Comments on: Help me prove to myself that I am capable of passing a basic Calculus course!
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course/
Comments on Ask MetaFilter post Help me prove to myself that I am capable of passing a basic Calculus course!Thu, 25 Oct 2007 14:29:01 -0800Thu, 25 Oct 2007 14:29:01 -0800en-ushttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss60Question: Help me prove to myself that I am capable of passing a basic Calculus course!
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course
Where can I take (or simulate taking) a basic calculus course for free or cheap. I don't care about credits or anything, I just need to defeat calculus. This time, it's personal. <br /><br /> In college, I never passed calculus, despite having taken it ... a few times. Ok, like 4 times. In my defense, I went to an engineering school and was like the only person who never had pre-calc. I also didn't major in engineering, so I didn't really need it. I also rarely studied or did homework or went to extra help for calc, because I didn't really need it, and wound up taking Statistics for my math requirements because that was more applicable to my field of study.<br>
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Anyway, I can't help but feel like calculus has won. I'm really not an idiot at all - Brain Age even says my age is a good 5 years younger than it really is!<br>
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So, I want to prove to myself that I can defeat calculus, once and for all. I realize I could take it at a community college, but since I work full time and don't have a lot of spare cash, I would rather find a way to take it (or simulate taking it) for super cheap or free and in the comfort of my own home.<br>
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Can any of you recommend something? An online course, a great workbook (w/ answer keys), or a computer program?<br>
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I swear, I cannot rest until I have won.post:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668Thu, 25 Oct 2007 14:18:27 -0800dumbledore69calculusmathBy: caddis
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110276
How about <a href="http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Mathematics/18-022Fall-2005/CourseHome/index.htm">MIT</a>?comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110276Thu, 25 Oct 2007 14:29:01 -0800caddisBy: slavlin
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110277
Here is a start. <a href="http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Introduction_to_Calculus">Wikiversity: Introduction to Calculus</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110277Thu, 25 Oct 2007 14:29:43 -0800slavlinBy: advil
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110295
<i>I also rarely studied or did homework or went to extra help for calc, because I didn't really need it</i><br>
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Since part of your question seems to be about how to defeat calc in general, I'll answer that. I had an interesting experience with calculus. In high school I didn't do any work in the class, being lazy and arrogant, and did fine. I went to college expecting to do the same in Calc II, didn't do any of the work, and failed it, retaking it for a C. Now around this time I had any number of academic problems, and in general took a look at my academic life and became a much better student in various ways. So later, post-reformation, I went and took Calc III (a much harder course than calc II, in fact a notorious stumbling block course for some majors). This time I did exactly three things differently (and though the professors were different, I don't believe they were a factor): I did the homeworks, paid attention in class, and took good/clear notes. That was the entire complete difference in my behavior between doing poorly in Calc II (multiple times) and getting an A in the much harder calc III. I even enjoyed the class. Unfortunately this isn't a very good experiment, since I varied three factors at once, but you get the idea...comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110295Thu, 25 Oct 2007 14:41:29 -0800advilBy: advil
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110296
I just realized that I accidentally implied that you may be lazy and arrogant, which I didn't mean at all, I was just talking about myself :/comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110296Thu, 25 Oct 2007 14:42:37 -0800advilBy: dumbledore69
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110309
I didn't mean that I didn't study because I didn't need to study (obviously I did), I just didn't bother that much because I didn't need to pass calculus. <br>
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Once I failed it for the 4th time, I decided to bag it and take other courses. By my Junior year in college I became a much better student, which is along the lines of what you describe, advil, doing all the work required in all my courses. But I never retook calc because at a certain point I couldn't risk failing any more courses so I took only the ones I needed and only ones I knew were in the bag for my electives.<br>
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I do think as a more "mature" student than I was as a freshman & sophomore (when I let calculus beat me) I would be able to pass a college calculus course ... now I just want to *prove* it to myself as cheaply as possible.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110309Thu, 25 Oct 2007 14:59:49 -0800dumbledore69By: grumblebee
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110396
I'm working my way through "The Teaching Company's" <a href="http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursedesclong2.aspx?cid=177">calculus course</a>. It's pretty good. With some brainstrain and replays, I'm getting it, and I barely made it through Algebra.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110396Thu, 25 Oct 2007 16:18:59 -0800grumblebeeBy: lorenzism
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110456
I've watched most of the Statistics course offered by the Teaching Company, which is taught by the same professor as the Calculus course, and can recommend TTC courses for that reason. You might check your local library, as mine has both courses on DVD.<br>
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I wonder, though, if you are going to spend a lot of free time on this, why not instead learn something new that turns you on in some way? Or that could potentially help you in your career? Just a thought...comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110456Thu, 25 Oct 2007 17:21:43 -0800lorenzismBy: grumblebee
