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Losing ability of solving problems.

  1. Oct 9, 2013 #1
    Hi guys!

    Well, when I was a B.Sc and/or a M.Sc student I used to solve lots of exercises from books in order to prepare myself for exams. I was really familiar with many methods for solving ODE and PDE by hand and I was comfortable by doing it.

    But since 3 years I am only working in research and, since the equations involved in my field (turbulence modeling) are unsolvable by hand for the complex situations which I work on, I just stopped to really "solve" them and in the last years I have focussed in their interpretation and in the understanding of concepts. Because of that, now I feel I have lost/forgotten a lot of tools required for solving the simple cases by hand, even when I understand the equations much better than what I did 3 years ago.

    Do you think this situation is normal? or I am doing something wrong?

    Thanks a lot for your comments...
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2013 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Unfortunately yes, it's normal to lose your skills if you don't use them on a regular basis.

    The good thing is that re-learning them isn't all that difficult if you were proficient once.
  4. Oct 10, 2013 #3


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    Gold Member

    Twice a year, typically around holidays, I take a couple undergrad physics books off the shelf and a math methods book. For example:

    Byron and Fuller, Griffiths E&M, and Morin's Classical Mechanics. Then I try to solve a bunch of problems over a few days cold. If I forget a technique I give myself a crash course. Every christmas, spring holiday, Thanksgiving, etc I try to do this. It's nostalgic and fun.
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