AcademicGround >> best way to learn math?
12/9/07 9:42 PM  
sepe
Edited: 09Dec07 Member Since: 01/01/2001 Posts: 10481 
I've got a trig. class coming up in the next semester and the semester after that I'll have a calc. class. I messed around too much in high school so I never got into any advanced math. Are there any good books(maybe like the for dummies series or something)? I know these classes will kick my ass so I want to get as much of an understanding as I can before heading into the classes.

12/10/07 7:17 AM  
Voolf
Edited: 10Dec07 Member Since: 10/04/2005 Posts: 125 
I was a TA for a trig class this semester, so I have some tips! First and foremost, you need to do a lot of problems. Do every homework problem that is assigned, even if it's not graded homework, and as many other similar problems as you can. A book with extra problems would be great, too. Schaum's Outlines are usually pretty good, and they usually have explanations and solved problems too, which can help supplement your textbook. I checked Amazon and the "Trig for Dummies" book gets good reviews, so it might be good to have as well. Second, make use of the resources you'll have available. Go to your professor's/TA's office hours and clear up anything you don't understand in the homework. If your school has a math tutoring center, go to it and ask questions. These classes can move pretty fast, so you really need to stay on top of things to keep your head above water, especially if you aren't already familiar with the concepts from high school. Of course, you should go to class! Get a good professor, if you can. It really can make a difference. One professor in my school has averages on exams in the 80%'s, another has them in the 50%60%'s. I know which professor I'd rather have! Good luck!! 
12/12/07 2:04 AM  
sepe
Edited: 12Dec07 Member Since: 01/01/2001 Posts: 10705 
It'll be interesting because I've got to take the class online. I'm sure I'll end up in the tutor center a few times. I'll be making a trip to pick up some books in the next week or so to get a head start. It'll be a good time going from 6 classes and "semester break" that ends up being more studying. 
12/13/07 1:21 AM  
Voolf
Edited: 13Dec07 Member Since: 10/04/2005 Posts: 140 
Online class? That's pretty strange; in that case, you probably should seek out as many different study materials as possible, just to get as many explanations of the topics as you can get. Hopefully at least one of them will make sense to you! Definitely don't be shy about going to the tutor center; you might struggle with a problem for an hour on your own, while it might take 5 minutes to get it cleared up with a tutor. You don't have to pay to use this place, do you? I hope not! The easiest thing to do would be to do the problems for a section, not spending too much time on any problem, and then go get help on any problems you weren't able to do quickly on your own. That gives the tutors something concrete to focus on and makes it easier on them. Work through the problems on your own again afterwards, just to make sure you really understand the material, too. 
1/2/08 4:55 PM  
amorphous
9 Edited: 02Jan08 Member Since: 10/26/2003 Posts: 8800 
ttt I'm in the same boat. 
1/4/08 8:29 AM  
asdf
1 Edited: 04Jan08 Member Since: 01/01/2001 Posts: 14180 
Voolf has good tips. It's just like training: there is no substitute for hard work. 
1/17/08 5:03 PM  
bleier
12 Edited: 17Jan08 Member Since: 05/13/2005 Posts: 764 
This book has been highly recommended http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9780312185480&z=y 
1/17/08 6:55 PM  
D3structo
39 Edited: 17Jan08 Member Since: 03/23/2004 Posts: 2844 
It took me three times to pass College Algebra. I never did homework and alwasy tried to study the day before. Therefore I never passed it. Trig I passed the first time with a B+. I would suggest doing your homework and studying in the math lab if you have one. I think the key to passing a class like this is having a math center and having a tutor explain the stuff to you. Most the concept in Trig are easy to understand after they're explained to you. Sometimes it can be impossible if you're trying to figure it out on your own. 
1/29/08 2:39 AM  
sepe
Edited: 29Jan08 Member Since: 01/01/2001 Posts: 13433 
2 weeks in and 2 tests in. i've missed 3 points total in the class so far. The site we're using is really cool as it has a step by step break down of a similar problem if you need help on it. I'm spending quite a bit of time on the homework and haven't missed even a partial point in 90 problems for the last 2 weeks. Actually seems like it'll be one of my easier classes at this point. The 2 books that I picked up helped wiht some basic concepts. 
2/18/08 10:51 PM  
Gforce
31 Edited: 18Feb08 Member Since: 01/01/2001 Posts: 4208 
Sepe: I'd try Jason Gibson's Math Tutor DVDs. www.mathtutordvd.com (Amazon is actually cheaper). I can't speak for the math, but I used his DVDs for physics (which is essentially math) and they were amzing. The price is right as well. 
2/19/08 5:38 PM  
asdf
1 Edited: 19Feb08 Member Since: 01/01/2001 Posts: 14523 
"http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9780312185480&z=y" There's also Danica (aka Winnie Cooper) McKellar's "Math Doesn't Suck" 
9/25/08 4:29 PM  
groundfighter2000
321 Member Since: 1/1/01 Posts: 17915 
Gforce  Sepe:I'd try Jason Gibson's Math Tutor DVDs.www.mathtutordvd.com (Amazon is actually cheaper).I can't speak for the math, but I used his DVDs for physics (which is essentially math) and they were amzing.The price is right as well. Nice! I just ordered these as I'm currently taking College Physics and struggling, good to hear a testimonial around here rather than just reading ones of the site. 
