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PDE Basics: Where to Start?

  1. Apr 1, 2012 #1
    Hi, I'm an undergrad in EE who wants to learn the basics of solving PDEs (and Fourier series/transforms), but who has some learning disabilities (developmental, most notably).

    Before I get criticism for what I'm about to say (which will be asking for an alternative to the obligatory "read this textbook" response), I'll give some background:

    In high school, I was a mediocre math student. After being out of school for a considerable length of time, I had some strange neurological experience that wouldn't make sense to many I were to describe it to (a seizure, perhaps? hallucination without substances?) and decided I wanted to focus on mathematics, again. I watched all of the calc series on single and multivariable calculus from MIT's playlist and resumed school as an engineering student, having received straight As since. However, the real strategy to how I learned differently was visualization. I never relied on textbooks, never did anything merely procedurally without questioning, and could not rely on anything that did not make physical sense, nor could I do well on any concept (equations, formulas, etc.) unless I could understand it enough to derive it on my own.

    That said, I consider myself to be all but functionally illiterate. I consider textbooks useless if they don't show you entirely how to do every sort of problem that could show up. I prefer videos, learning directly from people, and building intuition.

    So, are there any sources appropriate given what I described?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2012 #2


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    Homework Helper

    As you're an electrical engineering student, you ought to watch the MIT lectures on electromagnetism by Walter Lewin on you tube.

    In fact there are a lot of good things on your tube for learning, but for real learning, you need to do problems...

    You might like the book,visual complex analysis by Needham.
  4. Apr 26, 2012 #3
    You don't need to be a math prodigy to be a math lover and looker. Spend some time on the forums, read up and learn. If so ask questions. Trying and playing is better than just researching.
  5. Apr 26, 2012 #4
    The whole point, though, is that my skills at reading math are significantly lower than my skills at doing/understanding math. I said, I'm all but functionally illiterate. It's hard—words and text appears so jumbled up and daunting to me. I need to be SHOWN. Reading, unless it's a very clear step by step study guide type of thing, is really challenging for me.
  6. Apr 28, 2012 #5
    HOw cna I help you better understand math? I am eng. but I have to math background in my research? How can I help? Give me clues?

  7. Apr 28, 2012 #6
    Well, Sal Khan (khanacademy) could teach calculus to a chimp.
    I still learn plenty from the MIT videos on youtube.
    PDEs, though—hard to find videos on those.
  8. Apr 28, 2012 #7
    I apologize but openly and honestly your attitude stinks.

    I am offering help, and you are basically telling me nothing is online. Well that leaves both nowhere right?

    You wanna do math, engineering, whatever, try to change your attitude.

    Lets start again now. Ok?

    Well, how can I assist your learning of partial differential equations?What types are you interested in hyperbolic? Parabolic?

    What type of solving methods do you want to learn, numerical? characterstic paths?

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