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Courses Seeking advice about learning more math

  1. Oct 10, 2018 #1
    Hello, I am new to this forum and would like to ask a few questions. I guess I should introduce my self. I am currently 16 probably a little young to be on a forum of this caliber. I currently have an interest in math and wish to pursue this interest in college and beyond. I currently am a junior taking pre calculus and statistics. I have always excelled in math ever sense elementary school and I am currently going to a private school where my courses are set, I chose statistics as a elective this year. Next year math is optional but I am going to take AP Calculus AB (BC is not offered) Physics (Algebra based, AP is not offered) and engineering (As an elective). I have excelled on my college entrance exams even though I have not taken my final tests. I wish there was more variety to take at my school but sadly that is not an option. I am wondering what books/textbooks, courses, or curriculum I could take this year or next. In addition to my material learned at school. I am also looking for mathematical books that are advanced but within my capability of reading. I would like to either attend Colorado State of Mines, MIT, Cornell, or Harvard. I have not had the opportunity to compete in any mathematical events. Are my chances slim getting into any of these universities and am I able to continue to advanced mathematics. Thank you so much for your input.
     
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  3. Oct 11, 2018 at 8:15 AM #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Here's some resources for you to check out:

    1) Khan Academy online courses

    2) Mathispower4u.com has math from 9th grade to 1st year college ie Calculus, Linear Algebra, Differential Equations and Statistics in short topic videos.

    3) Openstax online books by Rice University. There a highschool and college level Physics and Math books available that are quite good and could supplement what you are learning. As you study Physics AP, you could read about the same problems using calculus to solve them.

    Just make sure you don't overextend yourself and/or get confused with Algebra vs Calculus based solutions to your Physics problems unless your teacher approves and understands what you're learning. I had a Chemistry teacher like that who taught me on how to use the loglog scales on my slide rule which wasn't taught in our class and allowed me to use them in problem solving.
     
  4. Oct 11, 2018 at 8:27 AM #3
    The physics I will be learning next year is not AP nor Calculus bases. Are you suggesting as a pre calculus student I get a Calculus based physics book or wait until next year to do that sense I will be taking AP AB Calculus
     
  5. Oct 11, 2018 at 8:48 AM #4

    fresh_42

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    Herein is a collection of articles and sources about "self-study" math and physics. It might be worth to have a read.

    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/self-teaching-gcse-and-a-level-maths.933639/#post-5896947

    and maybe this one: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~rhammack/BookOfProof/BookOfProof.pdf
    which I'd rather have as a "look it up" source than read it.

    In any case, you can always come over here and ask whatever you want. Just as a little hint: If your questions are exercise-like, whether homework or textbook exercises, please use our homework sections and fill out the (automatically inserted) template, especially part three with your own efforts. You will meet a lot of teachers who will like to help you. But we want to teach, not solve, so that's why part 3 of the template is important to us. Nevertheless, if you have problems to understand something, PF is the first choice to go to and certainly faster than stuck. I would also recommend it for checking whether you got a concept right or not, as learning it wrong and then correcting it is hard.
     
  6. Oct 11, 2018 at 11:10 AM #5
    Thank you for the wonderful descriptive advice; I truly appreciate it. However, I do have one more question. Sense I am taking pre cal and taking AP Cal next year what is a course that I can take this year and comprehend. I would like to try to get into advanced math as you know a link to a text book would be appreciated.
     
  7. Oct 11, 2018 at 11:24 AM #6

    fresh_42

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    Hard to tell without a better knowledge of where you are at, resp. are willing to accept in a language used outside of school. You could check out the openstax books and see where you stand. E.g. linear algebra is not really hard to understand but necessary in all STEM fields. However, since school topics are usually very computational and biased towards calculus, students in the first year often have difficulties to get used to the different way of thinking in linear and / or abstract algebra. So linear algebra would be a possibility to learn. It also has the advantage, that it probably won't collide with other courses - with the exception of solving linear equation systems.
     
  8. Oct 11, 2018 at 11:40 AM #7

    Stephen Tashi

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    It's impossible to advise about that unless you say what courses are offered.

    A basic decision is whether to read material that introduces some calculus or to postpone that type of material until you are taking calculus. Let's say you choose to read material that doesn't depend on calculus. I'd advise studying Logic. Understanding basic logic, including the logic of quantifiers (##\forall, \exists ##) is essential to understanding Calculus or other mathematical topics precisely.

    That's a question for someone who is an expert on college admissions or a graduate of those particular schools. Did any staff of your private school attend them?
     
  9. Oct 11, 2018 at 11:50 AM #8
    First of all thank you both for your advice , it is appreciated.
    I have worked with linear equations of course and am confident in doing so.
    So what I am thinking ( correct me if I am wrong ) with my current level of mathematical knowledge I should purchase an advanced linear algebra textbook and a introduction to Mathematical Logic book? I will wait until next year until I actually take more than pre cal ( As of next year I will be in AP AB Cal) to expand to more advanced calculus. But these two suggestions I should be able to comprehend? I would say I am definelty above average in math but I have not had extremely difficult courses. I will do research on these two topics and find a text that suits me. If you have any recommendations that would be appreciated. Thank you so much for your time
     
  10. Oct 11, 2018 at 11:54 AM #9
    Would an introductory to abstract algebra work for the linear algebra you are reccomending.
     