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110496
<em>I wonder, though, if you are going to spend a lot of free time on this, why not instead learn something new that turns you on in some way? Or that could potentially help you in your career? Just a thought...</em><br>
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A completely valid point of view. I don't need Calculus. I doubt I'll use it much. But I want to learn it because -- I'm told -- it's one of the most beautiful human creations, on par with a Beethoven symphony or a Monet painting. I don't want to die without experiencing that beauty.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110496Thu, 25 Oct 2007 17:53:41 -0800grumblebeeBy: Orb2069
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110711
<a href="http://bestbookdeal.com/book/compare/0471827223">Quick Calculus, A self teaching Guide</a> is a sort of choose-your-own-adventure Calc tutorial. Walk you through the concept, give you a problem - Get it right and you skip forward, more detail if you get it wrong. Goes up to multiple-integration. - I personally suggest it, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/0471827223/ref=ase_bestbookdealcom/">and so do Amazon's reviewers.</a>comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110711Thu, 25 Oct 2007 21:27:09 -0800Orb2069By: greekphilosophy
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110942
I heard an NPR interview within the last year about giving students LESS homework rather than more. This isn't exactly such a problem at higher level institutions, because unlike the evil overlords of middle school, professors tend not to pile on punitive amounts of problems to work. But the reasoning behind the analysis works for all levels:<br>
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It turns out that five practice problems are all anyone should do when learning something. So whenever you find a program (I'm sure you can sneak into a local college classroom and audit the subject for free without attracting too much attention. You can even ask the professor if it is permitted and explain your situation - I'm sure they will be sympathetic.), do yourself a favor and only do five or so practice problems in any given subject. Then check your work. If you are doing it correctly, then you can continue to test yourself with other practice problems. If you are doing them incorrectly, you need to resolve your issues before doing more problems. Otherwise, you run the risk of learning how to do them incorrectly. At that point, you would have to UNlearn how to do them incorrectly and RElearn how to do them correctly - a much harder task. <br>
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Good luck!comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110942Fri, 26 Oct 2007 06:04:44 -0800greekphilosophyBy: grumblebee
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1110995
<em>It turns out that five practice problems are all anyone should do when learning something.</em><br>
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Do you mean "on average"? Because that seems really odd to me when it's stated so dogmatically. <br>
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I totally agree with the spirit of it. I'm not a fan of homework and busywork. Once you've learned something, you've learned it. At that point, drilling problem after problem is counterproductive. It just makes you bored.<br>
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But as a life-long self-learned, I know that sometimes I only need three problems. And sometimes I need eight. Since I'm no longer in school and don't have to complete assignments, I'm fine with someone giving me 100 problems. I'll do as many of them as I need to in order to understand. Then I'll stop.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1110995Fri, 26 Oct 2007 07:12:45 -0800grumblebeeBy: dumbledore69
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1111354
<i>I wonder, though, if you are going to spend a lot of free time on this, why not instead learn something new that turns you on in some way? Or that could potentially help you in your career? Just a thought...</i><br>
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Because I need to prove to myself that I can do this. <br>
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I doubt I will spend a ton of free time on it though. I mean, the equivalent of a single undergrad college course that I can spread out over the course of a year is, in the grand scheme of things, rather small potatoes. I'd rather sacrifice that time and prove something to myself. Especially because I have been struggling with my own self esteem lately.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1111354Fri, 26 Oct 2007 11:59:29 -0800dumbledore69By: Autarky
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1111496
I'm taking it right now. I've thought of myself as good at math in the past, but it's reaaaaaally stretching me, esp. since I never had pre-calc. Good luck, however you do it.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1111496Fri, 26 Oct 2007 13:54:52 -0800AutarkyBy: pravit
http://ask.metafilter.com/74668/Help-me-prove-to-myself-that-I-am-capable-of-passing-a-basic-Calculus-course#1118335
Dammit, finally a question I'm qualified to answer, and I'm late!<br>
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I hope you're doing well with your calculus studies. I just wanted to chime in that you shouldn't make not having precalculus some mental block. <br>
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I honestly don't remember what precalculus is supposed to be, but it wasn't very useful in calculus. If I recall right, they do some algebra review, and teach you a bunch of weird graphs like hyperbolas. I have never had to use or graph a hyperbola ANYHWERE beyond a precalculus class. <br>
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Are you having difficulty with the computations involved, or do you not understand the basic concepts behind everything? The computations are simple and mechanical; it's understanding the concepts that count - make sure you have a solid grasp of what derivatives and integrals really mean, or it'll be pointless to sit around and learn how to take integrals of funny-looking fucntions. <br>
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Good luck, and don't be afraid to post another Askme if you need any help with something specific!comment:ask.metafilter.com,2007:site.74668-1118335Thu, 01 Nov 2007 23:18:12 -0800pravit