Self teaching over the summer

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Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm thinking of teaching myself some topics in maths and physics for fun over the summer.

However, I've found that I usually need a teacher/lecturer to explain some concepts to me when the books go all sketchy in those areas. I need this especially when I can't see where I've gone wrong in my working or if I don't fully understand the solutions.

Does anybody know of a way to combat this, or know of a decent tutoring program that I could join for the summer?

Any other suggestions are welcome.
 

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  • #2
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There are some schools that offer free video lectures in Math and Physics. I dont know what Math or Physics you want to do but MIT has a wide range of it.

Link: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
 
  • #3
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another good place is Kahn academy.

or you could log onto a physics forum type website where people who know math and physics hang out. you could ask them when you get stuck. =]
 
  • #4
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If you are studying on your own, you should make sure to only study one thing at a time.

I tried to self-study last summer, and I only really made progress once I decided to focus on getting through one book.
 
  • #5
I wonder, which topics in math are you talking about exactly?

Basics? Or something advanced?

Calculus? Or something other?
 
  • #6
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I was thinking of going through a book like "Mathematical methods for physics and engineering" Riley et al, which has a bunch of maths topics in the book.

My main aim really is to develop my insight and intuition of physics and my problem solving skills. However, what I have found at university is that you sometimes need to ask other people for help to clarify the problems you are having with the subject, as most books can't cater for that.

The point of this thread is to address this; I basically need a good teacher who I can go to during the summer and ask questions. Or have a good tutor online or something.

As for particular topics I'd like to go through, I would like to do fourier analysis, go into more depth with matrices and vector calculus, partial differential equations and possibly some tensor work. Although I may change my mind and do loads of mechanics, like lagrangian mechanics and fluids.

The reason why I want to do the maths is because then I'd be able to focus on the physics at university without having difficulty with the maths.
 
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  • #7
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If you are studying on your own, you should make sure to only study one thing at a time.

I tried to self-study last summer, and I only really made progress once I decided to focus on getting through one book.
Thanks for the advice. I will do hopefully.
 
  • #8
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Also, does anybody know where to buy the instructors manual of university physics OR fundamentals of physics? That would be a great help too.
 
  • #9
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My guess is you can't if you're not an instructor, but maybe someone else can chip in to confirm or refute this.
 
  • #12
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Just as a word of caution, I would stay away from Riley for self-studying. There aren't enough problems for each topic for one to make sure one really understands the material, and hints rather than answers are given in the back, so it's difficult to check your understanding. Although these are all issues that can be remedied in a classroom setting, the lack of self-verification might prove a hindrance to solid learning. You might have better luck with Boas's book.
 
  • #13
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Just as a word of caution, I would stay away from Riley for self-studying. There aren't enough problems for each topic for one to make sure one really understands the material, and hints rather than answers are given in the back, so it's difficult to check your understanding. Although these are all issues that can be remedied in a classroom setting, the lack of self-verification might prove a hindrance to solid learning. You might have better luck with Boas's book.
Thanks for the feedback.

However, I will obviously have questions to ask when I can't see where I have gone wrong in my method. So, where can I discuss this apart from physics forums?
 

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