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What to study?

  1. Sep 30, 2015 #1
    I am in the 3rd grade of high school and we have a very weird math program.Since the school is specialised for economics we don't study trigonometry in the 3rd grade ,instead we learn about interest rates and how to calculate credits etc... Regardless, we have additional lections (which I am attending) where we learn about induction, limits, more on functions and some differential and integral calculus but only general concepts that don't use trig. The thing is that I want study maths at uni, so I study trig at home at my own, and I am really bad at writing proofs (can't do even the simplest ones).So how should I learn trigonometry, introduction to calculus and go through "How to Prove it" (Daniel J. Velleman) at the same time? I think that if I don't do proofs while studying trigonometry I should never learn it properly. And yeah, the school policy forbids dropping classes once they are signed. Anyways, my question is : what to focus on ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2015 #2
    Well the first year of uni is generally just going over mathematics you will need in the future part of the course, so I wouldn't really worry about trying to learn it yourself (unless you actually want to, which is totally fine). Calculus can be tricky when you first start with it, as well as trig, try finding a decent textbook for it- this will be the most important part.
     
  4. Sep 30, 2015 #3
    First, best of luck to you. Second, if you want to study math at college, knowing trig makes life extremely easier so you cannot go wrong there, it seems that any professor I have had always loved throwing trig questions out to the students, it's something so intrinsic. Therefore, I don't see it going away anytime soon in math, I am taking Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra and Diffys Q and we use trig everyday. Learn it, love, live it!
    Proofs come with time, once you have more tools (mathematical knowledge) they will come. I started with easy ones that have been proved over and over, like Pythagoras, then to Law of Cosines (more trig, see!), quadratic formula, area of different shapes then to whatever is relavent to the course, but I am rarely tested at proofs at my level, however it does give you a better understanding of the material, to a point.
    Additionally, if you have decent connection to the internet UC Irvine offers a free online precalc course through Coursea if you would like structured study, which can be found here https://www.coursera.org/course/precalculus. From there you can go to the MIT opencourseware program and take more advanced math found here http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/.


    Best of luck,
    Jonathan
     
  5. Sep 30, 2015 #4

    symbolipoint

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    Strange high school for sure. Whoever placed you into your program did not check with you first. Could you visit your assistant principal or principal, and tell the person that you intend to take a college preparatory Mathematics track and you want Intermediate Algebra AND TRIGONOMETRY courses? Imagine that you aim for a science or engineering career and that College Algebra and Trigonometry will be necessary courses along that line. Now, can your school administrator arrange anything for you?
    Otherwise, after high school, you will be heading for a community college at which you will be able to go through all the courses in lower level mathematics that you need.
     
  6. Sep 30, 2015 #5

    symbolipoint

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    "Third year in high school", means you lost a couple of years already. Do a college prep course for Geometry ( 1 year of high school) and then the course of Intermediate Algebra (again 1 year of high school), and then you may be ready for Trigonometry (could be half year but likely combined at high school as "Math Analysis/Pre-Calculus) - but you may have graduated and can no longer do Trig. at high school.
     
  7. Sep 30, 2015 #6

    symbolipoint

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    ONE More Suggestion:
    IF you did well in "Algebra 2" also called Intermediate Algebra, you could study Trigonometry on your own, using a good premium textbook, even if it is several years old.
     
  8. Oct 2, 2015 #7
    First, thanks for your replies! I actually live in a second world country so the curriculum is very different from that of the west.In the first two years of HS we studied maths the way gymnasiums do it, i.e. we learned algebraic fractions,factoring,potencies, some analysis , geometry, then complex numbers, quadratic equations and quadratic function as well as exponential function and logarithms and basic definitons of trig functions.But this is where we set apart from other gymnasiums and focus mainly on maths that is used in economics(i.e. in the first year of faculty).

    I'm just worried about mixing everything up. So far it has been good. I'm studying trig on my own and I can understand most of it but sometimes I have problems with solving certain problems but my teacher and sites like this one help me resolve it. I heard about some good books on trig that are written in english , but english is not my native tongue and I have noticed that our textbooks (and our entrance exams) teach it differenetly and require certain things not included in those books so I'm not sure about studying from them. Which one would you recommend?
     
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