Questions tagged [learning]

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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122
votes
26answers
113k views

Good book for self study of a First Course in Real Analysis

Does anyone have a recommendation for a book to use for the self study of real analysis? Several years ago when I completed about half a semester of Real Analysis I, the instructor used "Introduction ...
61
votes
4answers
70k views

Good books for a high schooler self-studying Abstract Algebra?

Does anyone have any suggestions for abstract algebra books particularly suited to self-study? Here is some background and motivation, if it's helpful. I'm currently a junior in high school, but I ...
62
votes
9answers
13k views

How to effectively study math? [closed]

Maybe this is too general for here, but I am having a lot of difficulty studying math. Just got out of the military and I guess I am not use to this yet but when I run into a problem I have trouble ...
74
votes
4answers
12k views

Do you prove all theorems whilst studying?

When you come across a new theorem, do you always try to prove it first before reading the proof within the text? I'm a CS undergrad with a bit of an interest in maths. I've not gone very far in my ...
103
votes
8answers
18k views

When to learn category theory?

I'm a undergraduate who wishes to learn category theory but I only have basic knowledge of linear algebra and set theory, I've also had a short course on number theory which used some basic concepts ...
369
votes
8answers
44k views

Best Sets of Lecture Notes and Articles

Let me start by apologizing if there is another thread on math.se that subsumes this. I was updating my answer to the question here during which I made the claim that "I spend a lot of time sifting ...
93
votes
5answers
22k views

How do you go about learning mathematics?

I really like mathematics, but I am not good at learning it. I find it takes me a long time to absorb new material by reading on my own and I haven't found a formula that works for me. I am hoping a ...
28
votes
2answers
6k views

Good introductory books on homological algebra

Which books would you recommend, for self-studying homological algebra, to a beginning graduate (or advanced undergraduate) student who has background in ring theory, modules, basic commutative ...
46
votes
7answers
30k views

How to study for analysis?

I am currently a first year undergraduate majoring in mathematics. I'm taking an introductory analysis course and find it very hard compared to other math couses. I know that the topics covered in the ...
20
votes
8answers
15k views

Which calculus text should a 36-year-old use for self-study?

I am 36 years old, and have forgotten a lot of math from high school, of which I only took up to Algebra 2. However I am teaching myself mathematics and am now, completely fascinated with the logic ...
15
votes
13answers
6k views

How to explain the formula for the sum of a geometric series without calculus?

How to explain to a middle-school student the notion of a geometric series without any calculus (i.e. limits)? For example I want to convince my student that $$1 + \frac{1}{4} + \frac{1}{4^2} + \...
110
votes
6answers
42k views

Studying for the Putnam Exam

This is a question about studying for the Putnam examination (and, secondarily, other high-difficulty proof-based math competitions like the IMO). It is not about the history of the competition, the ...
79
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there a definitive guide to speaking mathematics?

Is there a definitive guide to speaking mathematics to avoid ambiguity? I'm writing a program to generate text for a variety of mathematical expressions and would like to code it so that it adheres ...
43
votes
8answers
11k views

How can I read numbers and mathematical symbols comfortably, at a university level? [closed]

When I look at math, it's like my mind goes fuzzy. The only way to describe it is to relate to how when you read, you see the letters and words, but your brain picks up on the meaning? When I see ...
6
votes
1answer
10k 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. ...
33
votes
5answers
25k views

How to Improve Mathematical Thinking and General Problem Solving Skills?

I'm a sophomore in university and seriously feel that I'm bad at solving mathematical and algorithmic problems (be it discrete math, calculus or just puzzles). I noticed that I'm only good at solving ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I self-learn undergraduate math?

I am a college student in computer programming, who has developed an intense passion for mathematics. After graduation I wish to pursue a University degree in mathematics, and perhaps a Master's ...
12
votes
7answers
17k views

Textbook recommendations for self-studying high school math?

I'm a high school student who is trying to figure out a complete course of self-study for each year of high school. How can I self-learn grades of math without devoting too much time? This is a ...
13
votes
6answers
14k views

Why is it that when proving trig identities, one must work both sides independently?

Suppose that you have to prove the trig identity: $$\frac{\sin\theta - \sin^3\theta}{\cos^2\theta}=\sin\theta$$ I have always been told that I should manipulate the left and right sides of the ...
5
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
242
votes
28answers
37k views

Too old to start math [closed]

I'm sorry if this question goes against the meta for posting questions - I attached all the "beware, this is a soft-question" tags I could. This is a question I've been asking myself now for some ...
51
votes
14answers
6k views

What book can “bridge” high school math and the more advanced topics?

I love math and would like to know more of it. However, whenever I try to pick up a book on "advanced" mathematical topics, I often have a hard time understanding some of the terms and symbols right ...
39
votes
6answers
3k views

Book/tutorial recommendations: acquiring math-oriented reading proficiency in German

I'm interested in others' suggestions/recommendations for resources to help me acquire reading proficiency (of current math literature, as well as classic math texts) in German. I realize that ...
40
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I find partners for study?

I want to find partners to study some post-graduate topics together online (because I'm pretty much out of steam as far as self-study goes, and I have problems finding a decent grad school). Are there ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

What are some good math study methods for a high school sophomore?

