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Options for Adults with Renewed Interest in Math?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the back-to-school dept.

Education 633

Internet Ninja asks: "After only doing mathematics in high school level and in my first year of University, I've suddenly developed an interest in mathematics. Since that was now almost 10 years ago I'm a little rusty. Anything past pythagoras is a little tough for me :) but I know I could get back up to speed quickly. I could probably steal my daughters math textbooks and start reading but I'm wondering if there is a better way. I considered a part-time University paper at US$495 each and you need to do two as bridging courses in order to even start on undergraduate courses. A bit pricey when you have a home and family to look after as well. Another option was a night courses but I'm kept pretty busy with work. Does anyone have any advice or good resources?"

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Suckas (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809831)

FP?

Re:Suckas (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809864)

math sux i like teh gramer bestest.

Re:Suckas (-1)

CLIT (581942) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809868)

M4d pr0pz!

but you could have been a bit more assertive in your attempt, e.g. FP!

Re:Suckas (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809906)

Didn't think I had it. Nothing worse than claiming FP in a post that is second or third.

Re:Suckas (-1)

CLIT (581942) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809990)

I agree with this post!

Fuck AC's! (-1)

CLIT (581942) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809835)

The CLIT is strong in this one!

I had problems (-1, Offtopic)

crumbz (41803) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809836)

this morning with the powers of ten. Dumb, I am dumb.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809837)

yikes.

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809840)

First post

ZEROCOOL... (-1)

k0osh.CEOofCLIT (582286) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809843)

I hax0red the gibson!!!!111

first! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809844)

first!

FROST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809845)

PROST

poonwed!

Go buy a book (1, Informative)

newt_sd (443682) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809846)

amazon [amazon.com] has lots of books and probably some on math go read like everyone else. How do you think the /. crowd gets up on the latest programming language? By running back to college? NO by reading and studying just go do it geesh

Don't buy from amazon (1, Insightful)

cicatrix1 (123440) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809865)

buy from B&N [bn.com] .

Re:Don't buy from amazon (0, Offtopic)

martyn s (444964) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809963)

Yeah, because amazon is evil, but B&N isn't, right? Get with it.

Re:Go buy a book (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809891)

well, I read a lot. I do mean a lot. I graduated w/a degree in History. You can learn a ton from reading books about History but books about Math are more difficult to learn from IMHO.

I never had difficulty learning the examples. I could do any problem pretty much that relied on the examples in the book. When I needed to apply something else that wasn't taught to the T in the book I had a bit of a hard time w/that.

Math for me is something that would have to be taught in a classroom not from a book.

Go away, stupid (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3810058)

Because you are stupid. I learned calculus in a few days by reading the book, skipped all the lectures, and did better than anyone else on tests. Get out of here, you stupid idiot.

Re:Go buy a book (-1, Troll)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809991)

I recommend "Math For Total Retards" seeing as how the original interlocutor was to stupid to figure out he/she could learn from a book.

Math for Dummies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809849)

Does this [amazon.com] count?

take night courses (1)

kaisyain (15013) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809851)

You want to learn, right? That takes time, right? You won't have any more time if you do self-study in a book, you'll just have fewer resources to help you over the stumbling blocks.

slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809852)

I wonder if there is complex math involved in how slashdot mods rate posts.

Re:slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809881)

apparently so...must be the moronic "new math". slashdot mods are morons.

You retarded and gay (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809853)

Learn math faggoty bastard.. that is what you are. Lazy bastard.

2 words (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809854)

community college -- cheap and laid-back courses that'll give you the background you want.

Re:2 words (-1)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809872)

And whores everywhere you look.

Re:2 words (5, Informative)

dirvish (574948) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809976)

I agree. I took 4 math classes at my local community college and enjoyed them all. The professors were better than some of the ones at the University I attend now. It was very affordable, about $13 per unit plus a few fees and a book.

