langfor6
Registered User regular

I'm finishing up my last year of service in the military this year, and facing the prospect of returning to college when I get out. Prior to joining the military I was working toward a degree in Computer Science, and would like to continue that or possibly switch over to Computer Engineering.

Before I ran out of money and had to leave school, I had finished a fair number of prerequisites. I'm not too worried about the programming courses (I only have one left), but I'm a bit nervous about the math prerequisites. I have completed coursework up to the first year of calculus, and so next up is multivariable calc.

The thing is, I last took a math class, Calculus II, in 2003. It will be 2009 when I'm finally able to return to school. My critical thinking skills in general and my math skills in particular have since degraded from lack of use.

What can I do to strengthen them again? Should I just pick up a text from the library and start chugging through problems, or is there a more elegant method? I've never been a strong mathematician, so my success has always stemmed from effort and a lot of practice/studying.

Before I ran out of money and had to leave school, I had finished a fair number of prerequisites. I'm not too worried about the programming courses (I only have one left), but I'm a bit nervous about the math prerequisites. I have completed coursework up to the first year of calculus, and so next up is multivariable calc.

The thing is, I last took a math class, Calculus II, in 2003. It will be 2009 when I'm finally able to return to school. My critical thinking skills in general and my math skills in particular have since degraded from lack of use.

What can I do to strengthen them again? Should I just pick up a text from the library and start chugging through problems, or is there a more elegant method? I've never been a strong mathematician, so my success has always stemmed from effort and a lot of practice/studying.

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Edit: For clarity.

SlainbylichonmusanmanonDrFrylockonI'll have to take multivariable, diff. eq, linear algebra, and finite mathematics. I also have to take a second semester of engineering physics (thermodynamics I think?), but that's neither here nor there.

What I'm really worried about is getting back up to snuff so I can handle all those classes. In other words, I'm looking at everything from College Algebra to Geomtery, Trig, and first year Calculus. That's what I've covered so far, so that's really what I need a good strong review on. Basically I need to reestablish my foundation so that I can adequately handle the upcoming courses. I might have a look at math.com, but I don't know if that covers my level.

langfor6onI would say reviewing a text is probably the best thing you can do. Flip through and see what concepts you remember, do some problems, and read more thoroughly about things you don't remember.

Actually, for Calc specifically I can recommend How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide and How to Ace the Rest of Calculus: The Streetwise Guide. Although they have little to no problems for you to try yourself (there's usually an example for each concept and that's it), they did a great job of helping me review the concepts, and you can always pick up a textbook to supplement them with practice problems, too. Plus, they've got a little light humor to try and hold your interest. You probably won't be cracking up, but it's better than a textbook, at least. :P

On the plus side, I think forgetting how to take a simple derivative is near impossible. Maybe you've forgotten the limits, etc., behind it, but if you remember the basics, everything else should come back to you much easier than it did the first time.

TaximesonI can still bang out simple derivatives, but a lot of integration eludes me now. Calc book here I come. *sigh*

Edit: Those calc books received excellent reviews on Amazon and they're pretty cheap. Maybe I'll just plunk down the cash.

langfor6onBoutrosonPeter Ebelon