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Piecewise knowledge of mathematics.

  1. Feb 7, 2010 #1

    I am a college freshman.
    All the sudden I understood that school taught me fragments of mathematics, not the whole thing. Different low-grade teachers that would teach us to solve a lot of simple problems fast for tests like SAT instead of learning mathematics.

    I want to become a physicist.

    There is a problem.
    I know fragments of calculus, algebra and trigonometry. As I read into calculus textbook I understood that.

    I want you to suggest me a good textbook that would cover all the necessery subjects of mathematics from Algebra to Calculus. (not useless stuff like solving quadratic equations by so-called factoring)

    Also the separation onto Algebra I, ALgebra II,Trigonometry,and calculus exists only for educators, but I am certain that it CONTRIBUTED to the problem of fragmental knowledge of mathematics. I come to a new level and I am tought stuff but when we reach the end, we run out of time. Then I go to a higher level of mathematics an I am missing some basic knowledge. And so on it went,'till I got all my credits and realized that high school is a big waste of time.

    Since I am not the greatest mathematitian I would like to have a textbook where everything is written in a form of 'identity' or " this equates to this " form.

    This is the way I noticed that I learn well.

    I simply don't know where to begin with.
    If you are an educator, please take note of what I am saying as this may be a problem with some of your students.

    Thank you.
    Have a great day.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2010 #2

    If you study all of the mathematics up through calculus on this site, and supplement yourself with an engineering book like this https://www.amazon.com/Engineering-Mathematics-Fifth-CMath-FCollT/dp/0750685557 to practice doing questions & problem solving etc... then in about a month or so (hopefully quicker!) you'll be able to start studying a good physics book like University Physics https://www.amazon.com/University-Physics-Modern-Mastering-11th/dp/080538684X , this physics book is simply the best and clearest intro there is (IMO).

    I really mean it when I say do ALL of the math on that site, khanacademy, & definitely get at least the engineering book because it covers all of the basic math & calculus needed for University Physics. Furthermore, I advise getting Schaums 3000 solved problems after you finish a good few chapters of University Physics to have another source for testing yourself. Btw, to have khanacademy.org available to you is very lucky for you, the guy will explain things so well that you'll feel confident enough in your math after going through ALL of the videos, but get another book to test yourself!

    When you're up to at least the calculus stuff on both Khanacademy & in the engineering book I really advise you to get a good calculus book too, at least Stewart Calculus or Thomas Calculus.

    Then if you finish all this stuff you'll be able to move on to other stuff, but it takes time & continual failure/re-starts lol
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Feb 8, 2010 #3
    Can you then tell me what is useful maths?
  5. Feb 8, 2010 #4
    http://www.maths.mq.edu.au/~wchen/ln.html" [Broken]

    Too me, it sounds like you crave a book in real analysis. I gone through the same thing after I completed Calculus. Try
    Real Analysis-Haasar, Sullivan or
    Introductory Real Analysis-Kolmogorov or
    Principals of Mathematical Analysis-Rudin
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Feb 12, 2010 #5
    Thank you.
    I think i found something, but let me look up the name of the author.

    there are a lot of useless parts of math that they teach in school to fill up the cariculum
    especially algebraII course.
  7. Feb 12, 2010 #6
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Feb 13, 2010 #7
    The guy saids he knows fragments of trigonometry & calculus, how can you expect him to cope with real analysis? Or Mary Boas book???? I mean, you can't get into any of the substance of Boas' book without the calculus, end of! (unfortunately know this from experience).

    I bet you'll waste a load of time before you come back and clear up your trigonometry skills, let alone calculus skills. It is a guarantee that you'll only have to stop your studies of physics to go back over the essentials, again and again if you don't do it properly.

    EDIT: You must be joking claiming algebra II is a waste of time.

    Good luck with that arrogance, I didn't know I wasted my time with "filler" material like logs, exponents, factoring quadratics & cubics, it's not like these things ever come up when doing physics, they are not on nearly every page or anything...

    I hope you update us on your progress through physics & calculus seeing as you don't appreciate/know how to factor a quadratic. I mean, yahoo answers can only give the right answers so many times...


    That is a self consistent pdf of all of the basic algebra you'll need to actually do some physics, if you a) don't know all this stuff cold, & b) get some supplementary material so that you can do practice problems, I wont feel sorry for you when you get so frustrated that you feel like quitting the study of physics due to math related injuries...
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
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