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Studying Studying Math?

  1. Jun 30, 2008 #1
    Hey everybody.
    I'm about to start studying Computer science and Math in 4 months.
    I have a lot of free time now, the studies where im going to be are known to be extremly challenging.
    I'm trying to make a good use of my time, I've started studying some C programming by myself which goes pretty well and is lots of fun.
    I was thinking I should do the same with Math, get some better fundementals on the big topics instead of wasting the time I have.
    I've always loved Math, I've never got much further than highschool level but im pretty sure I have the right mind for it.
    My question is, how can I study Math by myself? I can understand stuff for myself and dont really need a teacher(for the basics ofcourse) but I do need some overall guidence.
    I can't say I remember much from the highschool studies, they were poor and I have to go through an army service since than. I guess that recommandations of good basic articles in the main fields(Algebra, Geomerty, Number Theory, whatever is important :)) would be a great help.

    Just tell me whatever you think.
    Hope this kind of topic suites this forum.
    Thanks in advanced!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2008 #2
    Read and /understand/ the material then work out problems. That's pretty much IMO the best thing you can do when you're by yourself.

    The benefit of being able to have a professor to talk to is that you can share your ideas with them and they can correct you if you're wrong. You can discuss problems with them and hopefully clarify things that you do not understand. This will definitely aid in studying apart from reading and working on problems (practicing).
  4. Jun 30, 2008 #3
    thx. good chance i'll go ahead any buy this book, been told it should do a good job :)
    any other ideas for books would be awesome, I have 50$ in my paypal account waiting to be used..
  5. Jun 30, 2008 #4
    oops, I was talking about a book someone has recommanded me on another thread.
    anyhow, book recommandations would be awesome.
  6. Jun 30, 2008 #5
    First off, if you have not, check out this thread started by a math professor: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=122924

    It provides a lot of information about studying mathematics.

    Before anyone can recommend any books, which field(s) seem particularly interesting and something you would want to study?
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2008
  7. Jun 30, 2008 #6
    I'm not really interested in any particular field at the moment. I just want to broad my Math knowledge in any possible direction. I do prefer studying stuff that will eventually help me out with early college Math studies, but that's not highly important.
    from my shallow math knowledge, I know that statistics, combinatorics, number theory are all interesting. only thing I can say is that geometry seems to be less at atractive to me, but you cant really judge anything from highschool level studies.

    good day :)
  8. Jun 30, 2008 #7
    What have you covered in high school? Up to pre-calculus or have you calculus?
  9. Jun 30, 2008 #8
    As for preparing for your Comp Sci stuff, I highly recommend beginning going through the K&R C book here:


    (if you aren't already), doing all the exercises (it takes a lot of time, don't expect to get through the book quickly). Programming is just like math, you learn by doing.

    Also there are a lot of badly written C/C++ books out there that are likely to just confuse you, or over simplify things.
  10. Jun 30, 2008 #9
    K&R C is a great book, I also recommend it if you're trying to learn C.

    Don't mind the type-set the book's content is priceless.
  11. Jun 30, 2008 #10
    I think i'm doing pretty well with the programming, I know two guys who help me when I need it and I dont have to sweat too much to understand the basics.

    as for highschool, your being taught how to pass your finals, you learn how to use the calculus without having a clue what it is. we did got to calculus, I can't say I remember much about it although I think I just need to refresh my memory a bit.
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