Re:2 words (1)

gerf (532474) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810020)

and unless you want to be a mathematician, or research engineer, the best way to go.

to quote an engineer at our Institute of Technology (which does research for gov't projects, high level stuff) "why are you taking calculus classes at "-my university-"? they're math department is horrible! go take them at "-the main community college-.

i personally couldn't get enough out of just reading a book. i wouldn't have the patience or self discipline to set a work schedule for them. so, i also suggest finding an online course. even if it's not an accredited school, it's just a refresher really. good luck!

Community colleges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809856)

Yes, I realize you say you're busy with work, but some community colleges have a wide number of options for classes, or even open exit/open entry classes. You don't even need to take it for a grade, you can audit it and not feel too bad if you don't do well.

Re:Community colleges (1)

BlueRain (90236) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810012)

I couldn't agree more. Start at the community College level, and see if you want to continue.

Doing math alone quickly gets lonely.

And I agree: Family first. I'd rather have a family than a degree.

The Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809860)

There's a great resource out there.. I'll give you one hint: Al Gore invented it. The Internet.

Re:The Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809889)

Where can I find out more about "The Internet"? It sure sounds exciting. Is it expensive? Do I need to be very smart to use it?

Mathematics (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809869)

One option is community college - they often run some very good introductory courses to get people back in the swing of things.

Another option is the library, and yet another option, which is often overlooked, is the use of mathematical tutorials on the web such as this one , which can be done in one's own time, and for free. [mongfish.com]

I would recommend choosing one interesting topic per week and studying it in as great a depth as you find enjoyable!

Re:Mathematics (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809895)

Damn, I messed up the link. That should have been this one instead [www.ping.be] . Sorry!

Re:Mathematics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809920)

That is actually quite an interesting site, thanks.

Of course, a google search would reveal a lot more.

Re:Mathematics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809943)

That didn't look like maths to me. Still, I would rate it +1 Interesting for the methodology and coding.

Re:Mathematics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809973)

thx! that science game is funky!

i like the bit where the prof blows up if you get all the answers right hehe

Find a university. Show up. Have a seat. (5, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809870)

1) It's been a while since I was in college, but I can't remember the prof ever giving a damn about who showed up for his classes.

2) If you don't have grey hairs, you can probably pass for a student with a little creative wardrobe work.

Given premises 1) and 2) above... well, do the math.

(The best part? You don't even have to show up for the exams!)

Re:Find a university. Show up. Have a seat. (1)

peterpi (585134) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809932)

Yes, people used to do this when I was at university. Most lecturers really don't care (nor even notice) who turns up for lectures. That said, if you're looking to refresh high school level maths, then an undergraduate course might be a bit over your head. It would definately be beyond me, and I use high school level math most days at work.

Re:Find a university. Show up. Have a seat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809966)

sorry, but I had grey hairs at 20.

Re:Find a university. Show up. Have a seat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3810041)

Yes, excellent idea. Tons of people do this at my university to refresh for their professional tests. But god, please don't ask a crapload of questions....I hate that nothing more. Some guy who's not paying for the class and who's obviously jumped in over his head asks a bunch of questions and waste our time.

I kid you not, EE351: "What's a transistor?" Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!

Check out Dover books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809874)


at www.doverpublishing.com. Their books are better and cheaper than most of the competition.

I have some advice: (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809875)


Kill yourself.

I dont know where you are (3, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809877)

but here in the US I would take a community college course or two, they are WAY cheaper than the 'real' universities. (and just as good in my opinion, all the learning with none of the liberalism)

Re:I dont know where you are (2, Interesting)

NotoriousGIB (44865) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809907)

I agree, community colleges are the way to go. I'm not sure about the "none of the liberalism" comment though as I went from being a conservative christian to a liberal democrat after attending community college in VA for a few years. I see this as an added bonus but I doubt the original poster would agree. :-)

Re:I dont know where you are (0, Flamebait)

gid-goo (52690) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809985)

I'm going to done the flame throwing gear and wade in to this.
I don't know where you are but I've never been to a place where a community college could compare to any but the weakest of universities. It's like VoTec or something. If you want a bunch of kids who are too dumb, lazy or cheap to go to a real college or university, go to a community college. Everyone there is basically bullshitting each other in to believing that they're getting the same education they would at a 'real' university.
It's basically all the credits, none of the work. To the original question: Go somewhere that will kick your teeth in and make you do the work.

