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Where to "restart" my math education

  1. Aug 14, 2014 #1
    Hi, my name is Walter

    ill try to keep my background brief so as to not bore you with a wall of text, by all means this is NOT a sob story.

    I never applied myself in school, I did enough to get by as a low B, C student. I uncovered a passion for cars by fixing them myself, I had no money and neither did my parents so I was forced to fix it myself or let my car run itself into the ground.
    but before all of this, as long as my mother can recall I have always had a "thing" for taking things apart and putting them back together. Sometimes they would work, more often then not they wouldn't but I always continued to do this up to this day (now with a greater success at having my dismantled projects work!).

    I have reached a point in my 8 year career as an automotive technician where it all seems boring to me, nothing peaks my interest. I am considered a "B" level technician, I trouble shoot check engine lights, noise, vibration concerns, do regular maintenance. every day my job begins with an oil change and tire rotation, if my recommendations get approved ill wind up doing work such as timing belt, water pumps, down to brake jobs.
    its all monotonous to me, it no longer hold my attention, it feels like another day a McDonalds to me.

    I want to pursue an engineering career, I am leaning towards mechanical, I like user experience, and practicality of items, I break them down and find out why I like the way a button configuration is made on a steering wheel or how my Wii U has the ability to transfer game information to its mobile touch pad so I can walk around the house and play a game on my down time.
    My math is atrocious, I would say I am struggling in geometry. its depressing to me that a 27 year old has this level of math knowledge.

    Where do I begin? do you any of you have good resources I can turn to? the amount of information out there is overwhelming and its hard to know where to start.
    any help would be wonderful, than you very much.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I'd try Khan's Academy and start with algebra then geometry ... calculus. This wold get you ready for a community college.

    Alternatively, you could look at the MathIsPower4U website and follow a similar tack. The videos were produced by a community college professor and are very understandable.

    You'll need discipline and persistence to get through them all.


    You best bet though is to sign-up and go to a community college and use the videos on the side taking one course at a time.
  4. Aug 14, 2014 #3
    Thank you for the reply, I will begin with khanacademy
  5. Aug 14, 2014 #4
    Jedi's suggestions are very good (as always). But don't think that Khanacademy alone will get you the knowledge you want to get. Sure, it's an extremely good start and I highly recommend it. But you should definitely also get some math books and work through them. I think that the following book is very good: https://www.amazon.com/Algebra-Israel-M-Gelfand/dp/0817636773 It starts off quite easy and it gives tons and tons of motivation for everything we do. If you have some discipline then I'm sure you can get through this book.

    Also, the only way to grasp math is to do exercises. There's no way around it. You'll need to do tons and tons of exercises. Many of the exercises will seem very repetitive too (which is not a bad thing: it is in order to make these things second nature and to allow you to recognize patterns). Just reading a book and watch you videos will not be enough. I would get a book like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/Schaums-Outline-College-Algebra-Edition/dp/0071635394 or
    and work through every problem. Even if the problem is solved within the book, don't look at the solution and try it yourself (until you really don't find it, then you can look at the first line, but don't look too quickly).

    Also, enrolling in a community college is probably the best thing you can do.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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