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Learning Calculus at Home?

I have been at college for a while majoring in something where jobs my not be readily available. I have been looking into switching to a math major. Problem is that I would need to take a few courses before getting into the the required ones. Would it be possible to learn pre calculus or calculus at home in 4-5 months? I would not need to understand everything but, enough to take the placement exam and score high enough to be allowed to register into at least pre calculus.

yes

I would guess so too. I used Schaums outlines to learn some a while back, but now there is a bunch of great stuff of youtube. The practice problems were good to do though.

Seriously though, buy the textbook and read through it. Find out the concepts you need to know and the order they will be taught. Start understanding what a derivative is then move onto the different differentiation rules (ie power rule, chain rule, etc.) then implicit differentiation, then do related rates problems. After that move onto integration, learn the theory then the integration rules. Then try problems related to finding areas, volumes or surface areas.
** the order you learn the concepts above isn’t necessarily important but that’s the was taught them.

The internet has so much free help it shouldn’t be a problem. I know Kahn academy on youtube puts out a lot of useful videos on the subject. Also just doing a google search should be able to help you find at least 1 website that explains a concept in a manner you can understand. A website I remember using was called Paul’s Notes.

Absolutely. It’s not hard at all. You just need structure. Can you get your hands on a sample exam? That would be a good starting point. There are tons of lectures and notes online. Just make sure you account for all variables. I’ve never taken a placement exam, but it sounds like it would use a standard form method of computation so practice that way if that is true. You want to practice how you’re tested to avoid petty situations.

You don’t want to have to adapt DURING the test and put yourself in a higher stress environment than you already would be. If you know anyone that can tutor and assist you, that would be a great addition to your plan not just for help in understanding material and application but also for motivation as you may find yourself bored at times depending on how you go about it. Pre-calc and Calc 1 is definitely doable. You just need to apply yourself.

^^ yes definitely practice problems. I know in the past I have thought to myself a problem was easy just looking at it and never actually attempted to practice it. When it showed up on the test I tried to do it but didn’t actually know how

[quote]colin1168 wrote:
^^ yes definitely practice problems. I know in the past I have thought to myself a problem was easy just looking at it and never actually attempted to practice it. When it showed up on the test I tried to do it but didn’t actually know how[/quote]
Your brain works differently during a test. You need to understand the concept AND be mechanically versed in order to not shit the bed.

It blows my mind how schools all over America in the past taught the worst way to learn math
all the while Indians were learning ancient “Vedic Math” that made our methods
look retarded by comparison, and no I’m not inferring to people with Down’s Syndrome
either when I say that.

But I digress…MAYBE Vedic Math has a learning system of Calculus that’s better than
we can come up with…maybe, check it out.

JMTPatrick on youtube is Really really good.

What kind of jobs do you think are readily available with a math major?

Khan academy on youtube is BY FAR the best resource, you can download lecture problems as well

[quote]Karado wrote:
It blows my mind how schools all over America in the past taught the worst way to learn math
all the while Indians were learning ancient “Vedic Math” that made our methods
look retarded by comparison, and no I’m not inferring to people with Down’s Syndrome
either when I say that.

But I digress…MAYBE Vedic Math has a learning system of Calculus that’s better than
we can come up with…maybe, check it out.[/quote]

I looked over vedicmath.org real quickly but they weren’t illustrating how to apply it. They also said that it has only just re-emerged as a system of learning mathematics.

So, how would you solve this problem using vedic principals (I just had to do this one as a pre-screening test for a job).

Find the length of 22.5 degrees of the circumference for the inside radius of circle pictured. Circle pictured showed a segment with an inner radius of 5 and 5/8 inches.

Also, I know it ain’t rocket science. I’d just like to see an example of the method.

Use MIT open coursware for free lectures, notes, practice problems exams etc.

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:
Khan academy on youtube is BY FAR the best resource, you can download lecture problems as well[/quote]

Where can you get the lecture problems. On the site?

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:

[quote]Karado wrote:
It blows my mind how schools all over America in the past taught the worst way to learn math
all the while Indians were learning ancient “Vedic Math” that made our methods
look retarded by comparison, and no I’m not inferring to people with Down’s Syndrome
either when I say that.

But I digress…MAYBE Vedic Math has a learning system of Calculus that’s better than
we can come up with…maybe, check it out.[/quote]

I looked over vedicmath.org real quickly but they weren’t illustrating how to apply it. They also said that it has only just re-emerged as a system of learning mathematics.

So, how would you solve this problem using vedic principals (I just had to do this one as a pre-screening test for a job).

Find the length of 22.5 degrees of the circumference for the inside radius of circle pictured. Circle pictured showed a segment with an inner radius of 5 and 5/8 inches.

Also, I know it ain’t rocket science. I’d just like to see an example of the method.
[/quote]

Seems using the vedic method for that just turns a simple problem into something much harder. But not harder conceptually, it’s just that I have been trained all my life to do something a certain way, hard to change!

[quote]setto222 wrote:
Use MIT open coursware for free lectures, notes, practice problems exams etc. [/quote]

I work in an engineering department at a university and the wealth of stuff for free online is amazing these days, good luck

[quote]setto222 wrote:

Seems using the vedic method for that just turns a simple problem into something much harder. But not harder conceptually, it’s just that I have been trained all my life to do something a certain way, hard to change!
[/quote]

I hear you on that. I can’t think of any other way to solve it other than the one that I know.

I don’t doubt that it could be very effective, or that I could use it sometimes, but it may be hard to rewire a system of thinking that has been so thoroughly programmed as to be like a reflex.

Go for it OP! I started out life as a math major. I took precal and cal 1 in high school and really enjoyed them. You shouldn’t have any problem wrapping your head around those. In my experience:
precal: easy
calc 1: easy
calc 2: hard (at least it was for me)
calc 3: easy
linear/matrix algebra: easy
dif eq: hard

I can’t really say anything about the progression after that point. dif eq was where I decided to become a stat major, as I found that much more enjoyable than pure mathematics. After all that I’m pretty sure you just get into insane theoretical shit.

[quote]IFlashBack wrote:

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:
Khan academy on youtube is BY FAR the best resource, you can download lecture problems as well[/quote]

Where can you get the lecture problems. On the site? [/quote]

on the site, it’s linked on the youtube channel

maverick - MIT open course ware is fantastic … also if you just google calculus and whatever level you want to learn there will be a lot of lectures and examples of the techniques used. Using this approach helped me get A’s in my more math and calculus intensive courses (Economics) and is more than helping me prepare for grad school