there.

You also need to keep in mind that merely listening to or watching lectures are not going to be sufficient to learn a subject. You need to work hard with the subject for it to become something you actually know. A good teacher can inspire and guide, but the students have to learn the subject themselves and generally attending a lecture is not sufficient to do so.

Hall said:
Well, I don’t mean any disreagrd but the way you said “Did you try” sounded like an accusation that I was simply sitting idle and complaining that the world is bad.
Well, you made it sound precisely like that is what you were doing. Simply putting those words into Google gives several useful hits, not only the lectures by Kinney, and it is something very simple to do.
 
  • #24
mpresic3 said:
The next best thing to attending college, or maybe community college at night might be hire a tutor for math or physics who already knows physics or math at the graduate level. You would not be getting grades and it might take a lot longer than an undergraduate program, but it might satisfy your yearning to confer with the experts.
Hall said:
Yes, but can I find some online expert? I mean... do you know of any way how to search for them?
<<Emphasis added.>> OP: Given your constraints of a full-time job and given your goal of learning math for your own enlightenment (if I've understood you correctly, you're not planning to learn math to switch careers), then I would recommend a private tutor. You should look for one in your local area or region (scheduling is easier if you don't need to deal with time-zone differences), and you should look for one who speaks your native language (so you can focus on the math). I would contact the math departments of the universities nearest you, and ask whether there are retired math professors who are interested in serving as a private tutor (either as a volunteer or for a fee). This isn't an efficient process, but a best-effort process.
 
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  • #25
Hall said:
Can you please share your experience how you cope up with the university when they completed one full chapter of Lineaer Algebra in just one week?
Well my experience is a little bit odd and most students don't go that path.
I had a free year between high school and university which I studied by myself from books like Seymour Lipschutz's book on Linear Algebra, and a book on Infinitesimal Calculus 1+2 (in my country it's already proof-oriented not like in the states), I also read a book on Logic for Philosophy students (on propositional and predicate logic), this I did also in high school (since I excelled in high school math and physics).

You need to find books with solved exercises to some exercises in the book or most, otherwise it would be really tough to learn this stuff by yourself.
I daily read the books and done the exercises, I had a schedule to read such and such pages from the books, and after I finished reading the chapter and understanding the proofs I've tried to solve all the exercises in the book. The books have tough questions alongside easy questions, if you find difficulty in solving them you can always post here in PF or MSE.

I had loads of pages with solutions to those books which my arse-hole brother threw away from my room...
 
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  • #26
MathematicalPhysicist said:
I didn't work while studying for my BSc. If your grades are important then it's impossible to study for Bsc and working. Unless you are enrolled to the open university, they are more flexible and suited for people who also work.
I don't think this is true. It is possible to work a part time, maybe 30 hours max, and still preform well in undergrad. Not many people have the luxury of not working. I worked 40 hours a week and manage to end up with a 3.6 gpa BS Math (pure). Would I have worked 40 hours? No, but I was/am supporting a family. Had no time besides work/study, and would sleep maybe 5 hours max during a semester.
 
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  • #27
MidgetDwarf said:
I don't think this is true. It is possible to work a part time, maybe 30 hours max, and still preform well in undergrad. Not many people have the luxury of not working. I worked 40 hours a week and manage to end up with a 3.6 gpa BS Math (pure). Would I have worked 40 hours? No, but I was/am supporting a family. Had no time besides work/study, and would sleep maybe 5 hours max during a semester.
How many years did you need, going with such attendance to both work full time AND study & earn BS degree?
 
  • #28
symbolipoint said:
How many years did you need, going with such attendance to both work full time AND study & earn BS degree?
6 years. But mostly because I placed in arithmetic in CC. So I needed to take about 11 or 12 math classes to transfer. Ie., linear algebra and differential equations.
 
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  • #29
MidgetDwarf said:
6 years. But mostly because I placed in arithmetic in CC. So I needed to take about 11 or 12 math classes to transfer. Ie., linear algebra and differential equations.
One might assume that the Math courses did not become tough for you until Pre-Calculus or beyond. In trying to imagine how this went for you,
Easily Done: Arithmetic, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Trigonometry,
Maybe Difficult: College Algebra & Trigonometry
Difficult: Calc1, Calc2, Calc3(Intermediate/multivariable), Combination Course on Diff.Equations&LinearAlgebra
---
Nine semesters
---
You said, 6 years, so with the Math courses being four and a half years or more, this seems tough but doable if you did not need to overload during some semesters - but not sure what would have been "overload" FOR YOU.

One of my quotes did not make into this post, the quote being
How many years did you need, going with such attendance to both work full time AND study & earn BS degree?
 
  • #30
MidgetDwarf said:
I don't think this is true. It is possible to work a part time, maybe 30 hours max, and still preform well in undergrad. Not many people have the luxury of not working. I worked 40 hours a week and manage to end up with a 3.6 gpa BS Math (pure). Would I have worked 40 hours? No, but I was/am supporting a family. Had no time besides work/study, and would sleep maybe 5 hours max during a semester.
Well I learned for a maths and physics combined degree, it took me 4.5 years where the standard time is 3 years. But I took quite a lot of electives.
I believe a combined degree or double major is sort of equal to a math major+a job.
 
  • #31
symbolipoint said:
One might assume that the Math courses did not become tough for you until Pre-Calculus or beyond. In trying to imagine how this went for you,
Easily Done: Arithmetic, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Trigonometry,
Maybe Difficult: College Algebra & Trigonometry
Difficult: Calc1, Calc2, Calc3(Intermediate/multivariable), Combination Course on Diff.Equations&LinearAlgebra
---
Nine semesters
---
You said, 6 years, so with the Math courses being four and a half years or more, this seems tough but doable if you did not need to overload during some semesters - but not sure what would have been "overload" FOR YOU.

One of my quotes did not make into this post, the quote being
The way it was structured at the cc I attended.

There was no College Algebra Course. The algebra was broken down to pre-algebra, algebra 1, and algebra 2. ODE and Linear Algebra were two separate courses. The hardest class I took was Geometry. It was an actual proof based class, covering the material that US high schools taught in the past.

Calculus 1 was challenging (instructor), but it was manageable. I again faced difficulties in Linear Algebra (intro). It was a mixture of computation/proof. It was similar to what one would encounter in Friendberg's Linear Algebra Book. Except Linear Maps were done in R. It was funny, because my upper division LA class was based on Axler. So most of the material was familiar. The only knew thing new I learned in the course was Linear Maps on General Vector Spaces.

By far, Intro Abstract Algebra was my hardest course. I think it was largely based on the instructor giving weekly quizzes. Since I worked a lot, I was not able to learn/practice the material fast enough for the quizzes.

On average, I took 12 units a semester (full time)
 
  • #32
Never felt overloaded. Except 3 semesters. A physics course that required mandatory recitations. Which would cut into my study time. Oh some humanity electives I had to take. The instructor required 5 books (300 pages), at least 3 articles a week. The books were not easy reads. Fun course, but extremely time consuming. I took the humanities instructor twice due to being the only courses fitting my schedule.
 
  • #33
  • #34
Have you looked into resources like MIT's OpenCourseWare? It might have what you need.
 
  • #35
vela said:
Have you looked into resources like MIT's OpenCourseWare? It might have what you need.
Yes, they have best series on Differential Equations and Linear Algebra.
 

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