Quick! Can someone teach me Calculus!?!

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Senor Hound, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    :) LOL

    Seriously, though, I've been doing a lot of self-analysis and have come to the conclusion through some personality tests and some career counselors that becoming an civil engineer would be tons of fun. The problem is, I don't know anything about calculus other than limits. I took my last Algebra class about 4 years ago, and I don't know if I remember any of it either.

    Can someone recommend a book or website that could help me out to determine whether I should take a pre-calc class or just jump right in? I know I can do this (I'm a pretty smart cat when it comes to math), but I just am worried, and don't know how much refreshment I'll need.

    I'm also taking this at a community college, so I'm thinking my class size will be smaller than that at a large university. But I don't know if there are any tutors at my school.
     
  2. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't count on class sizes being much smaller for a calc class-- I've taken them at both the university and community college and they've always been about 20-30 people in class.

    I would recommend a pre-calc class. No matter how smart you are, it is no fun to play catch-up the entire semester. Getting yourself up to speed will let you concentrate on what is being taught, not the basics.
     
  3. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    I.
    Hate.
    Math.

    I am taking an intermediate Algebra class right now for the summer semester. I suck at math. Always have. I hate it. I'm already playing catch up because it's an accelerated class and I SUCK!

    Sorry I can't help you with your question, and that I used your thread to vent. :p

    I'd be surprised if your college didn't have tutors . . . then again, my community college is pretty exceptional. I can very easily get tutors in just about anything I need it in, for free. Math and English being the easiest to find help with.
     
  4. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    So no books or internet sites to help out with Calculus?
     
  5. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    A Cliff's Quick Review sort of thing for algebra and pre-calc will help get you up to speed on that stuff-- even if it isn't difficult, it is easy to get rusty.

    The REA Problem Solver series will help once you're taking calc. It has examples of pretty much every type of problem you might encounter, and gives you a different perspective on how to work it out.

    Also remember that engineers need to study physics. Both those series of books have physics books as well.

    If I recall, http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ is pretty extensive. They've also got physics somewhere. If you search for online differential and integral calculators you'll find some pretty good tools to help you out. There are also open source (free!) Maple/Mathmatica replacements.

    I remember finding a lot of resources just by typing in whatever problem I was stuck on, and there'd always be a link to some neat site that walks you through it.
     
  6. Kazoo

    Kazoo TPF Noob!

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    Pick up a Schaum's Outline book, they always had interesting problems to solve. For someone who also was not a math fan (I hear ya Corry!) it was pretty good.
     
  7. clarinetJWD

    clarinetJWD The Naked Spammer Staff Member

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    Review Pre-calc on your own... Unfortunately, I don't have a book reccomendation, pre-calc was 7 years ago for me, and my HS didn't exactly choose their books well. As for reviewing in a class, you might be shooting yourself in the foot unnecessarily. I had Calc BC (or I and II from a college perspective) in HS, but decided to go back and take Calc II again so I didn't have to jump right into III or abstract algebras, and it turned out to be an unnecessarily difficult weeding class. I'd be a bit afriad that Pre-calc would be the same thing in a community college, so my advice is if you're looking at a class for review, either audit it, or do it on your own.
     
  8. kellylindseyphotography

    kellylindseyphotography TPF Noob!

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    i'd type in "free calc resources" in google and see what pops up :) Good luck with your schooling!
     
  9. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    Calculas? Look up integration and differentiation. I did calculas hence it's not my favourite subject - too darned hard.
     
  10. BoblyBill

    BoblyBill TPF Noob!

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    I would say this about calc. Calc is hard if you are terrible at algrebra. In calc I, there is really only two concepts: derivates, and intregals; and they are opposites so it's kind of like multiplying and dividing. For example, the derivative of x^2 is 2x and the intregal of 2x is x^2+C (the C is there for technical reasons but they basically opposites). So if you can understand that a dervative deals with rates (speeds) and intregals deals with areas, then you will have a pretty good grasp of calc I. Now the algebra is what can kick your butt. I had many problems that would take me a half a page to simplify (in Calc II I had 6 page problems).
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I are good at math.

    I are not good at Engrish.

    U shud look n2 soshul injin eering. I here it's moor profit table than sivle injin eering.
     
  12. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    And I'm your opposite! English is my strong suit! (just don't judge that by my posts here . . . I'm usually careless with them)
     

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