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When do you self-study?

  1. Nov 23, 2013 #1
    So as you probably are aware, some students in this forum are very much ahead of their classmates in learning Math/Physics because they self-study outside of class.

    My question is: when do you self-study? During the summer or during the school year? If you do it in the summer, do you have problems with motivation because you are not pressured enough so you end up moving through the content very slowly? If you do it during the school year, how do you find the time to self-study? If your GPA isn't a 4.0 or you haven't applied to every scholarship or you don't have a co-op/research position ready for you for the summer, shouldn't your time be spent doing those things?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2013 #2


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    i study whenever something perplexes me. this could be as simple as why the division algorithm works (4th grade math) or why low reynolds numbers cannot dismiss inertial terms from navier/stokes equations (graduate fluid mechanics).

    honestly, study when you have a question. why is [itex] \frac{d}{dx}sinx=cosx[/itex]? do you know why [itex] 2 \pi r = C[/itex]? isn't there a way to simply derive all those trig identities [itex]e^{i \theta}=cos \theta + i sin\theta[/itex](thanks euler!) why does the dot product give you a parallel vector (i mean really, why is it the calculation gives this). and how on earth is everything i just wrote intimately related?

    you'll be shocked how answering these little questions helps in future courses.
  4. Nov 27, 2013 #3
    I just don't understand how people make the time to do these kind of things if they have a full course load. I would love to go into more detail the proofs of the Math that I learn but I'm already spending a good chunk of my time trying to get 100% and I still am not successful in doing so.
  5. Nov 27, 2013 #4
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  6. Nov 27, 2013 #5
    You self-study after you have graduated and work a full-time job and want to do something a bit more interesting than what you are doing. For instance, I have an MS in Computer Science and have been a programmer for 10 years. I had a strong mathematical bent but made the mistake of switching majors and going for easy job ops. I've always kept up mathematically but not as much as I would have liked. Just recently, I landed the opportunity of doing text mining. Among my projects are near dupe detection and latent semantic indexing. Finally I'm doing something interest. I self study from 4:30 to 6 am. This is what I usually think people mean by self-study. While you are in school they simply call it studying all the time.
  7. Nov 27, 2013 #6


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  8. Nov 27, 2013 #7
    E-xactly. What's my name? Why would you think someone who calls himself Enigman would want to make sense when a simple bit of jabberwock would do?
    p.s. click on it.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
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