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Help with Algebra

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Help with Algebra

Postby zacb » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:52 pm

I know this may be off topic, but I want to study Algebra over summer break so that I am not overwhelmed when I have to take it the second time around. So here is my question: my dad mentioned before that he had a certain book before he learned Algebra from. And he mentioned something about how they had switched how they had taught math, and the new type was hard (new math and old math). So what is the difference, and what is the best way to learn Algebra? (Since I was never really good at it, and I want to try my hand at it). My major thing tends to be the factoring that gets me off track.
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Postby MrPeabody » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:48 pm

There is a free Internet course on Algebra which starts tomorrow.

https://www.coursera.org/course/algebra
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Postby Jester » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:23 pm

am not an expert on good sources for "old math", but as the son of a mathematician, I can tell you that "old math" is generally the answer. Less mysterious, more practical, more intuitive.

two quick ideas:

-- When you see a variable ("X") or a constant ("B") represented by a letter, just pretend it is a door with the real number hidden behind it, or a compartment with the real number hidden inside it. Solving the equation is often a matter of figuring out what's behind the door.

-- Use the units. If you have to figure out how many miles a car can go at 60 mph in 3 hors, put the units into the equation, and cancel units like you cancel numbers or variables:

(60 miles/hour) x 3 hours ------> (60 x 3 miles) x (1/hour) x (hour) ------> 180 miles x 1 -------> 180 miles.
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Re: Help with Algebra

Postby Teal Lantern » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:23 pm

zacb wrote:I know this may be off topic, but I want to study Algebra over summer break so that I am not overwhelmed when I have to take it the second time around. So here is my question: my dad mentioned before that he had a certain book before he learned Algebra from. And he mentioned something about how they had switched how they had taught math, and the new type was hard (new math and old math). So what is the difference, and what is the best way to learn Algebra? (Since I was never really good at it, and I want to try my hand at it). My major thing tends to be the factoring that gets me off track.


https://www.khanacademy.org/
Scroll down a bit to where it says Algebra.
-OR-
https://www.khanacademy.org/math/algebr ... to-algebra

We're used to you being a bit off topic. :lol:
не поглеждай назад. 8)

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Postby zacb » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:20 pm

What do you think of older math books? Would those be as useful, or would they still be the same as modern math books? I ran across this book at the library's free book table, and I took it. I am wondering if it might be easier or not. I shall see!
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Postby Teal Lantern » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:35 pm

zacb wrote:What do you think of older math books? Would those be as useful, or would they still be the same as modern math books? I ran across this book at the library's free book table, and I took it. I am wondering if it might be easier or not. I shall see!


"Older" than ... what?
Gotta give us a publishing date or ISBN or something. :?
Any math book from the 20th century should be fine.
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Postby zacb » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:04 pm

Sorry :D. 1960s or prior. Sorry about that.
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Postby Jester » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:21 am

Older math books will take a different approach to same basic material. Useful if studied in addition to what you will get in your course. Like crosstraining your mind.

I'm sure you've thought of it, but why not get the text from the course youre going to take, and work through the whole thing yourself?

Another trick is to do all the exercises in a book, whether a professor assigns them or not. Practice makes perfect.

Another trick is to show all your steps when you work a problem. Never skip a step.
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Postby zacb » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:05 pm

Appreciate the help :D .
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