  11. Oct 11, 2018 at 11:57 AM #10

    fresh_42

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    What I meant was the following:
    Here where I live, kids are confronted with three versions to solve things like ##ax+by=u\; , \;cx+dy=v##, called substitution, addition and comparison method. Unfortunately, they are not told, that ##\begin{bmatrix}a&b\\c&d\end{bmatrix}\cdot \begin{bmatrix}x\\y\end{bmatrix}=\begin{bmatrix}u\\v\end{bmatrix}## is the correct method to do it, which is subject to linear algebra.
     
  12. Oct 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM #11

    fresh_42

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    Yes and no, but more no. Normally linear algebra refers to anything around vector spaces, which is why it is so important, whereas abstract algebra usually deals with structures like groups, rings and fields. The former is far more a tool than the latter.

    P.S.: For the book about logic, please check my link in post #4. This is for free and will serve the same purpose.
     
  13. Oct 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM #12
    I am vaguely framiliar with this, do you have a reccomended text for expansion on this, I looked at openstax and they seem to have Elemtary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra ( Guessing is Algebra 2) I have taken that, and college level. Is there another text you know I don’t think I should take college level algebra just yet.
     
  14. Oct 11, 2018 at 12:08 PM #13

    fresh_42

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    If I would have to purchase a book, I would do it the right way and e.g. choose

    https://www.amazon.com/Linear-Algeb...4&sr=8-1&keywords=werner+greub+linear+algebra

    or a more modern version, although this won't make a difference. I would also avoid a paperback, as it will be a book which constantly will accompany you throughout the years, in case you follow the path you described.
     
  15. Oct 11, 2018 at 12:25 PM #14
    Would you suggest a modern version such as: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01FGP4A8G/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1539278635&sr=8-1
    Or would the comprehension be moderately the same. Sense I am a high schooler
     
  16. Oct 11, 2018 at 12:34 PM #15

    Stephen Tashi

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    My recommendation is to study Logic. You can purchase a book or find online material.

    As to linear algebra, my own advice is begin by studying something less related to high school algebra. If you study linear algebra, you have to fight the tendency to explain the material to yourself using high school algebra instead grasping the abstract content that texts attempt to convey. It's better to make a "clean break" with high school algebra if the purpose is to understand mathematical abstraction. Group Theory and Point Set Topology are examples of topics that are not heavily dependent on Calculus and not likely to be confused with high school algebra. It might be hard to find modern texts on these topics written for high school students, but there are some old books that would do. E.g. https://www.amazon.com/Groups-Their-Graphs-Mathematical-Library/dp/088385614X

    When I was in high school, the usual result for high school students self-studying mathematical books was that they didn't progress quickly. That was before the days of lectures on YouTube and internet forums.
     
  17. Oct 11, 2018 at 12:34 PM #16

    fresh_42

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    I don't know. I can only recommend what I know, and Greub is a good book, and the entire Springer series can be recommended. I don't have a single book from the series which I ever regretted to have bought. The matter hasn't changed in the last 100+ years, so it really doesn't matter. My author (Greub) has a Wiki entry, under David Pole a politician and a bishop showed up.

    It is a college book, yes, but there is no reason to assume you cannot understand it. It might be a new line of thought, one which you will get used to sooner or later anyway. So the question is whether you dare to jump into the pool now, or better postpone it.
     
  18. Oct 11, 2018 at 12:40 PM #17

    fresh_42

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    As already mentioned: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~rhammack/BookOfProof/BookOfProof.pdf

    But - and this is my own personal opinion: What a waste of time! We only use a rather small part of logic, namely predicate logic, and it automatically comes by reading abstract proofs - the more the better. Why learn things twice? As I said, my opinion.
     
  19. Oct 11, 2018 at 1:02 PM #18
    Ok call me dumb, but I should go into this new. Don’t try to relate this to highschool correct.
     
  20. Oct 11, 2018 at 1:11 PM #19

    fresh_42

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    Probably better. E.g. a rotation at school is probably something involving a compass, in linear algebra it is ##\begin{bmatrix}\cos \varphi &-\sin \varphi \\ \sin \varphi & \cos \varphi\end{bmatrix}## or worse, simply ##A^\tau A = E## or ##\langle Au,Av\rangle = \langle u,v \rangle##.

    If you are stuck, come on over or really postpone it. It doesn't help you, if you get frustrated. As you saw on my example, things can become rather abstract fast.
     
  21. Oct 11, 2018 at 1:19 PM #20
    Yeah I have a lot of work to put in but I think it will be worth it.
     
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