Re:I dont know where you are (2)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810024)

Once again, I don't know where you are, but here in Minnesota, the community colleges are very good. I hear they are not as good out east. After attending both the UofM and some local community colleges, I have to give the nod to the community colleges. Smaller class size, more individualized help, etc. Of course the UofM doesn't necessarily represent other big colleges as the UofM has some big problems compared to to others.

Re:I dont know where you are (2, Interesting)

Clue4All (580842) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810054)

Regardless of your experiences, there are some decent community colleges around. Why would he want to pay the huge prices on large universities to take some math classes when his obvious intent is learning for the sake of learning?

www.math.com (1, Informative)

T.Monk (585143) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809880)

www.math.com has some good resources you might wanna investigate... bone up on the math and algebras then test into the undergrad courses, skipping the "bridging" courses at the University. If the bridging courses are really $495, that should save you a 1k or so...

I need more information! (4, Funny)

dmarien (523922) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809885)

"I could probably steal my daughters..."

To answer your question I need to know more about this... what grade is she in? How old is she?

Brunette, red head, blonde? Please, I would love to help you but you're not giving me much to go on...

The Man Who Counted (0)

Bloody Bastard (562228) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809886)

The Man Who Counter [barnesandnoble.com] is a very good book to read and full of Mathematics. It is a good start if you're trying to think Mathematics, not just applying formulae.

I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Where are you going with it? (3, Insightful)

MattC413 (248620) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809887)

What are you planning to do with this education in Mathematics?

Do you want this for information's sake, or do you want to plan a career out of it?

These questions are important because if you are doing it for education's sake, the first time you look into a college-level Multivariable Calculus book might result in a little voice giving you a sudden desperate need to close the book and never open it again.

Course, if you plan to make a career out of it, the above situation will probably still occur, but you'll at least have a strong reason to ignore that little voice and give it a serious try.

-Matt

Spread that ass, XXXmas Cheer (-1)

pwpbot (588025) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809892)

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Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809896)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re-learning (5, Interesting)

Sefi915 (580027) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809899)

Stealing your daughters' textbooks is almost what you want to do. Sit down with (one of) them and ask them what they're doing. Ask them to teach you. It'll be a wonderful learning experience for both you and your daughter(s).

Personally, I was in a similar bind a few months ago. A co-worker was going to school for CIS and I read over his shoulder while he did his homework. More came back to me in those few months while watching him work and helping each other out than if I'd read the book by myself.

Learning works better with two people.

Re:Re-learning (3, Funny)

Target Drone (546651) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810022)

A co-worker was going to school for CIS and I read over his shoulder while he did his homework.

Just make sure the person knows what they're doing. At university I saw someone take the fraction

16
----
64

Cross out the sixes and end up with

1
---
4

The scary thing is it actually worked!

Just read some books (3, Informative)

BlueLines (24753) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809900)

i reccommend What Is Mathematics [amazon.com] by Courant, Robbins, Stewart. This covers just about everything in modern math until the 1940's or so (and the newer version have updated sections on Fermat's last theorem). Plus there's a blurb from Albert Einstein praising the book on the back. You can't ask for much more than that.

-BlueLines

Cliff's Quick Review Books (0)

downtime (235201) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809902)

I've found them to be really handy for getting back up to speed. I have Algebra II and Geometry and i think there are ones for Trig and Calculus. I know these aren't very advanced topics, but when you're trying to get started again, you need to start with the little stuff.


hope that helps.

