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Transitioning to college math

  1. Jan 6, 2010 #1
    Hi folks. I'm entirely new to this forum, so I hope I'm asking this question at the right place. I'm a recent high school graduate waiting to enroll in college in Fall 2010. In general, I'm free for the majority of the next eight months.

    I hope to spend this time effectively transitioning into collegiate-level mathematics. In particular, I hope to be prepared for first-year theoretical developments of calculus (for a reference, see the honors calculus programs at http://math.uchicago.edu/~ershov/16100/" [Broken]) and for some degree of study in pure mathematics. My major will not be in mathematics and likewise, I don't wish to study mathematics because I want to become a mathematician or anything like that. I just hope to develop my logical thinking skills while learning enough math to supplement my course of study.

    My preparation thus far has been a relatively standard high school sequence. I've done AP Calculus BC, some complex numbers and some game theory. However, I've had very little experience with proofs and such. So I'm here to borrow from the collective wisdom of those who've managed to bridge that gap at some point in their education. What books/methods/websites/habits would you recommend so that I will be able to perform consistently well in college math classes? KIV that I have 8 months to get all of it down.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2010 #2
    If you know which school you are attending, there might be a way to figure out which books are used in the math courses you plan to take. If you can figure out which books are used you should be able to purchase them on Amazon or some other online book store.

    If you are not interested any particular class, then there are some good books in general that help prep for for mathematical thinking and proof, something like https://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Pro...sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262882307&sr=8-6" might be helpful.

    And finally there are plenty of mathematical websites, you might want to start with your college's website. Most professors will have course outlines and notes available that you can download and browse.

    I wouldn't stress too much over it. You will have plenty of time to transition, and most people if there fundamentals are sound do well in beginning to write proofs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Jan 27, 2010 #3
    just find a first year calculus book. In general first year calculus ( as well as physics/chemistry) books are very accessible and good for self study. Make sure you study the ~70% percent of the end of chapter problems with answers. In fact, I got the top letter grade in the calculus course mainly due to solving end chapter problems. Make sure you assign lots of time and digest the first few chapters throughly. The rest will be easy. Don't waste your time with lecture notes etc. Just buy a nice textbook. First year college books are awesome!
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