Questions about the process of learning mathematics, both inside and outside a formal environment, including learning strategies, recommendations for learning particular subjects, and studying habits.

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2
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1answer
89 views

How can I learn to recognize the obvious questions?

I have heard and seen several references to "obvious questions", "obvious axioms" and other "obvious" things (I am not referring to obvious results!). Now, in a seminar I am taking, at the end of each ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

I love maths, but my school is limited in its teachings. [closed]

I'm not sure how well this question will be received but, I feel there is no harm in asking. I'm 17 soon to be 18. I was in my applied maths course, but not anymore, not due to difficulty, but I can ...
0
votes
1answer
991 views

James R. Munkres' TOPOLOGY, 2nd edition: How to check my work?

I'm trying to learn, or revise, some topology from James R. Munkres' TOPOLOGY, 2nd edition. I'm working alone; that is, I'm self-learning. It is quite fun. But the problem is how do I check if I've ...
1
vote
0answers
83 views

How to deal with a lack of ability to apply ideas in math?

I am currently studying Theoretical Computer Science, but as a Computer Science student who does not have a formal background in mathematics, past A Level (High School), I find that the ideas I learn ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Optimizing a box

I'm learning the use of derivatives and I have found a problem: Supposing we want to build a box of $4000\, \textrm{cm}^3$ of volume without top and a square base. Which are the measures so we ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

Is it possible to gain intuition into these trig compound angle formulas - and in general, final year high school math?

Does anyone have any insight into the trig sum and difference formulas? The formulas in themselves are very elegant, but I don't really like the proofs that have been given, even the geometric proofs. ...
15
votes
0answers
342 views

IMO programs of different nations?

We in Albania have a good team in the IMO, and this year I will probably be part of it. Since Albania does not have a public training programme, I have to consult the training programmes of other ...
0
votes
2answers
155 views

Find the equation of the parabola given the tangent to a point and another point.

I have a problem with derivatives, I've been trying to solve but I was not able to do it. A parabola is tangent to the line $3x-y+6 = 0$ in the point $(0,6)$ and goes through the point $(1,0)$. ...
0
votes
3answers
163 views

I want to study higher mathematics. Where do I start?

Since last year, I've been interested in higher mathematics and don't really know where to start and don't know what knowledge I still need to obtain, before being able to understand the concepts. ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Books or notes focusing more on the intersection between manifolds and topology?

I try to prepare for the qualify exams, and find that the problems of geometry part are quite interesting. In the past, I just learned some elementary things on manifolds and algebraic topology ...
4
votes
0answers
75 views

How can I retain the mathematics that I've supposedly learnt?

So my question simply is "What is the best method to make sure you retain what you have learnt?" Okay so I've tried learning mathematics up to where I should be at in the past. Every time though I ...
4
votes
0answers
80 views

How to select good exercises?

I'm studying on Rudin "Principles of of Mathematical Analysis" which I begin to find as a good and complete reference. I wonder how many exercises shall I do at the end of each chapter ? In case of ...
0
votes
3answers
38 views

Is this derivative correct?

I'm newbie at Calculus, so I'm doing some exercises of derivates, I know by the formula: $f(x) = \sqrt u$ $\frac {df(x)}{dx} = \frac{u'}{2 \sqrt u}$ that the derivate of the next function is: ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Path to 3d Mathematics programming, where to start?

This might read like duplicate of this question https://math.stackexchange.com/search?q=where+to+start However since that one wasn't answered, and I have a more specific problem in regards to ...
2
votes
0answers
107 views

How to Read Michael Artin's Algebra

I am currently reading Algebra by Michael Artin (for self study). I'm finding the book pretty interesting, but I'm still not sure how I should study the book. For example, should I try to prove every ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

How important is the “prestige” of your university for undergraduate mathematics?

I go to a university in Canada. It's not really considered a top university (it is one of the best universities in the province but is ranked really low nationally). I study mathematics here and ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

How to expand this polynomial division?

My Physics teacher gave me a problem and its solution, what I have todo is to expand the solution, but when I do it I do not get to the same solution he says is the right one, here is the problem: ...
1
vote
2answers
143 views

Books/subjects for proof practice

So I want to practice writing proofs. I've studied general proof-writing but now I want to learn how to apply that to mathematics. From what I understand, the best and most accessible subjects for ...
36
votes
5answers
2k views

Self-learning mathematics - help needed!

First, I apologise for the nebulous nature of my title but I can't adequately explain myself concisely. I am about to start an MSc in pure maths after a fairly shaky undergraduate degree. I am very ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

How to approach real analaysis

I'm just starting first year in university in Europe and here there there is no Calculus, instead you jump right into Analysis. The trouble is, for some time I self-studied through US style books and ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

Vector spaces - Multiplying by zero vector yields zero vector.

Please rate and comment. I want to improve; constructive criticism is highly appreciated. Please take style into account as well. The following proof is solely based on vector space axioms. Axiom ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Vector spaces - Multiplying by $-1$ yields inverse element of vector addition.

Please rate and comment. I want to improve; constructive criticism is highly appreciated. Please take style into account as well. The following proof is based on vector space related axioms. Axiom ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Bridging the Gap Between Implicit Understanding and Formal Math

I use set theory on an implicit basis as a programmer; however, it's recently become necessary for me to expand into the formal world to explain my intent to decision makers that don't operate at a ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Complete list of math topics to study up to college level math? [closed]

Aspiring mathematician here. I have always been fascinated by math, physics, and just logic in general. I have noticed that I generally grasp topics and ideas quite quickly, but I am being hindered ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

How do you look for classic/normative/standard books about an established branch of mathematics?