As Euclid said... (2, Insightful)

cperciva (102828) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809912)

As Euclid said, "there is no royal road to mathematics". Go to university, take the courses they tell you to take, and expect to spend a lot of time and money.

Either that, or don't bother. Quite seriously, I doubt you'll be able to learn much whatever you do -- mathematics is a subject which people find incredibly hard to pick up late in life.

Re:As Euclid said... (0)

downtime (235201) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809977)

yeah, but if you have enough desire, almost anything is possible.


it appears you've had plenty of desire to be a dick...

Look at university web sites (2, Informative)

Eminor (455350) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809914)

Look at the syllabus for courses at your favorite university web site. From there you can look up topics on the web or in books.

Tutor (3, Insightful)

ouslush (535043) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809917)

Why not just get a tutor? It would definitely be less expensive than actually going to school again. Also, you get the 1 on 1 atmosphere which is usually the best. I think anyone who actually 'wants' to take math is crazy, but whatever floats your boat

For free... (5, Informative)

lostchicken (226656) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809922)

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ [wolfram.com]

This isn't completely what you want, but it is a very good reference site for mathematics, from the fine people who brought us Mathematica. And it's free, and as we all know, free is good.

suggestions (0, Flamebait)

j1mmy (43634) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809929)

Anything past pythagoras is a little tough for me :) but I know I could get back up to speed quickly.

That's where you're wrong :) Math will still be tough for you. Just don't try.

Online Resources? (1)

Amoral Psycho (589761) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809933)

If you use Google.com you may find great deal of web-sites with great deal of information, and also there are many great math ebooks available online. And the resource that I use for all of my questions is this little chat on IRC (DALnet #math) they help me with all the problems that I come across with.

Online... (2)

clinko (232501) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809936)

A lot of university professors post their tests or nots online.

Try google...

or go to the math dept.'s site and click on professors. You'll find something like this: LSU Prof's [lsu.edu]
From there you can get their personal sites that have tons of information.

This is how Passed Dif. Eq. Got most of the information from google and lots of different university's notes.

Whatever you do... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809940)

Make sure it's not just by reading posts in Slashdot about the Riemann Zeta Function and associated hypotheses...

One good book (2)

photon317 (208409) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809942)

I'd recommend the following books, it was good for when I was in roughly the same position:

Mathematics for the Million (ISBN 0-393-31071-X) Even Albert Einstein [wwnorton.com] had good things to say of this book.

It's called a library... (1)

seigniory (89942) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809944)

they have books that you can borrow and read -- and guess what? It's all FREE FREE FREE!!! All the knowledge you gain is yours to keep!

Book + ICQ + IRC + Newsgroups + etc... (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809947)

This is how I learn to program, and sprinkle in university courses as you have time / money. the internet is an awesome resource!

I remember about 10-15 years ago when some company was saying they were bringing the "Information superhighway." I thought yea right, but after I started using it, I have to agree.

People are always happy to share their knowledge for free even. Many are even school professors and book writers!

SOSmath.com (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809953)

Though I'm not in the same situation as you, SOSMath [sosmath.com] is a GREAT reference that I've used many times to "remember" things such as how to solve differential equations and matrix multiplication properties. good luck!

because mathematicians have a sense of humor too (2, Funny)

Dunhausen (455277) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809958)

Then there was the crackpot category theoretician
who thought he was a catamorphism operation. He'd walk around the psych ward with a pair of bananas, which he'd hold up around the other patients and giggle maniacally.

Once he did this to the resident hypochondriac (who was convinced he was in the final stages of inoperable brain cancer), but it didn't seem to bother him.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm constructing a unique arrow," said the crackpot, "with YOU as its target!"

"So what's the big deal about that?" said the hypochondriac. "I'm terminal."

(Of course, this joke is only funny if the mental hospital is Cartesian Closed...)

