Catching up on thirty years of Math?

VaelorVaelor Registered User regular
Wild CONUNDRUM appears:

Having been maths-averse for much of my life, personal development and career goals now demand that I make up for lost time and educate myself to a fairly competent level. Since I am beyond my learning-centric College years, the standard option of attending a decent Unversity and following a degree plan are sadly in my rear-view mirror, which brings me here to seek the advice of those who might be able to articulate the options.

I accept that learning is 90% state of mind, and from here forward reject my previous school-age copouts of "not being a math person" as excuses which served only to hold myself back. But I've got a lot of catching up to do.

If I were going to start from the ground up, would there be a preferable way to begin? A Google search shows some resources, but nothing like a concrete plan for progressing from one foundation of knowledge to other. If my goal is start with the fundamentals, and proceed towards a fairly articulate understanding of engineering and physics, what might be my best use of time?

Difficult level: currently deployed, so the ubiquitous Internet is my only option for a good while. I may need to start at an embarrassingly remedial level.

I am aware that this endeavor will require a serious amount of hard work and may possibly take years. Totally okay with that, just hoping I can avoid a needless waste of time flailing around in my ignorance while attempting to find the most suitable path as I begin.

Many thanks,

-V

Posts

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    When I wanted a math refresher I started here: https://www.khanacademy.org/

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  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    Depending on what level of stuff you need to catch up on, I've found some of the calculus courses on Coursera to be good refreshers. They have pre-calc through calc 2. When I took the calc 2 version, I enjoyed the prof that does the calc1/2, but I could easily see his style being annoying to some people.

    https://www.coursera.org/browse/math-and-logic/math-and-logic

    Vaelor
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    There are a large multitude of MOOCs out there (massive online open courses). Typical mathematics progression goes:

    Finite Mathematics
    Algebra
    Statistics (Basic)
    Trigonometry
    Pre-Calculus
    Calculus
    Statistics (Advanced)
    Physics (Calculus Based)
    Linear Algebra

    Enc on
    Vaelor
  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington he.him.his History-loving pal!Registered User regular
    IXL can start you from literally kindergarten in math all the way through precalculus in high school. It does have a subscription fee, so if you want free, go with Khan Academy.

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  • PhasenPhasen Hell WorldRegistered User regular
    Khan Academy helped me catch up when I went back to community college. I never took algebra 2 in high school and had to crunch all of that into my first week of precal.

    Look around youtube yaymath was one I used.

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    Vaelor
  • VaelorVaelor Registered User regular
    Much gratitude to those who replied: my path has become much clearer now.

    @Enc, your flow chart has proven to be highly useful in clarifying the order in which learning should occur. I owe you a frosty beverage. Calculus seems to be the best suited for my main effort, as my goal is a professional understanding of Physics and Engineering, both of which are (or so my research now indicates) fundamentally underpinned by Calc.

    The resources suggested in the other posts are excellent, and it looks like Khan academy plus Coursera and IXL in some combination should be able to get me spun up in good time, with appropriate motiviation applied to the task.

    My rough-draught plan currently looks something like: 1.) Self-study through advanced High School calculus concepts, followed by 2.) An online (preferable, residential possible depending on where I end up in the near future) AA degree in mathematics for a professional polish to my knowledge, thence 3.) Very directed self study in practical physics, and finally 4.) Graduate studies in either applied Physics or Engineering. I skipped the BA level because my current Psychology degree covered all the general-ed and liberal arts components of a modern education, so I'm trying to keep my approach as tightly focused on adding to my missing numbers abilities as possible with a minimum of extraneous repetition of non-relevant subjects.

    I can't thank you enough for giving me the necessary level of insight to begin the journey. Some long-delayed dreams might now be realized.

    Mahalo nui loa,

    -V

    EncCambiata
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Vaelor wrote: »
    Much gratitude to those who replied: my path has become much clearer now.

    @Enc, your flow chart has proven to be highly useful in clarifying the order in which learning should occur. I owe you a frosty beverage. Calculus seems to be the best suited for my main effort, as my goal is a professional understanding of Physics and Engineering, both of which are (or so my research now indicates) fundamentally underpinned by Calc.

    The resources suggested in the other posts are excellent, and it looks like Khan academy plus Coursera and IXL in some combination should be able to get me spun up in good time, with appropriate motiviation applied to the task.

    My rough-draught plan currently looks something like: 1.) Self-study through advanced High School calculus concepts, followed by 2.) An online (preferable, residential possible depending on where I end up in the near future) AA degree in mathematics for a professional polish to my knowledge, thence 3.) Very directed self study in practical physics, and finally 4.) Graduate studies in either applied Physics or Engineering. I skipped the BA level because my current Psychology degree covered all the general-ed and liberal arts components of a modern education, so I'm trying to keep my approach as tightly focused on adding to my missing numbers abilities as possible with a minimum of extraneous repetition of non-relevant subjects.

    I can't thank you enough for giving me the necessary level of insight to begin the journey. Some long-delayed dreams might now be realized.

    Mahalo nui loa,

    -V

    If you end up taking courses through the Florida Public University system send me a buzz. I work directly with Mathematics programs at one of our Universities (among other programs) and would be happy to assist with course planning.

  • physi_marcphysi_marc Positron Tracker Registered User regular
    I always recommend Paul's Online Math Notes when this topic comes up. I'm not sure if his Algebra course is at the right level for you, but I suggest taking a look. There are also several cheat sheets provided that are very useful to have on hand.

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  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    edited September 2015
    I guess it depends on just how much math you feel you need. going up to algebra sure...statistics, trig, calculus is a whole lot of stuff that you will likely not use. I'm not trying to disuade you in any way, but unless you find you love it, you probably want to simplify your approach a bit.

    I ended up going through the entire list up there + Differential equations for an IT degree because i (kinda mistakenly looking back on it) I chose to go through the scientific curricula instead of the business side. I havent even had to do more than basic algebra since college.

    azith28 on
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  • ED!ED! Registered User regular
    azith28 wrote: »
    I guess it depends on just how much math you feel you need. going up to algebra sure...statistics, trig, calculus is a whole lot of stuff that you will likely not use. I'm not trying to disuade you in any way, but unless you find you love it, you probably want to simplify your approach a bit.

    Entirely dependent on what they are trying to do. Statistics especially can rear it's head where you least expect it.

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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    I used this

    http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/engineering-mathematics-ka-stroud/?K=9781137031204

    To self study my way back to mathematical competency sufficient for final year undergraduate physics (I did the final year of my degree after a ten year break in study)

    It's a massive book, and it starts almost literally from zero. You can dive in wherever you feel most comfortable and backtrack if you realise you didn't understand something as well as you thought. Amazon has a contents page for it if you want a better idea of what it covers.

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