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The last time I studied mathematics and algebra was six years ago. I've since forgotten everything except quadratic equations, trigonometric functions and other things at the same level. Now I want to relearn all this: combinatorics, linear algebra, probability theory. I'm looking at articles in wikipedia, and don't understand anything except the basics. Trying to understand a topic, I dig deeper and deeper into wikipedia and after a while, I can't even remember where I started.

So my question: what things I must learn for first steps?

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closed as too broad by Najib Idrissi, Adam Hughes, PhoemueX, MathOverview, Przemysław Scherwentke Mar 22 '15 at 22:28

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

write and draw (while reading) – Berci Oct 3 '12 at 8:08 simple advice, but I thinks that was realy good idea. Thanks) – AlexCi Oct 3 '12 at 8:09
Consider buying or borrowing a book from the library on the subject and read through it. Take time to do the exercises. – zundarz Oct 3 '12 at 8:44
I somewhat edited your post. If you feel I've altered your meaning, please feel free to revert to the original. Welcome to the site! – Rick Decker Oct 3 '12 at 13:36
Thanks, my english not so good) – AlexCi Oct 4 '12 at 6:37
up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you need the basics, perhaps a free MOOC (massive open online course) and even Khan Academy might me a nice option to go:

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Yes! This is what I was looking for! – AlexCi Oct 4 '12 at 6:39

Wikipedia can be useful (sometimes very useful) for filling gaps in knowledge when you already have some background. But it is pretty useless as a place to begin (it often isn't even very good at giving pointers to good textbooks).

We live in a golden age for maths textbooks at different levels: there are a lot of quite wonderful books out there, written by experienced teachers, and often polished over a number of editions. Get yourself to a good library and see what is available that meets your needs and interests. Different books even at the same level will suit different readers, so find a book that looks as if it will work for you. Then borrow it, read it slowly and carefully, doing some of the exercises as you go along.

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