The problem is time (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809960)

Hi, I'm 38. I have a similar situation. From my experience, there is only one thing stopping you - time.

I am a family man (two kids) and trying to get anything done with a family to take care of too has been very tough for me. So, slowly I realize I will eventually end up as yet another mathematician-wannabe... |sigh|

Recommendations? Get a family, skip the intellectual masturbation. When you're approaching forty years you will thank me. No algorithm beats a bed-time story.

books (1)

gCGBD (532991) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809962)

There are a number of 'popular' books on Mathematics out there. They can help build your skills as an armchair mathematician.

Journey Through Genius, By William Dunham was one of my favorites.

Of course if you endeavour to become a professional mathematician you will need to take more classes and build credential.

There are so many branches and types of mathematics it is hard to recommend a path of study...

As far as books go... (1)

Skwidd (568637) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809964)

Have you considered a Schaum's outline? They contain a lot of problems and very little discussion. Their principle purpose is to be a companion to a course or textbook that will provide more instruction, but they function pretty well on their own, and include helpful and well written reviews of material at the front of each chapter. Also, they should run less than $20/ea, which is reason enough to consider over bulkier hardcover textbooks in the $80+ range. Good luck!

well if you are a computing dork (1)

r00tarded (553054) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809965)

you can just self study. knuth et al [stanford.edu] have a fantastic book available.

math (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809972)

If you can wait until Sept., MIT is starting up their Open CourseWare initiative and ~100 classes (dunno how many are going to be math) are going to be online for free.

Math for Morons like Us (1)

NickFusion (456530) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809978)

A nice web resource for those wishing to bone up on their maths:

http://library.thinkquest.org/20991/home.html

Depends on the depth (3, Insightful)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 11 years ago | (#3809979)

How much you should do depends on how deep you want to dive into the pool of mathematics.

If you are hoping to learn enough to publish papers or contribute to the advancement of math, then I recommend taking the effort and getting a degree in mathematics (unless you are really, really good at math. :-)

If you just want to have some fun with mathematical recreations. Scientific American released some great books with math problems, as well I know of a few others if you want them.

If you want to have some real fun and learn classical mathematics (no applied stuff), there's always Euclid's Elements and Mathematica Principia. But these books are definitely not for the faint of heart either.

If you want to learn math with a more applied edge, you can take night courses, or get a few good books on modern calculus or mathematics.

If you want to learn statistics, I feel really sorry for you. :-)

If you want to learn comp sci related math, there are some fantastic books out there that will help (if you want details, just reply).

There is just so many areas to go into when you decide to mathematics again. It is hard to help you out with exactly what to do. I am taking a degree in math right now, but I can understand that with children that would be a difficult and strenuous challenge. Even though, I think it would be great to have another mathematician contributing to the body of math that exists.

The only suggestion I really have that may be quite helpful is to see if you can talk with any of the pure mathematics professors at the university or college near you. They might be able to help you find your niche in mathematics, and even provide you with some other alternatives not mentioned here.

Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809984)

It really depends on your learning style. I can read books and learn the material, some people need a teacher to answer questions. If you're a reader I can recommend some books that I've used:

_Calculus:Single and Multivariable_, Hughes-Hallett, Gleason, McCallum et al, 0471164437 (that's the second edition, haven't seen the third yet)

_Topology_, James R. Munkres, 0131816292

_Elementary Linear Algebra_, Howard Anton, 0471170550

_Fundamentals of Differential Equations_, Nagle, Saff, Snider, 0201338688

_Tensor Analysis on Manifolds_, Richard L. Bishop, Samuel I. Goldberg, 0486640396

_Elementary Differential Geometry_, Barrett O'Neill, 0125267452

_Algebra_, Michael Artin, 0130047635 (this is abstract algebra, not the type you'd normally think of)

Might try this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809987)

I don't know what area of Mathematics
you're interested in, but I'd highly recommend:

Who is Fourier [barnesandnoble.com] by the Transnation College of Lex.

