# Please help me do math good again

January 20, 2019 11:52 AM Subscribe

I used to know a lot of math. That was well over a decade ago. I haven't used it since, and now I'm in a position where I need it again. Is there an online course or a textbook (or a couple textbooks) that will take me on a speed-run from pre-calc to differential equations/linear algebra? With exercises, and the exercises have

I like proofs and they help me understand concepts better. But I understand a speed-run probably would focus on the mechanics.

I checked previous questions but they're from seven years ago, and maybe something besides Khan Academy has developed? I really do better with the written word.

*worked-out*answers?I like proofs and they help me understand concepts better. But I understand a speed-run probably would focus on the mechanics.

I checked previous questions but they're from seven years ago, and maybe something besides Khan Academy has developed? I really do better with the written word.

If what you want is written stuff with worked out exercises, maybe Schaumâ€™s Outlines?

posted by leahwrenn at 1:17 PM on January 20

posted by leahwrenn at 1:17 PM on January 20

I relearn stuff best from whatever I learned it from in the first place -- was there a textbook for your original acquisition? Can you get a copy of the same edition?

posted by clew at 2:33 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]

posted by clew at 2:33 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]

What level/application of DE and linear algebra? If speed is important, it might help to focus on the kinds of problems you're interested in solving.

Schaum's outlines are pretty good for worked examples, but occasionally the explanations of concepts can be sparse. The linear algebra one by Lipschutz is nice, though.

If you need a review of engineering-ish topics Stroud's Engineering Mathematics goes from algebra to 2nd order DEs. Not heavy on proofs, but more practical which might work for your self-study.

posted by bluefly at 2:46 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]

Schaum's outlines are pretty good for worked examples, but occasionally the explanations of concepts can be sparse. The linear algebra one by Lipschutz is nice, though.

If you need a review of engineering-ish topics Stroud's Engineering Mathematics goes from algebra to 2nd order DEs. Not heavy on proofs, but more practical which might work for your self-study.

posted by bluefly at 2:46 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]

Stroud's books were what we used when I started university physics in 1989. They covered all of the pre-university stuff you do in the UK at A-level, and did a good job of bringing people from various educational backgrounds up to the same level. They're hefty books due to being so thorough and clear. Definitely my favourite textbooks at the time. If I remember correctly, Ken Stroud was the grandfather of the author Jonathan Stroud, known for his young-adult and children's fantasy books.

posted by pipeski at 3:02 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]

posted by pipeski at 3:02 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]

Also, the latest edition of Stroud is from 2013, so old, but not SO old. It has online component with a some of the exercises worked out and slides and stuff.

posted by bluefly at 3:14 PM on January 20

posted by bluefly at 3:14 PM on January 20

I really like Paul Dawkin's online notes. I used his Calc II and Differential Equations courses to study for my Civil Engineering Qualifying Exam, and I find his stuff to be the best out there.

posted by Paper rabies at 8:10 PM on January 20

posted by Paper rabies at 8:10 PM on January 20

Ivan Savov's No Bullshit Guide to Math & Physics is exactly this, except not all the exercises have worked-out answers. There's also one for linear algebra.

Also, I know you said you don't like video, but 3Blue1Brown's animated linear algebra series is fantastic if you want to intuitively understand concepts that can be really confusing on paper.

posted by theodolite at 11:18 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]

Also, I know you said you don't like video, but 3Blue1Brown's animated linear algebra series is fantastic if you want to intuitively understand concepts that can be really confusing on paper.

posted by theodolite at 11:18 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]

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posted by waving at 12:57 PM on January 20