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Word problems

  1. May 17, 2014 #1
    One of my biggest challenges in math are word problems, and I know that as I get past the introductory classes, these will be more and more common to see.

    This was one of my biggest downfalls this semester, as my calculus professors exams would be 90% word problems. I had asked my professor for any resources that could give me more practice and better understanding on how to set up the formulas and equations.

    Does anyone know of any websites or books that would be beneficial to help me out with this? I couldn't find much besides a few sites that only had one or two examples, and they weren't anything more than requiring linear functions.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. May 17, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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  4. May 17, 2014 #3
    My apologies, for calculus 1, and probably a level or 2 below.

    I just looked at the link you provided, and that's actually a really good start, even though it's a bit easy. My high school math courses (up to algebra 2) never had many word problems. I'm not sure if it's because the teachers didn't find them necessary, or if they didn't want anyone to fail. I went to Vocational Technical High School, so the quality in academic teachings weren't the best (they weren't necessarily bad either) as they truly focus on the trades.
     
  5. May 17, 2014 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    Nah - that sort of thing happens when teachers are too much in love with math for maths sake and forget that it has to be used to solve real-life problems.

    nuff said.

    The google search terms should be the subject and level, and the words "exercize sheet".
    Maybe "word problems" but the phrase seems to get tagged to the easier stuff.

    i.e. https://www.math.ucdavis.edu/~kouba/CalcOneDIRECTORY/maxmindirectory/MaxMin.html

    Thing is:
    What you think of as a special class of problems is just "normal" for everyone else.
     
  6. May 20, 2014 #5

    verty

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    Have a look at what I wrote in this other thread. I realise you have asked how to set up the equations but usually one can recognize the type of problem, or at worst just write down anything you get told. I'll give an example:

    This is similar to a word problem and it's just for demonstration.

    Let's call photo-man ##P## and watching man ##W##. ##P##'s father we'll call ##f(P)##, father of ##P##, and ##s(P)## would be son of ##P##.

    So I suppose we can say this:
    ##f(P) = s(f(W)).##

    Now it seems obvious that ##s(f())## cancels in the case of ##W##, he has no brothers or sisters:
    ##f(P) = W.##

    ##W## is the father of ##P##. So ##W## is looking at his son. It could be any problem, you just do it the same way. So I think critical reading is the biggest hurdle.
     
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