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On Math

I had a very poor math education when I was in school. Of course that means that nowadays I have zero knowledge on all things mathematic.

Do any of you guys know of any math classes for adults?

alleB
Sunday, May 23, 2004

I posed the same question last year on forums.gentoo.org and this book came back highly recommended:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0521017076/qid=1085357469/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/002-0704145-2236027?v=glance&s=books&n=507846#product-details

It's targeted as a survival study guide for science and engineering students who got screwed (or screwed themselves) on their math education prior to college.  I liked the look of it from the details on Amazon and bought it.  I haven't made time to get into it yet though, so all I can say is that it still looks like the best option for self study.

Maybe I should be looking into taking a class somewhere though, given my lack of discipline as displayed above.  We have an excellent community college system where I live.  If I can find the time and maybe get my employer to pony up for it, I might take a look there.

OffMyMeds
Sunday, May 23, 2004

Sorry for the ridiculously wide link.  I don't know why I thought it would wrap.  Should a moderator decide to remove it, the book is called _Maths: A student's Survival Guide_ by Jenny Olive and is easy to find at Amazon.

OffMyMeds
Sunday, May 23, 2004

Out of curiosity, does the math you'd like to learn have any connection to programming you'd like to do (I'm not being critical, I'm curious)?

How far would you like to go?

Teaching oneself math requires discipline most people don't have. I guess the key is not cheating on reading things over, and not going any further until you've mastered what's already been presented in a book. That's why it's so terrible to fall behind in a math class: your lack of comprehension compounds itself as time goes on.

Also, be sure to do lots (more than you would in a class) of problems, including some challenging ones.

At football games in America, we chant: 3.14159, sec tan cos sin, gooooo math!

Not really.

Warren Henning
Sunday, May 23, 2004

The link worked OK for me, but just in case for others...

http://tinyurl.com/27gzo

Greg Hurlman
Sunday, May 23, 2004

>> Do any of you guys know of any math classes for adults?

Yeah. Its called U-N-I-V-E-R-S-I-T-Y.

Anon-y-mous Cow-ard
Sunday, May 23, 2004

>>>At football games in America, we chant: 3.14159, sec tan cos sin, gooooo math!

Not really.


Actually, this is quite (in)famous: alpha Q b cos u cot a cosec

.
Monday, May 24, 2004

To  Anon-y-mous Cow-ard

Do they teach high-school math at the U-N-I-V-E-R-S-I-T-Y?


And no, it has nothing to do with my day job. I just feel I need it, because I've always had that stuck in the back of my mind: "I'm a dumb ass on math".

RP
Monday, May 24, 2004

Actually, RP, some universities offer remedial math courses, i.e., courses that most students would've normally taken in high school.

And you're not a dumb ass in anything. Just remember, "you're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!"

Stuart Smalley
Monday, May 24, 2004

I'd second doing a university class. The one I have offers a "Intro To College Math" courses geared towards students who might not have high-school math they need.

Jimmy Jo-jo
Monday, May 24, 2004

Most community colleges will teach remedial math.  Usually a lot cheaper than at a university, and you're probably more likely to find weekend or night classes.

Once you're up to speed on that you can look for a university that teaches discrete math.

T. Norman
Monday, May 24, 2004

Most universities have remedial math courses now as well.  I remember reading somewhere about 30% of new university students need to take remedial math and/or english once they're in college, because of the bad high school educations they're getting.

Andrew Hurst
Monday, May 24, 2004

I'm currently going to a community college which offers math down to the pre-algebra level, and credits cost about half what the local state university costs.  Quality of teachers varies, especially given that my school has 60% of its courses offered by part-time teachers (who then have to commute between several community colleges, or have "real jobs" somewhere else, to earn a living), but generally my experience has been that if you're ready to learn, you'll do well.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Monday, May 24, 2004

Just another $0.02 re: community colleges and why you get your money's worth:

I count the fact that the instructors are often part-time and have real jobs as one of the advantages.  I would much rather learn from a person using their craft for practical applications in his daily life than someone ensconsed in the academia bubble.  I've taken classes at two community colleges, one state university and two private universities (I'm good at starting school, not good at finishing it).  The quality of intructors varied equally at each, but the best teachers were almost always the ones with a day job.  Many of them weren't just competent, they were sharp and engaging.

Ok enough soapboxing.  My point: if the name of the school isn't going to affect your job opportunities, save your money and take a few night classes at your local comunity college.  If the instruction seems disappointing, drop the class and ask around for who the good instructors are.

OffMyMeds
Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Correction to subject-verb agreement error: "learn from a person using *his* craft for practical applications in his daily life."

I don't want to give the aformentioned institutions a bad reputation.

OffMyMeds
Tuesday, May 25, 2004

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