It starts with triangles, goes through basic Calculus and ends with the Fourier Transform.
A good intro/overview/review.
(And it's even a pretty interesting/fun read)

Read this book! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809988)

Whatever you do, get this book:
A Tour of the Calculus: The Philosophy of Mathematics, by David Berlinksi
ISBN no. : 0 43409844 2

Buy a book. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809989)

Just go buy a book or two that address the issues you are interested in learning about. Contrary to popular(?) belief, not all math is fun. In a classroom setting, you are going to find yourself covering a lot of information you don't have a lot of interest in. At the same time you will not learn as much about your areas of interest as you would like. If anything, you should focus on independent study first and then if you like that, enroll in a class or two for support purposes. Simply being enrolled can give you access to resources like professors and neato math software like MatLab/Maple.

used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3809995)

i recently picked up a 1989 textbook "advanced mathmatics for engineers" list price ~$75.00 price at a used book store? $8.00 odd answers in the back. it covers multivar to deep into forier transforms and other stuff i didn't learn in college. not that this is the right book, but a used math text is a great way to start....

Teach yourself math (1)

LeiraHoward (529716) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810003)

As a homeschool graduate, I have had a lot of experience with teaching myself math, and I would recommend you just go for it. I exited high school with the minimum requirements for math for my state, then decided later on to go into Engineering. After 4 years (and no Calculus) I was pretty rusty, so I swiped my younger siblings math books and got myself back up to speed as much as possible before dropping back into college math courses. Something similar would work for you as well, I am sure.

There is an excellent math program out there called "Math-U-See" [mathusee.com] which gives a good easy tutorial, with videos included as well. It is intended to teach the parents how to teach their kids.

Another good resource is Saxon Math [saxonpublishers.com] , which is a more traditional textbook, if you prefer that approach. Both systems are available from a variety of stores, you can also just filch your daughter's textbook if you wish, or check out what your local library has.
Good luck!

I have a suggestion. (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810004)

I could probably steal my daughters math textbooks and start reading but I'm wondering if there is a better way. I considered a part-time University paper at US$495 each and you need to do two as bridging courses in order to even start on undergraduate courses. A bit pricey when you have a home and family to look after as well. Another option was a night courses but I'm kept pretty busy with work. Does anyone have any advice?

Yes. Learn to osmose information.

- A.P.

crypto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3810005)

Decide you want to code up your own asymetric crypto algorithm... sooner or later you'll be factoring and modularly exponentiating with the best of em ;o)

A somewhat dated introduction (1)

stand (126023) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810008)

It's really pretty old (1976) and there are probably tons of better options out there now, but I have on my shelves a book called "A Mathematical Journey" by Stanley Gudder. You can still find it on Amazon. It covers stuff like number theory, group theory, probability, graph theory. The computer science stuff is a little dated by now.

It's very much a text book so it has lots of excercies for the reader with answers in the back. I thought it was a good introductory treatment. I'm sure others will chime in with better suggestions, but that's mine.

Don't overlook community colleges (1)

maetenloch (181291) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810009)

A community college night class would probably be your best option. They're cheap and most of the students are adults returning to school after a few years. Plus you get credits that you often can transfer to local universityies if you decide to go further.

Yes, you could get some textbooks and study on your own but unless you're extraordinarily disciplined you probably won't finish (I have a whole shelf of half-finished math books). Having the structure of a class (with homework) gives you a chance to ask questions and also helps you keep going when your initial enthusiasm wanes.
I say this having been both a math instructor and a math student who went back to school after several years working.

Here is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3810030)

To the greatest mathematical question of all time

How long is a piece of string?
Answer : n cm
What is n?
Answer : The length of the piece of string!

dont worry (3, Interesting)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810032)

I guarantee you will go back to hating math after taking a single class.