First, I'm not trying to make this sound like a "poor-me" story. I understand fully that every decision I've made leading to this is my fault. I am genuinely looking for advice. So, I am a high ...
49
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
88
votes
9answers
28k views

Learning mathematics as if an absolute beginner? [closed]

I dread mathematics, and I believe it's because I have come to associate mathematics with the experience of terrible teachers. All of my math teachers have been grumpy, but one in particular was the ...
27
votes
6answers
9k views

Is memorization a good skill to learn or master mathematics?

I sometimes spend inordinate amounts of time memorizing math articles or theorems/proofs or formulas. My question is "am I wasting time?" and will 'active thinking' or 'working out problems' be faster ...
22
votes
3answers
6k views

Best way to learn Algebraic Geometry?

I've been reading the book Commutative Algebra with a view towards Algebraic Geometry. I was wondering is the best way to learn algebraic geometry through commutative algebra? As the book I'm ...
14
votes
6answers
11k views

In what order should the following areas of mathematics be learned?

I am in a biological field (medicine) but I have genuine passion for mathematics. I want to learn it on my own , in my spare time. Mathematics , as I gather, is learned best when you have grasped ...
24
votes
8answers
1k views

Looking to attain fluency in mathematics, not academic mastery

I'm a business/international relations person and a lot of my job is flying around. I have had a lot of downtime recently, and couldn't find a sustainable hobby to fill in that time. Until I found ...
21
votes
3answers
6k views

What are the prerequisites for learning category theory?

Is category theory worth learning for the sake of learning it? Can it be used in applied mathematics/probability? I am currently perusing Categories for the Working Mathematician by Mac Lane.
16
votes
2answers
33k views

Tips for an adult to learn math — from the beginning. [closed]

First let me start with I am an adult and I can't do simple maths. I some how got through all of my math courses in University (after several attempts) but I honestly couldn't tell you how... I ...
6
votes
4answers
935 views

Books for a beginner

I am a student of 11th grade and i have completed the syallabus of both 11th and 12th grade maths with complete understanding and it was possible coz of the love for this subject that i have. I don't ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

When to give up on math? [closed]

How do I know when I should give up on math? I can't pass any of my math tests no matter much I study, I have tutors, attend office hours and I still can't do better than a D on any test. Most of the ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is “All horses have the same color” considered a false proof by induction? [duplicate]

Upon reading of All horses have the same color "paradox", I began to wonder a couple of things. First of all, to me the inductive step seems flawed. Just because I have $n$ white horses, does not ...
2
votes
0answers
174 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
259 views

What mathematics should I study to understand Neural Nets / Machine Learning?

I am strongly fascinated by neural nets, and perhaps other forms of machine learning. There are so many (potential) applications: teaching a robot with shaft encoders to drive along different ...
1
vote
0answers
1k 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 ...
105
votes
23answers
55k views

Complete course of self-study [closed]

I am about $16$ years old and I have just started studying some college mathematics. I may never manage to get into a proper or good university (I do not trust fate) but I want to really study ...
115
votes
9answers
27k views

Learning Lambda Calculus

What are some good online/free resources (tutorials, guides, exercises, and the like) for learning Lambda Calculus? Specifically, I am interested in the following areas: Untyped lambda calculus ...
59
votes
3answers
9k views

Motivation and methods for self-study [closed]

First, a little background: Beginning with calculus in my first semester of college, I fell in love with mathematics. That was the point at which the concepts became interesting to me, and I started ...
73
votes
19answers
7k views

Mathematical subjects you wish you learned earlier [closed]

I am learning geometric algebra, and it is incredible how much it helps me understand other branches of mathematics. I wish I had been exposed to it earlier. Additionally I feel the same way about ...
39
votes
3answers
7k views

Math Major: How to read textbooks in better style or method ? And how to select best books?

I'm a bachelor student of Math major. The question is about the better way to select and read maths text- or non-text- books, without considering the course and exam. (Because we follow the lecture ...
46
votes
11answers
67k views

How to start with mathematics? [closed]

I fell in love with mathematics a bit too late when I've already taken decisions regarding my future, career-wise. Now I would like to learn math on my own but I'm a bit confused as where to start. My ...
71
votes
13answers
8k views

How to stop forgetting proofs - for a first course in Real Analysis?

I am taking my first course in analysis. I like the subject. I study it almost on a daily basis. I try to prove theorems on my own without even looking at the hints. If I really get stuck I just read ...
64
votes
6answers
4k views

Am I too young to learn more advanced math and get a teacher?

I am still 15 years old, but I am very interested in pure math. I have been teaching myself though books, from the internet and from others for the past year or so. I haven't mastered all the topics ...
44
votes
6answers
6k views

Are the exercises necessary to understand the subject of a mathematical textbook?

When I am reading a mathematical textbook, I tend to skip most of the exercises. Generally I don't like exercises, particularly artificial ones. Instead, I concentrate on understanding proofs of ...
29
votes
4answers
4k views

Perspectives on Riemann Surfaces

So, I have come to a somewhat impasse concerning my class selection for next term, and I have exhausted all the 'biased' sources. So, I was wondering if anyone in this fantastic mathematical community ...
25
votes
2answers
3k views

How to think deeply in mathematics way? [closed]

Most of the time, I solve a problem by doing the following steps: 1. Look for a related theorem. 2. Look for a related formula. 3. Find a similar problem or sub-problem. 4. Try to adapt the one that I ...