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Self-learning Trig? calculus?

  1. Jan 17, 2010 #1
    I'm a sophmore in high school, right now im in honors chemistry and algebra 2, (if you are familiar with science bowl, my school, mira loma, won last year)

    I want to learn trig and eventually calculus on my own, with the hopes of understanding highschool and college level physics. I have an old textbook from my dad's study, its by Mcgraw hill and it says "Plane Trigonometry with Tables"(1974) is this a good textbook to learn from? If not what is a better method and what would be better for learning calculus and physics on my own?

    Also, what are the REAL pre-req.s to learn calculus and trig because theres a lot of stuff I hear like Pre Calculus is not really related or used in Calculus, so what do I need to learn then?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2010 #2
    My first words of advice would be to slow down. You don't have to learn all of this now. Most introductory physics textbooks can be read and worked through with a little bit of trig. As with learning any subject by yourself the most important thing is practice. Their really isn't one method of self study; normally you learn the way you feel most comfortable with. All that is left is work lots and lots of problems. This is the only way to get good at something like math. Once you understand a concept try explaining it to someone else. Teaching is the ultimate evidence of true understanding of a subject.

    Good Luck!
  4. Jan 29, 2010 #3
    You can learn pre-calculus math(algebra, trigonometry, etc.) from online sources. Try this site out: http://www.themathpage.com/aPreCalc/precalculus.htm , continue through the topics until you understand everything there. I would say you need a good knowledge of the following: Trigonometry(sin, cos, tan, identities, etc.), exponents and exponential functions, logarithms and logarithmic functions, functions(of course), conic sections(ellipse, hyperbola, and parabola), sequences and infinite series, and so on.

    You should memorize everything between tan = sin/cos up till related identities.
    Remember logbx = n and bn = x.
    To get the value of n you do: logx/logb(or logexponent/logbase)
    I'm sure you already memorized (-b +/- sqrt(b2 -4ac) /2a, sohcahtoa and etc.

    Like I said, check out http://www.themathpage.com/aPreCalc/precalculus.htm or http://www.youtube.com/khanacademy
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  5. Jan 29, 2010 #4

    Char. Limit

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    Gold Member

    Especially check out khan academy. My advice is use Khan Academy to learn the material, then find somewhere to do practice problems.
  6. Jan 29, 2010 #5
    You mean visit:
    http://khanexercises.appspot.com/ [Broken]
    And then find somewhere else to do more practice problems :tongue:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Jan 29, 2010 #6

    Char. Limit

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    Gold Member

    Oh wow, now that is a great place. I never knew Sal made practice problems too.
  8. Aug 24, 2010 #7
    Hello there I want to know that i study economics and want to know that is it difficult to study electrical or need to study maths and physics on my own please recommend me.
  9. Sep 16, 2010 #8
    Everything in the review of this page is needed to learn calculus: http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Classes/CalcI/CalcI.aspx

    Don't read the notes, they are short and brief, and are meant to be read after a book or supplement formal teaching. Mostly in calculus you should be good with manipulating equations and knowing the unit circle. You can probably even understand limits and derivatives now. Don't be afraid to jump into something.

    Some people were saying to not worry about learning all this now. It is better to approach physics from a calculus perspective and will make you better with physics. The other way can be done too, just not as effective.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2010
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