How to get better at maths. Watch

poorform
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I'm currently a 1st year undergrad and I feel like my mathematical ability is very poor (this is a euphemism for absolute dog ****).
I want to get better at a lot of different areas so I can feel very comfortable with mathematics.
I see people on here and other places who know a great deal and have excellent intuition when it comes to solving difficult problems. (DFranklin TenEem Smaug Noble......)
Obviously this comes from a lot of experience but is there anything I can do to try and get myself into that category I want to be in.

I'm trying to do all my work for uni but it just isn't giving me full understanding and I want to be able to look at some really complicated questions and be able to understand and solve them.

Thanks.


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shawn_o1
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Practice. Lots and lots of it
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TheIrrational
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You just have to do a lot of practise questions. You'll start to be able to see problems and recall methods you solved similar problems and build on it from there.
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TeeEm
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(Original post by poorform)
I'm currently a 1st year undergrad and I feel like my mathematical ability is very poor (this is a euphemism for absolute dog ****).
I want to get better at a lot of different areas so I can feel very comfortable with mathematics.
I see people on here and other places who know a great deal and have excellent intuition when it comes to solving difficult problems. (DFranklin TenEem Smaug Noble......)
Obviously this comes from a lot of experience but is there anything I can do to try and get myself into that category I want to be in.

I'm trying to do all my work for uni but it just isn't giving me full understanding and I want to be able to look at some really complicated questions and be able to understand and solve them.

Thanks.



I am honoured , , but I can assure you I am mathematically very average.
However it might give you heart to continue that what you might lack in intelligence you may make up in work and passion. And like anything, mathematical maturity takes time.

Good luck
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Smaug123
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(Original post by poorform)
I'm currently a 1st year undergrad and I feel like my mathematical ability is very poor (this is a euphemism for absolute dog ****).
I want to get better at a lot of different areas so I can feel very comfortable with mathematics.
I see people on here and other places who know a great deal and have excellent intuition when it comes to solving difficult problems. (DFranklin TenEem Smaug Noble......)
Obviously this comes from a lot of experience but is there anything I can do to try and get myself into that category I want to be in.

I'm trying to do all my work for uni but it just isn't giving me full understanding and I want to be able to look at some really complicated questions and be able to understand and solve them.

Thanks.


I'm flattered - my intuition is fair in undergraduate Analysis, but exceedingly poor in any form of mechanics and in topology/measure. Additionally, much of what appears to be intuition is simply that I have made the same mistakes before.

The only two things which immediately come to mind are: solve *lots* of problems, and make sure you listen closely to your lecturers. If they're good, they will give you plenty of ideas and nuggets of maths in amongst the actual content of the course. Each proof will have a key idea behind it; each definition has some canonical examples and non-examples; each area of maths has some canonical applications; each sub-area of maths has a few typical methods of proof. Most of these things will only appear in books and notes if the author is exceptionally good; but most will appear in narrated lectures - not necessarily written down, but spoken - unless the lecturer is bad. (In my experience, anyway.)

We had a couple of courses (Imre Leader's IA Numbers and Sets, Tom Körner's IB Metric and Topological Spaces) in which the lecturers really did a great job of conveying how maths is done, and how to think about maths. If you can identify those lecturers early, you can attend more of their courses.
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poorform
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Thanks guys really gives me hope!

I have a couple of very good lecturers and a couple of quite poor ones to be honest I'm much preferring the ones with better lecturers (partly better teaching partly better content in terms of my interest.)

Cheers!
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German123
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(Original post by poorform)
I'm currently a 1st year undergrad and I feel like my mathematical ability is very poor (this is a euphemism for absolute dog ****).
I want to get better at a lot of different areas so I can feel very comfortable with mathematics.
I see people on here and other places who know a great deal and have excellent intuition when it comes to solving difficult problems. (DFranklin TenEem Smaug Noble......)
Obviously this comes from a lot of experience but is there anything I can do to try and get myself into that category I want to be in.

I'm trying to do all my work for uni but it just isn't giving me full understanding and I want to be able to look at some really complicated questions and be able to understand and solve them.

