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#1 nimajneb  Icon User is offline

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Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 05 August 2010 - 09:50 AM

I was in college for computer science about 3 years ago. made it through about 3/4 of the computer science curriculum, but dropped out due to the fact that, basically, I suck at math. I love the idea of math. I love coding. But when it got down to the harder assignments and higher level calculus and finite maths, my grades just plummeted.

It's been 3 years now since I dropped out and I've been killing myself each day for not finishing. I've recently moved and have been considering the idea of finishing (if the university here will let me) my degree in computer science.

I won't be able to start until I get residency here, so in the mean time, I think it'd be in my best interest to get back to where I left off. I've started back on C++ and lower level physics in older course books I kept. The problem still seems to be the math though.

TL;DR

Can anyone suggest some books to help me:
a. learn higher level maths at an easy pace
b. learn at a rate that doesn't bore or overwhelm me. That seems to be my problem, becoming overwhelmed with the math.

Let it be known, I'm not above "Math for Dummies" books.

Thanks

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Replies To: Going back to college, Help with math

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 05 August 2010 - 09:53 AM

Couple math with programming. Try some Project Euler problems, and see how that helps. Math is fun (to me). Applied math is even better, as you can see a use for it. Hopefully coupling it with programming helps some. Good luck on your degree! :)
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#3 nimajneb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 05 August 2010 - 09:56 AM

Should have perused the forums first.

This topic was right on the front page:

http://www.dreaminco...ic/184289-math/

Thanks ;)

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 05 August 2010 - 08:53 AM, said:

Couple math with programming. Try some Project Euler problems, and see how that helps. Math is fun (to me). Applied math is even better, as you can see a use for it. Hopefully coupling it with programming helps some. Good luck on your degree! :)


Thanks for the quick response! I really love the idea of math and what it represents and what you can do with it. I just, as of now, don't have the mental prowess to use it correctly without getting frustrated. I guess that's a common thing though.

Also, this was my first post on this board! Hope to be here a lot more for great help like this!
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#4 thursdayniac  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 05 August 2010 - 10:27 AM

View Postnimajneb, on 05 August 2010 - 08:50 AM, said:

I was in college for computer science about 3 years ago. made it through about 3/4 of the computer science curriculum, but dropped out due to the fact that, basically, I suck at math. I love the idea of math. I love coding. But when it got down to the harder assignments and higher level calculus and finite maths, my grades just plummeted.

It's been 3 years now since I dropped out and I've been killing myself each day for not finishing. I've recently moved and have been considering the idea of finishing (if the university here will let me) my degree in computer science.

I won't be able to start until I get residency here, so in the mean time, I think it'd be in my best interest to get back to where I left off. I've started back on C++ and lower level physics in older course books I kept. The problem still seems to be the math though.

TL;DR

Can anyone suggest some books to help me:
a. learn higher level maths at an easy pace
b. learn at a rate that doesn't bore or overwhelm me. That seems to be my problem, becoming overwhelmed with the math.

Let it be known, I'm not above "Math for Dummies" books.

Thanks


As far as calculus - USE YOUTUBE. There are calculus videos posted by a guy named patrickJMT or something like that - VERY helpful. I usually did not take notes/attend my cal classes simply b/c I could learn pretty much anything from this guy on my own time (with help of book at times)
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#5 mostyfriedman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 05 August 2010 - 11:25 AM

i'd say forget about project euler for now and learn math the normal way. if you want a good calculus book then check out Calculus by james stewart. Solving problems on project euler should be fun and you should do it, but it shouldnt be the only practice you get, you gotta do some pen and paper work, that's how all the great mathematicians done it ;)
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#6 Nikitin  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 05 August 2010 - 11:45 AM

There was a similar thread about this and I suggested the following website - khanacademy.org I have heard nothing but great things about it. I would strongly suggest that you master high school algebra before tackling anything else - it is the foundation for pretty much everything you will be learning later on.

