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Learning math from nowhere.

8 Answers

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I would email the (or an) instructor of this course you’re going to take. Ask for their notes, the syllabus, or any study materials they think may help. Just let them know you’re a bit concerned about your prep level and want to make sure their expectations and your preparedness align.
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r/learnmath has stickied posts that will point you in the right direction.
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What does Higher Mathematics 1, 2 include? What were some of the things that were taught in Math in your 11th/12th years?
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I'm sorry that you had the experience you did, but also a bit excited on your behalf. Math can be amazing and a great deal of fun with the right approach.

First, you say:

> Obviously it can't replace 12 grades of time

I am not so sure. You can probably get much farther than you think. Public education is directed at people who are young and not yet fully developed, who are furthermore both unmotivated and distracted. You can get a lot further if you are some combination of (a) learning at your own pace, (b) dedicating more time to this, (c) focused, (d) talented, and (e) more mature (intellectually and emotionally). (d) isn't absolutely required and is a sliding scale anyway.

Course names you should look up, if you're going to be using English-language resources to study (I'd guess this to be possible, since your English seems quite good): Geometry, Algebra I, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, Calculus. This is a pretty standard sequence for American students. Calculus is for if you have time. Calculus is not that hard, IF you have a good understanding of the fundamentals of algebra. When I tutored students who had difficulty with it, it usually turned out that they had difficulty with basic algebra and not the calculus concepts themselves.

You might be able to skip some geometry, because some of it is not related that strongly to the rest. But if you do, then make sure you somehow pick up the basics of mathematical proof. For mathematical proof, it's not so important to be able to write down a two-column proof as is often done in high school geometry classes. No one really uses that format. But it'd probably be good to understand proof to the level that you could organize a mathematical argument into that form, because that means for each step of argument you know WHY it is true. It's very important to be able to understand a valid line of reasoning that establishes a claim, and be able to distinguish that from a line of reasoning that is NOT valid.

Basic algebra and the mechanics of manipulating equations - that should be absolutely solid. Not understanding what manipulations are logically correct to do for equations, or not knowing WHY they are correct and just following them blindly, are common causes of trouble later.
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From a physics standpoint, a lot of the content requires at least algebra. There’s physics without calculus, where you’ll have formals and a word problem. You’ll need to be able to figure out which numbers in the word problem go with which letters in the formula. Then you’ll need to do algebra to solve for the missing letter.

Physics with calculus is a different ani Al and will require higher math.

I would start with khan academy. Start with their algebra course. If that’s too tough, drop down to pre-algebra. If it’s too easy, go on to geometry or algebra 2. They also have several for physics.
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Everyone has great points and resources, in particular with Physics needing more of a basic understanding on Algebra and being able to manipulate variables/equations is important to do. In particular, dimensional analysis (manipulating equations to see if two things are equivalent) is an important skill to know for both Physics and Math.  

I also wanted to say that I also came from a place where I didn’t have a good relationship with math and ended up hating it because I would always get less than desirable grades or end up just barely passing. I only started to enjoy it when I was in my junior year (3rd year of high school) because of the teachers there and it really changed the way I saw math and made it a lot more interesting for me to learn and overcome. I still struggle with math, but I’ve progressed a long way from when I was still in HS and find that getting the right teacher and environment for me to learn math properly helped a lot. Professors are also there to help you when you get stuck when you get to college/university, so don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or help!

Sometimes it can take longer for other people to “get” a concept completely before moving on, so it’s really at your own pace and it’s good that you want to improve upon your skills regarding that.

I’m not too sure what country you’re from, but in the US, the math “ladder” for CS majors in my program are from Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III (or otherwise known as Multivariable Calculus), Discrete Math and Linear Algebra. It may vary for different programs, but that’s the progression that you should expect from a CS degree.

They’re all different from K-12 education imo, Calculus can feel intimidating because of the concepts regarding it, but with enough practice with derivatives (what you learn in Calculus I), you’ll come to find that it becomes easier to do. Limits are what comes before learning about derivatives though and that as a concept should be understood in how they relate to asymptotes. This is usually also introduced in Pre-Calculus, if your college/university offers that and generally, to take Calculus, Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry are classes that can help you with Calculus.  

Calculus II introduces integrals, which is like the inverse of a derivative (just like how logarithms are inverses of exponents) and you also learn about sequences/series, but that’s something that often deviates into one of the topics in Discrete Math.

Calculus III should be easier when you’re finished with Calculus I and II because it’s like review, but you also get more in-depth with how it relates to “the real world” and it’s actually in Calculus II and III where you start getting introduced to concepts that become really handy for Physics like the disk and washer method and Vector Calculus in Calculus III. The further you go, the more similarities you’ll start seeing in Math and Physics, but it’s also in Discrete Math that you see the integration that CS has in the subject. But Discrete Math is really also a “grab bag” of different math subjects, but that’s another topic for another time.

I actually haven’t started Linear Algebra, but you start seeing things like the dot and cross products that you should’ve learned in Calculus III, so it all ends up lining up with each other at the end of it too.

Good luck on your journey and I hope this gives you some insight on the math typically found in a CS degree, along with how you aren’t alone in feeling the way you do with math!
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Can you click on the subjects and see the curriculum of these subjects?

For example my mathematics1 consists of 8 different chapters

( Abstract Algebra, Differentiation in Calculus, Linear Algebra, Analytical Geometry)
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it is not embarrassing at all and super exciting that you are interested in putting in an effort. as someone mentioned above I would recommend reaching out to the instructor/ professor of the course, and do it now. explain your situation. its too late if you wait on doing it till later, as in the second semester for example.

good luck and I hope things work out for you. one last tip is to stop looking at maths as something you have to learn, but more a fun activity. I personally love maths for maths, its just superfun for me idk. but yea your gonna manage this just fine if you put in the effort

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