But seriously university classes in math tend to be rather boring because they tend to reduce even complicated fields into a few formulas that can be memorized and a few problem types for which you can memorize which formula to use.

Also they tend to assign a lot of dull homework.

So classes seem to be geared towards those that cant understand math but are willing to tackle it with brute memorization.

Or maybe i just went to a bad university.

When in rome... (1)

TheKubrix (585297) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810035)

Do what the students do, but on your own....Most tech related majors AT LEAST have to take a full year of calculus, which is usually 3 classes and typical they use the same book through all 3 of them, try getting a book from your nearest university (or even comm college) and check their Math department website, chances are the professor has posted homework assignments and you can start on those.......

I'll help you start (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810036)

the digits in the decimal system are 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9
Any number plus (+) 1 is the next number in the set
when you get to 9, the number as a result of adding 1 is 10.

Homeschooling mathbooks, the best. (1)

DancingSword (412552) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810043)

The Saxon Math Books

http://www.saxonpublishers.com/sitemap/index.jsp

Why are they the best?

Instead of heaving a month-mosh worth of stuff at a student ( in order to make the student's process appear good on the committee-reports ), the John Saxon's Idea was to give us 1 simple concept at a time, so that we actually learn it, and to layer/syncopate the concepts so that progress is continuous.

It works.

Laerning math (1)

kichiguy (469224) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810045)

Try the math column in Scientific American. The stuff there is usually a little more fun than
actual course work.

sci.math & alt.math.undergrad (1)

speby (520912) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810046)

I suggest you ask these questions here. Your questions is quite specific to generalize to the young, dumb slashdot crowd. Many of the posters in these aforementioned newsgroups are university professors who have either written or have contributed to mathematical writings, papers, periodicals, and articles. They will definitely be more useful than what you'll find here.
Cheers

basics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3810047)

Hi, I am ph.D student in Math. Most of the useful math that you are going to need is going to start with college algebra/trigonometry. Then Calculus/Statistics/Linear Algebra. The only way to learn these is to do problems. If you are disciplined enough to work them on your own, then that is the key. But then, who do you turn to. Perhaps you could hire a tutor when you need help? Other than this idea, you should have an instructor to assign problems to you and keep you working. The only way to learn math is by doing example problems. Good reference: MathWorld.com [mathworld.com]

try these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3810049)

i got a B.S. in math in 2000 from UCSD. here are some
books i really enjoyed.

_Symmetry_ by Herman Weyl
_Geometry and the Imagination_ by David Hilbert
_How to Solve_ it by George Polya (anything by Polya is excellent)

These are classics written by famous mathematicians,
but they are not very advanced. They quickly get to
the "deep" and "beautiful" parts of their subjects.

of course to go on in math you will need command of
the important "every day" tools, esp. calculus and
linear algebra.

a good book for this is
_mathematical thinking: problem solving and proofs_ by
d'angelo and west. the first edition is better, if
you can find it .

-a

Social Learning (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810055)

Become friends with Math Professors or Math Teachers. or some other people who are good at math and talk about it a lot. When you hang around them for a while you pick stuff up. And espectly if they are a professor they will probly give you little helps and tips for free.

Math Competition Problems (4, Informative)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 11 years ago | (#3810057)

I have found that doing these USAMTS competition problems [nsa.gov] have pushed me forward a lot this past year of my high school career (not to mention an honorable mention finish). Try it and see what you learn. For those high schoolers out there, its a nice competition to get into, the only thing you pay is postage to send your answers in.

More stuff like this would be great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3810060)

This one is a java-based demo of a bunch of signals and systems engineering math operations, at Johns Hopkins University [jhu.edu] , and I wish more stuff like this could be available (especially from students working in specific areas) to help students of all ages grasp more complicated math. Or even simple math.

However, I'd be happy if more adults knew that p=mv so they wouldn't be so inclined to cut off a bus in their tiny cars as they both approach a stop light...

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