Discrete mathematics for idiots?
January 31, 2012 7:17 AM Subscribe
Now that I'm back at college, I'm having serious trouble with an elementary course in Discrete Mathematics (for computer scientists). How can I complete this course?
posted by Foci for Analysis to Education (29 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Although I've always been very interested in math, this has unfortunately never been reflected in my ability to do math. Add the fact that it's been a couple of years since I've been to college or studied math, and you got the main reasons why I, halfway through the course, am failing hard. I've fail another discrete mathematics course that I took many years ago for pretty much the same reasons.
During lectures I have a hard time understanding what the teacher is saying because it's all gibberish to me and even note-taking is difficult because the pacing is too fast. So basically lectures are almost worthless to me (I've skipped the latest one because they've become so frustrating). Occasionally the teacher will refer to something as high school math but since it's unknown to be, I assume that I've never learned it or just forgotten it (it's been a decade since high school).
I find the textbooks non-pedagogical. Although I clearly have issues with math, most of them are incredibly abstract and non-engaging that mostly focus on theorems and their proofs. I know this is pretty standard for college math, but it makes things extra difficult for me. I lack the ability to see between the gap, i.e. between where the textbook explains a concept and presents a problem to be solved using reasoning based on the concept. To me the gap is an abyss and I can't see the connections between concept and problem-solving.
I'm honestly at a lost here. I get the feeling that none of this should be this difficult, but I have no idea on how to fix the situation. Ideally, I would like a Discrete Mathematics for Dummies type of resource that doesn't require strong math skills and that's very pedagogical.
* set theory
* Relations, functions
* Recursion, induction
* Graphs, trees, graph optimization, traversing/searching graphs
* boolean algebra