Thanks.


Practice makes perfect
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_nene95
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I suck at maths too, but ive realised with practice it gets better! Maths is beautiful when you understand it!
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Asmeeta
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Practice is obvious but understanding the logic behind, will help you; don't do things because you're asked to, rather understand the logic behind!
Hail Maths!:smug:

Asmeeta
2nd year Maths student

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MathMeister
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(Original post by poorform)
I'm currently a 1st year undergrad and I feel like my mathematical ability is very poor (this is a euphemism for absolute dog ****).
I want to get better at a lot of different areas so I can feel very comfortable with mathematics.
Why is maths at uni harder than A-level?
If you got A* then surely you should be comfortable with the step up?
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Asmeeta
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(Original post by MathMeister)
Why is maths at uni harder than A-level?
If you got A* then surely you should be comfortable with the step up?
Its kind of logical to be harder; else why would there be the need to go to uni??

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MathMeister
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(Original post by Asmeeta)
Its kind of logical to be harder; else why would there be the need to go to uni??
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Yes there's probably more work and the material is harder however people adapt to the change- like I have at A-level.
I mean why is it he is not coping with the change?
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Smaug123
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(Original post by MathMeister)
Why is maths at uni harder than A-level?
If you got A* then surely you should be comfortable with the step up?
Maths at A-level is not maths at uni. Maths at A-level is like learning to spell; maths at uni is like learning to write a novel.
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Asmeeta
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(Original post by MathMeister)
Yes there's probably more work and the material is harder however people adapt to the change- like I have at A-level.
I mean why is it he is not coping with the change?
Tbh, we are prone to changes at every step in our life- to which we HAVE to adapt.
He should believe that he can and he will!

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Smaug123
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(Original post by Asmeeta)
Tbh, we are prone to changes at every step in our life- to which we HAVE to adapt.
He should believe that he can and he will!

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This is a bit naïve. If I believe I can win a Nobel Prize for my groundbreaking work in statistical neurophysics, that still doesn't change the fact that I have no groundbreaking work in statistical neurophysics. My preferred formula is to err on the optimistic side of realistic.
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Asmeeta
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(Original post by Smaug123)
This is a bit naïve. If I believe I can win a Nobel Prize for my groundbreaking work in statistical neurophysics, that still doesn't change the fact that I have no groundbreaking work in statistical neurophysics. My preferred formula is to err on the optimistic side of realistic.
My point was, if you try, you will.
Else like any person, even I can say 'i can reach the sky' things like that
Try believing in yourself,
Btw, I never mentioned about nobel prize; focus , we're talking about that guy's 'problem'

No offence, nothing personal:smug:

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MathMeister
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(Original post by Smaug123)
Maths at A-level is not maths at uni. Maths at A-level is like learning to spell; maths at uni is like learning to write a novel.
Anything I can do to prepare for Uni maths? (other than the obvious A levels)
btw I've heard year 3 is rather challenging for maths
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Smaug123
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(Original post by MathMeister)
Anything I can do to prepare for Uni maths? (other than the obvious A levels)
btw I've heard year 3 is rather challenging for maths
You could read How to Think like a Mathematician. Excellent book. http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Think-Li.../dp/052171978X
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MathMeister
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(Original post by Smaug123)
You could read How to Think like a Mathematician. Excellent book. http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Think-Li.../dp/052171978X
What about the actual content... for A-level I was able to learn AS over the holidays- but now I'm learning C3,4 Fp2,3 for next year (ima be the best in the yr :cool: )
What kind of material would help- the sort you learn in the 1st year undergrad. for example calculus/analysis or something
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Smaug123
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(Original post by MathMeister)
What about the actual content... for A-level I was able to learn AS over the holidays- but now I'm learning C3,4 Fp2,3 for next year (ima be the best in the yr :cool: )
What kind of material would help- the sort you learn in the 1st year undergrad. for example calculus of something
The schedules for the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos are available. (http://www.maths.cam.ac.uk/undergrad.../schedules.pdf) I would strongly recommend learning how to think like a mathematician rather than rotelearning content, though.
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