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Tips on Balancing Your Own Personal Studies and Full Time Work

  1. Aug 16, 2012 #1
    Anyone out there work in a profession not math-related that still enjoys studying pure mathematics on a pretty serious basis? What started out a casual side project for me has turn into something very serious. Armed with key texts in Algebra, Analysis, and Topology, I am ready to do battle. Can anyone share some tips? Thus far, I have had at least an hour studying a day since June 9, and I have one textbook completely finished front to back (almost every exercise). I am not so sure that I will have time for these 3-5 hour studying binges that I have the opportunity to do once in a while starting next week, but I am hoping to stay consistent with 1-2 hours a day.

    Looking forward to some input. Thanks!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2012 #2
    I find myself in a similar situation. I have an degree in economics and became interested in mathematics around the time I graduated. While there is a low probability I will never be a great and famous mathematician, I do enjoy learning it. I have taken the calculus series at a community college but find myself in a situation where I need to start a real career. Hopefully, I can still take courses and eventually earn maybe a master's degree but I am content in the knowledge that this may not pan out. To me, mathematics is just a way of life, like being a Christian or Jew or Muslim. Once famous example of a mathematician who pursued "The Way" as a hobby was Pierre Fermat, his profession was a being a lawyer.

    My tips? I suggest reading a lot of math and more importantly, doing as many practice problems as you find enjoyable. The Shaum's outline series is great for worked examples and problems. I loaded up on a few of these outlines. Dover publishing comes to mind for many cheap texts that cover pretty much every subject in math. These books are very dense. You can also invest in some more pricey current texts when funds are available. There are lectures and videos on YouTube of elementary and even some advanced courses if you need to see a lecture or two. If you are serious about math then nothing will stop you from learning it.
  4. Aug 17, 2012 #3
    If you're really interested, you could probably find some advance math lectures online from universities. Just an idea :)

    (MIT's OCW program comes to mind)
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