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Learning techniques for math?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by IconBasser, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Alta Loma, California
    I'll start by saying that I'm already fairly adept with mathematics, I've been learning multivariate calculus and non-linear regression techniques in college for a while now, and I pick it up quickly, more or less, relative to other classmates.

    I'd like to learn more maths, as I find them fascinating (for the most part) and indispensable to most fields that I have interest in (economics, physics, systems neuroscience, and so forth). I am, however, dissatisfied with my rate of learning (and applying) them, and I am greatly interested in discovering other techniques that my fellow denizens of TBOT may or may not be privy to that expedite the process of learning maths. Does anybody have any recommendations?
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I was a math major in college.

    A couple of ideas. First, take actual courses if possible. Second, give yourself projects that require you to gain new skills.
  3. CDweller

    CDweller Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2009
    Clearwater, FL
    I was originally a math major in college. By and large, the most important component was to be enthralled with the material. Then spend time with it. If you're looking for short cuts, I have no suggestions. Spend lots and lots of time doing homework.

    I became a lot more adept after I was hired by the university I attended to be a math tutor- ie, teach what you want to learn.
  4. Strohsx


    Aug 16, 2011
    High School buddy of mine who now works at CERN.

    "Just get an old math book and follow the directions, this stuff is easy if you do that."
  5. It's now been 10 years since I got my MS in statistics and 22 years since I got my BS in math. I feel like the only two ways I really learned any subject in math were to (1) take the next class, where they assume that you already know the earlier material and (2) use it in a project at work where I had to program everything from scratch.

    There is a lot of really interesting math you can learn about at the undergrad level, and I would encourage you to explore it as much as you can to find the areas that really excite you. Just don't expect too much of yourself. There's only so much expertise you can develop in a semester. Like music, it take years of practice to really master it.

    Good luck and have fun.
  6. Take the classes and do lots of examples.

    Repetition is the way forward for Maths IMO.
  7. +1. For me, I need an application. Merely learning about partial differential equations and heat transfer was pretty boring, until I had a problem at work that I wanted to solve. Then I became interested.

    Plus, it will help the lessons stick more than just reading / doing some practice problems (IMO).
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In the higher level courses, the math becomes its own application, because you get to do more proofs.
  9. SonofJud


    Dec 12, 2006
    San Francisco
    Check out "How to Solve It" by Polya. Covers lots of useful heuristics.
  10. Bassist Jay

    Bassist Jay

    Dec 28, 2009
    Sterling, CO.
    Endorsed by K.B. Guitars, Nordstrand Audio Pickups, Von York Strings and Gallien-Krueger Amps.
    I now just google search the answers. Works great for my kids' homework when they ask me for help. If I'm not sure, I'll just put the equation in google and it gives me the answers along with how the problem was solved many times.
  11. SwagAttack


    Sep 14, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    I am in college too (third year in Mech. Eng.) and in my last math class. I never sweated any math class. The only thing I would suggest is know the concept. Obviously, the rules apply universally no matter the problem. If you know what the math is, can visualize what it means, and do the procedure, you should be golden. Math really isn't hard at all.
  12. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK

    The abbreviation retains the plural.
  13. Hawaii Islander

    Hawaii Islander Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Rio Rico, AZ
    To an American biologist, it is math (no s). :smug:
  14. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    It's short for "mathematicses."

    Something about the Queene's Englyshe. :D
  15. Summation tend to be fairly easy :bag:
  16. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Alta Loma, California
    I will say math(s) however I want to, dammit!

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