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Want to become strong in math

  1. Oct 25, 2006 #1
    Im in college and i work like a mad dog, and recently ive been trying my best to learn some extra math on the side, between work, school and friends.

    I want to gain the best understanding as possible in mathematics, but i have a some small disorders in my head and all, and my memory aint that good

    atm im beginging to learn how to evaluate limits for calculus after reading alot of introducory information, but still some of the algebra stuff doesnt want to stick in my head and a need a bit of a refresher. I always find myself going back to relearn things, because i got confused.

    Does anyone have articles/hyperlinks that could give me a overveiw of all the rules and laws in algebra that tell you to do this when you have that?
    If i can get some good stuff to read im pretty sure ill get better at remembering, i would just like some good hyperlinks, to good stuff to help me when im teaching myself the calculus.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2006 #2
    In your spare time you could always try going to a library and flipping through math books and dictionaries of mathmatic terms and properties.

    OK that might not actually help too much but some of the stuff in those books is actually pretty interesting even though they might not help too much. Math books can actually be pretty fun :]

    A tutor might help you re-learn some of those things you have to 'keep going back to' more easily.

    'work, school, and friends'?
    work, play, sleep. You can only choose two. =]

    EDIT: you're older than me so I dont know if you can find my advice too reliable...
  4. Oct 25, 2006 #3
    my time is divided into 40% work, 30% school, 20% play and 10% free time, yes i guessed those :)

    -i can always lessen my 20% play time :)
    -atm im searching to forums for good resources, but if anyone still has others id love to accept and read them
  5. Oct 25, 2006 #4
    I would recommend the complete idiots guide to calculus. Not only does it cover most topics in Calculus 1 and 2, but the first 2 chapters are devoted to Algebra and trigonometry. It may be the refresher you're looking for.
  6. Oct 25, 2006 #5
    -LOL thats the book im using :)
    -i just feel that in the chapters before they start with limits i should learn some more material
    -i just picked up a second book since i last posted its called

    "Calc for the Clueless" by bob miller

    Im becoming very excited because i actually understand some of the basic material in the first chapter, and im looking forward to reading it tommorow before class and till i finish it.

    Im thinking of turning learning calculus into my hobby, anyone know any good study habits?:rofl:..... seriiously though
  7. Oct 25, 2006 #6
    The best study tip is to invest in a good desk chair. I went through the first few years on fold up chairs and couches, and finally went down to office depot and got a nice chair. I spent an hour before I picked the perfect one. I get 4 times as much done in this chair than any other set up.
  8. Oct 26, 2006 #7
  9. Oct 26, 2006 #8


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    You know, there might be something to that. There's a chair in one of the the computer labs that I tend to get lots of work done in. Comfortable enough to keep me there, skinny armrests so I don't just relax, heavy and non-rolling so I don't get up much, but roomy enough so it's not inconvenient to reach sideways for stuff without moving.
  10. Oct 26, 2006 #9
    One piece of feedback that might or might not be useful to you is that in math you would not want to memorize the rules just as facts and then when confronted with a problem memorize which rule to use.
    Instead you would want to understand why the rules are the rules and be able to derive these rules. With such an understanding you will be able to apply them in solving problems without memorization.
  11. Oct 26, 2006 #10
    thank y'all :!!)
  12. Oct 28, 2006 #11
    I used that book in addition to my text book, and I felt the same way. Once I started reading it I felt like I should already know so much more pre-req stuff. But don't worry. Just keep going forward and you will pick up most the stuff you missed on the way. At least that's how its worked for me so far.
  13. Oct 28, 2006 #12
    If you wanna learn single variable calculus properly, study Calculus by Spivak. There is no other substitution, forget stewart or any of the applied texts.
  14. Oct 28, 2006 #13


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    i agree with the spirit of serenity's mesaage. you are not an idiot, so why read a book for idiots.

    try calculus for intelligent persons, or persons who aspire to become intelligent persons.


    1) calculus made easy, by sylvanus p thompson

    then if that is too easy,


    2) thomas, calculus, not thomas and cooke or finney, just thomas.

    then if that is too easy,

    try 3) spivak's calculus.

    if that is too easy, which id oubt, try

    4) dieudonne's foundations of modern analysis.

    if that is too easy, you will certainly get you an appointment to a top school.
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