9/28/08 1:20 AM  
MikeD
Member Since: 12/6/06 Posts: 4955 
Good info here. I'll check the links out later. If I don't find a decent job soon, I'm thinking about getting a addon certification to teach some type of math. 
10/12/08 3:58 AM  
Krispy
Member Since: 3/15/02 Posts: 8678 
You can teach math to my cock. j/k ttt 
10/16/08 1:08 AM  
P.V.Jena
Member Since: 1/1/01 Posts: 1574 
MIT Opencourseware is nice as well 
10/16/08 2:46 AM  
P.V.Jena
Member Since: 1/1/01 Posts: 1589 
Or go to avaxhome.ru, pick up any decent looking book, work your way quickly through the theory and start on the problems. 
10/23/08 12:53 AM  
sepe
Member Since: 1/1/01 Posts: 25294 
lol man...calculus is fucking confusing. doing the problems isn't helping a whole lot either. the prof(had him for another class and I know many others that have had him) but it is like he is speaking japanese. Continuity, limits, and asymptotes are the things that are confusing the hell out of me. Graphing or approximating limits/functions from a graph make no sense. 
10/25/08 5:59 PM  
P.V.Jena
Edited: 10/25/08 6:03 PM Member Since: 1/1/01 Posts: 1629 
What's the actual question here? I was a math major, I'm going to try to help! 
10/28/08 4:14 PM  
Respect
Member Since: 9/21/05 Posts: 3074 
I know fuck all about math. I can figure out x can't be two, because if it was, then you would have x^2+20/0. So, using common sense, there would be an impenetrable line running on two. That stuff doesn't look hard at all. You should try harder and quit crying. 
12/7/08 6:17 PM  
big fatso
7 Member Since: 12/19/07 Posts: 3211 
sepe, I wish I would've seen this earlier. How to Ace Calculus is a great book, imo. I'd supplement that with a Schaum's 3000 problems book and do a shitload of exercises. 
12/7/08 9:58 PM  
groundfighter2000
321 Member Since: 1/1/01 Posts: 18180 
check out mathtutor dvds, can't speak for the calculus ones, but his physics ones have helped a great deal considering my prof (while brilliant) sucks at teaching, and the textbook is godawful 
12/8/08 1:44 AM  
AlbertEinstein
Member Since: 6/15/07 Posts: 1542 
sepe  lol man...calculus is fucking confusing. doing the problems isn't helping a whole lot either. the prof(had him for another class and I know many others that have had him) but it is like he is speaking japanese. Continuity, limits, and asymptotes are the things that are confusing the hell out of me. Graphing or approximating limits/functions from a graph make no sense. OK what is the problem here? Continuity: Just look at the function as a graph. If there are jumps at certain points, it is discontinuous. Just about every function you will see will be continuous, unless it's defined piecewise. Limits: Just means that the function approaches some value. E.G. 1/x approaches 0 as x gets larger and larger. Look at a graph of it. You will see what I mean. All a limit is is what a function behaves like 'near' a certain value. Asymptotes: Related to limits. 1/x is asymptotic at f(x)=0. Again look at the graph. lim x> 2 x^2+20/5(x2)^2 Easy. This function is not definef At x=2 you are dividing by zero so the function approaches infinity. Think of it this way. When you divide, you will get a bigger number when dividing by a smaller number, so in the limit as you divide by 0, your result keeps getting bigger and bigger (approaches infinity) Man I wish I could explain this better but i'm too drunk. Good luck. 
12/8/08 1:18 PM  
big fatso
7 Member Since: 12/19/07 Posts: 3217 
I used to tutor calculus to a wide variety of people privately and at a local community college (from AP Calculus students all the way to middle aged soccer moms). Based on the information I gathered, I am of the opinion that most people fail first semester Calculus not because of any conceptual difficulties within the course (though they are certainly compounded), but they do so because of rotten foundations in Elementary Algebra and Trigonometry. Without knowing any Calculus at all, you should've been exposed to both continuity (though at an extremely rudimentary level, e.g., "when you can draw the graph without lifting your pencil from the paper") and asymptotic functions (f(x) = 1/x) in an Algebra II course. It will only get worse once you get into finding the derivatives of trigonometric functions. My advice: Brush up on Algebra and Trig, and do so seriously. After that, get a textbook and "How to Ace Calculus," and you should be golden. 
2/27/09 12:16 AM  
shen
671 Member Since: 1/1/01 Posts: 9275 
You need to get your numbers on, period. 
1/10/10 5:34 PM  
judo man
Member Since: 1/1/01 Posts: 1202 
Trigonometry is a very useful branch of math and has lots of applications. I think its fun. Go to your local library and find trigonometry books like Zill,Schaum,etc. Just remember not to memorize the definitions but to understand the concepts. The Pythagorean theorem is the basis for all of it. Identify the hypotenuse first, and then rest is easy. Sine,Cosine, Tangent,Cotangent, Secant, Cosecant depends on the angle you are going to work with. 
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