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Math pros, xperts, geeks and majors, please help me fix my math deficiency!

  1. May 19, 2005 #1
    My math skills is horrid beyong recognition and I am ashamed of it. As you guys may I have noticed my first post here: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=76033

    I am seeking help and advice on my math problem. The scoop is, my grade 11 and 12 math education was totally horrid. Well, i started grade 11 here in Canada when i moved from Asia.

    My grade 11 and 12 teacher, never taught me anything, he will only teach once a month or so and just give us sheets of questions and write on the board: we are learning chapter XYZ, please read the following pages and do the questions. I managed to get through my memorizing alot and not understanding the concept and of course it leads to my ultimate demise. After transfering school and taking high school calculus, it was a total disaster and I realized how screwed i am in math. Currently, i am doing an accounting and marketing major in university but my dream is to also have an electrical engineer background since i want a career in hi-tech...

    can someone here please tell me waht to do to fix my problem?
    I have 4 summer break while working with AMD and i need to do something now..

    please help me..
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2005 #2


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    You can check out some community colleges. The one near me offers remedial courses where you work at your own pace and the instructors basically help you as needed. They also offer regular courses in pre-algebra, pre-calculus, etc. I imagine most other community colleges would do much the same. You can attend during your summer break (if they have a summer term). You may also be able to take these classes online.
    You could also just study on your own and come here when you need help :) You may not need to do as much work as you think. Where do you need to start? Are you comfortable with algebra and trigonometry?
  4. May 19, 2005 #3
    pick up James Stewarts book" Intro to Calculus" thats the book you need to become comfortable in math.
  5. May 19, 2005 #4
    You need to get tutor. There is simply no other way.

    I think you would be ready to take college calculus after about 20 sessions, if they are a good tutor. This is based on a person of reasonable intelligence starting from high school pre-algebra. People who actually do math (in universities, as opposed to high schools) can teach you algebra the right way in a few hours (I've had people wonder "what was going on all those years in high school?").

    Tutoring is the easiest way to learn math, in my opinion. The progress made by a student in just a few weeks of tutoring sessions is as substantial as taking a semester long course.

    The next best thing you can do for yourself after finding a tutor is to learn to read math and physics textbooks. This takes a long time, and is very important to engineers (who must learn complex instructions quickly).
  6. May 22, 2005 #5
    take calc book and BEGIN ON YOUR OWN .doing it all on your own thats the best way ,
  7. May 23, 2005 #6


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    I wouldn't recommend this, even if you are of above average intelligence. It's usually a more painstaking and slow process, when trying to push through difficult concepts on your own. If it were the case that learning on your own was the best way, school would have no purpose. Not to say; "have someone do your homework for you", that's one of the few exceptions I would make to my above statement. You must struggle with problems, and only until you have put everything you have into them, and still couldn't find an answer, that's when you seek help. But having someone to work through solutions, as well clarify concepts within a class environment, has been at least to me, the easiest way to learn.
  8. May 24, 2005 #7
    There are several advantages in learning yourself, at least, say, during summer vacation time. For starters, no pressure of exams; some people would memorize and not understand because deadlines are coming up. Some people, however, can only learn when pressured.
  9. May 24, 2005 #8


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    i recommend learning algebra well from a good high school book, like the wonderful book of Harold Jacobs. He also has a terrific book on geometry. After that calculus is much easier. Doing calculus before understanding both geometry and algebra well is a mistake, and even folly. :smile:
  10. Jun 24, 2010 #9
    One on one sessions help so much! When i wanted to get back to math, i asked my teachers for help in the morning for atleast 1 hour every day. I basically lived and breathed math this past year. I'm almost caught up where i want to be. I went from a guy who had 40% to somebody who has 80% in advance functions (i live in canada). My calculus is meh but that's because i didn't take the pre requesite.
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