So, master algebra. Get some exposure to geometry. Move on to pre-calculus, then calculus. After that, you should be all set to tackle higher maths!
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#7 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 05 August 2010 - 11:47 AM

If you are ready to retake Calculus I & II, you should take a practice AP Calculus BC exam to see how you do, which is equivalent to those two courses. If you make a 3-5, that is considered passing.
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#8 nimajneb  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 05 August 2010 - 12:01 PM

View Postthursdayniac, on 05 August 2010 - 09:27 AM, said:

As far as calculus - USE YOUTUBE. There are calculus videos posted by a guy named patrickJMT or something like that - VERY helpful. I usually did not take notes/attend my cal classes simply b/c I could learn pretty much anything from this guy on my own time (with help of book at times)


Thanks a lot for posting this. The videos you are talking about are this guys:

http://www.youtube.com/user/patrickJMT

I just got back from the library and picked up a couple of practice books, and went and bought some notebooks. Time to start practicing! Thanks all for the input
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#9 jjl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 05 August 2010 - 12:17 PM

Calculus is actually very simple... its the tedious algebra that comes with it that complicates things
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#10 thursdayniac  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 06 August 2010 - 02:30 PM

View Postnimajneb, on 05 August 2010 - 11:01 AM, said:

View Postthursdayniac, on 05 August 2010 - 09:27 AM, said:

As far as calculus - USE YOUTUBE. There are calculus videos posted by a guy named patrickJMT or something like that - VERY helpful. I usually did not take notes/attend my cal classes simply b/c I could learn pretty much anything from this guy on my own time (with help of book at times)


Thanks a lot for posting this. The videos you are talking about are this guys:

http://www.youtube.com/user/patrickJMT

I just got back from the library and picked up a couple of practice books, and went and bought some notebooks. Time to start practicing! Thanks all for the input


np, I hope he helps you as much as he did me. And I agree with the above poster, the hard part of calculus is the enormous amount of algebra. Pro tip: go back and really learn the fundamentals of algebra. I wish I would have known this in 6th grade when I took algebra 1 =(
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#11 tor.ment0r  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 10 August 2010 - 01:11 AM

View Postnimajneb, on 05 August 2010 - 08:50 AM, said:

I was in college for computer science about 3 years ago. made it through about 3/4 of the computer science curriculum, but dropped out due to the fact that, basically, I suck at math. I love the idea of math. I love coding. But when it got down to the harder assignments and higher level calculus and finite maths, my grades just plummeted.

It's been 3 years now since I dropped out and I've been killing myself each day for not finishing. I've recently moved and have been considering the idea of finishing (if the university here will let me) my degree in computer science.

I won't be able to start until I get residency here, so in the mean time, I think it'd be in my best interest to get back to where I left off. I've started back on C++ and lower level physics in older course books I kept. The problem still seems to be the math though.

TL;DR

Can anyone suggest some books to help me:
a. learn higher level maths at an easy pace
b. learn at a rate that doesn't bore or overwhelm me. That seems to be my problem, becoming overwhelmed with the math.

Let it be known, I'm not above "Math for Dummies" books.

Thanks


In my case it was the opposite, the programming problems were the obstacles

check this website out, http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/
it has the complete set of books for , Algebra, Calc 1 ,2 and 3, Linear algebra
it is an online resource for math students at Lamar U. but also open for everyone.

the explanations are clear, i found that better than my books.
If you have any math problems just post in the math forum and i will help you with your problems.

This post has been edited by tor.ment0r: 10 August 2010 - 01:14 AM

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#12 bflosabre91  Icon User is offline

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Re: Going back to college, Help with math

Posted 10 August 2010 - 06:20 AM

just a thought, but i think some schools might have a rule about coming back to school and continuing your degree a certain amount of years later. i think my school says if its beyond 5 years, you pretty much have to take those credits over again. it might vary from school to school but just thought id throw that out there for you since you said its been 3 years.
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