If you want to immerse yourself in a branch of mathematics (e.g. linear algebra and linear optimisation) which is new to you, then you often look for standard books which you can rely on. You could ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

How do you move from just plugging in variables to an equation to actually understanding the equation? [closed]

I really can't say I focused on math when in school (didn't focus much ) , but now much later in life, I am trying to learn math. While I can sometime just plug and chug variables into an equation ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

How to model a real-world graphical structure into a mathematical formulation?

I am trying to learn how to model programming problems in a mathematical way. I am a software engineer, but have recently been running into road blocks where I can't solve some problems very ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Sufficient requirements for graduate school in Mathematics? [closed]

I am 24 years old, and I will be completing a degree in Computer Science in May 2015. Over the years, I have taken the Calculus series (up to Multivariable Calculus), Intro to Linear Algebra, Intro ...
3
votes
0answers
339 views

Vector spaces - Multiplying by zero scalar yields zero vector

Please rate and comment. I want to improve; constructive criticism is highly appreciated. Please take style into account as well. The following proof is solely based on vector space related axioms. ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

Vector spaces - If an addend adds nothing, then the addend is the zero vector.

Please rate and comment. I want to improve; constructive criticism is highly appreciated. Please take style into account as well. With one exception, the following proof is solely based on vector ...
1
vote
0answers
99 views

Another proof of uniqueness of identity element of addition of vector space

Please rate and comment. I want to improve; constructive criticism is highly appreciated. Please take style into account as well. The following proof is solely based on vector space axioms. Axiom ...
3
votes
5answers
757 views

Proof of uniqueness of identity element of addition of vector space

Please rate and comment. I want to improve; constructive criticism is highly appreciated. Please take style into account as well. Proof of uniqueness of identity element of addition of vector space ...
3
votes
0answers
103 views

Attemping Qualifying Exam Problems — and failing

My question is concerning learning strategy. I can solve the majority of the exercises in a typical graduate mathematics textbook like, say, Dummit/Foote's Abstract Algebra. To supplement my education ...
3
votes
3answers
84 views

Why $ (1- \sin \alpha + \cos \alpha)^2 = 2 (1 - \sin \alpha)(1+ \cos \alpha)$?

Why $ (1- \sin \alpha + \cos \alpha)^2 = 2 (1 - \sin \alpha)(1+ \cos \alpha)$? I am learning trigonometric identities one identity I have to proof is the next: $ (1- \sin \alpha + \cos \alpha)^2 = ...
9
votes
2answers
380 views

The best balance in studying Mathematics?

I'm a student studying Mathematics at a university level. I've completed Single Variable Calculus, Differential Equations, Multivariable Caculus, Real/Complex Analysis, and Linear Algebra and I've ...
-1
votes
3answers
96 views

Learning timetables

This is a basic question, but I am revisiting them due to some examinations I need to take that involves mathematics. I want to be nimble with mental arithmetic so have decided to go back and learn my ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

Motivational example for complex numbers

Years ago I was introduced to complex numbers. In class we had been talking about the cubic polynomial and its solutions. At one point we saw an example where, when using the formula, one had to stop ...
16
votes
5answers
790 views

Understanding mathematical texts

Please could you comment on following: I always wanted to know what mathematicians mean by "understanding a piece of mathematics". For example, I have just finished the second chapter from Rudin's ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Decided to finally jump in [on hold]

I've finally decided to jump into teaching myself math because I am a junior (soon senior) in high school and have been interested in math for the longest time. I am not sure if this question belongs ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Most Suitable Book after Kline's Calculus?

I've been working through Morris Kline's Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach and it's an absolutely excellent book for self-studying applied single-variable (and some multi-variable) calculus ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Help me with a learning plan! [closed]

Now I'm a third-year software-engineering undergraduate and my university doesn't provide proper mathematical basis, so I want to learn all the basic things by myself. Here are subject I'd like to ...
5
votes
0answers
192 views

Analysis or (abstract) algebra first?

Which one would you recommend? I only know calculus and linear algebra when it comes to university-level mathematics. Is one required to understand the other?
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Book recommendations for someone interested in higher mathematics?

Background: I am currently studying physics and except for high school mathematics I have experience with linear algebra, single- and multivariable calculus, differential equations (mostly ODE's, but ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Are there online-platforms where to find people for joint learning and discussions?

After quite some time in academia I ended up in a nice company but the math to use is not really demanding. Hence I am still reading and working a bit on some university level math. It's roughly at a ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Does math have to be learned linearly?

I am asking because often times one doesn't know where to start in math. "Just learn what you need" is very vague and unspecific ... for example, assume I'm a beginner at Algebra and was considering ...
3
votes
1answer
436 views

Do only certain people exceed at math well? [closed]

It's obvious if you look around that math has always been one of the toughest subjects in all areas, from federal-traditional public schools to simply people learning it as an autodidact, hobby, or as ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

The value of to fill the gap in the proof

I have studied a paper "On Finite Groups with Given Conjugate Types I" recently. The author use many words like "obviously", "clearly", "trivial", etc. in his proof. But these "obviously" implication ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Need an Algebra 2/Precalculus text to prepare for Calculus

I'm about to finish my Algebra 1 text and I could use some recommendations for a text to prepare for Calculus. I've searched through several forums and some of the books I've seen recommended are: ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Intuition or wisdom for stability and instability properties of locally linear system. Boyce, p513, Table 9.3.1

Our instructor requires us to memorize this table for our differential equations exam. So I wonder if anyone has some deeper intuition or observation to help with this? For example, I noticed ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

I still forget concepts even after answering numerous math problems

Note: this is particularly aimed at high-school/entry level college problems When I'm learning a new topic: 1) I read the theory given in the textbook at the start of each topic 2) proceed to read ...