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Math Help - Calculus Required For GradSchool [Sad_face]

  1. #1
    Member cmf0106's Avatar
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    Calculus Required For GradSchool [Sad_face]

    So a very brief intro, currently I am a junior at a university with a geography major and geology minor. Most of the graduate schools, for petroleum geology, I am looking at require a full year of calculus (calculus I/II). With that established, how difficult would it be to teach myself and master calculus before I ever step foot in the class room? I am not counting on a good teacher, I've had mostly nothing but bad experiences in my universities math department with the exception of statistics. So as previously stated, I would like to "master" at least calculus I on my own time. How feasible would this be in your opinion? I plan on buying several books such as Calculus I For dummies, Calculus II for dummies, Pre-Cal for dummies etc just to name a few.

    Any tips, comments would be greatly appreciated, especially how "doable" this idea is. Thanks!
    Last edited by cmf0106; May 21st 2008 at 09:43 AM.
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  2. #2
    Rhymes with Orange Chris L T521's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmf0106 View Post
    So a very brief intro, currently I am a junior at a university with a geography major and geology minor. Most of the graduate schools, for petroleum geology, I am looking at require a full year of calculus (calculus I/II). With that established, how difficult would it be to teach myself and master calculus before I ever step foot in the class room? I am not counting on a good teacher, I've had mostly nothing but bad experiences in my universities math department with the exception of statistics. So as previously stated, I would like to "master" at least calculus I on my own time. How feasible would this be in your opinion? I plan on buying several books such as Calculus I For dummies, Calculus II for dummies, Pre-Cal for dummies etc just to name a few.

    Any tips, comments would be greatly appreciated, especially how "doable" this idea is. Thanks!
    For a start, I would recommend that you read TPH's Intro to Calculus Tutorial.
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  3. #3
    Forum Admin topsquark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmf0106 View Post
    So a very brief intro, currently I am a junior at a university with a geography major and geology minor. Most of the graduate schools, for petroleum geology, I am looking at require a full year of calculus (calculus I/II). With that established, how difficult would it be to teach myself and master calculus before I ever step foot in the class room? I am not counting on a good teacher, I've had mostly nothing but bad experiences in my universities math department with the exception of statistics. So as previously stated, I would like to "master" at least calculus I on my own time. How feasible would this be in your opinion? I plan on buying several books such as Calculus I For dummies, Calculus II for dummies, Pre-Cal for dummies etc just to name a few.

    Any tips, comments would be greatly appreciated, especially how "doable" this idea is. Thanks!
    I did Calc I and II on my own while I was in my senior year of High School. So it can be done. However note that you will likely understand all the main points, many of the minor points (details, details, details!) may well get by you. Make sure you have some one close by that you can ask questions. A tutor would be an excellent idea.

    -Dan
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  4. #4
    GAMMA Mathematics
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmf0106 View Post
    So a very brief intro, currently I am a junior at a university with a geography major and geology minor. Most of the graduate schools, for petroleum geology, I am looking at require a full year of calculus (calculus I/II). With that established, how difficult would it be to teach myself and master calculus before I ever step foot in the class room? I am not counting on a good teacher, I've had mostly nothing but bad experiences in my universities math department with the exception of statistics. So as previously stated, I would like to "master" at least calculus I on my own time. How feasible would this be in your opinion? I plan on buying several books such as Calculus I For dummies, Calculus II for dummies, Pre-Cal for dummies etc just to name a few.

    Any tips, comments would be greatly appreciated, especially how "doable" this idea is. Thanks!
    You can do it as long as you give yourself the allotted time and force yourself to study. In addition to TPH's in depth notes, I have been working on some simple Calculus notes that are easier for the student to understand: The Calculus Guru

    Feedback is greatly appreciated. I wish you the best of luck in your self studies. Surely, MHF is a great place to bounce questions off of peoples' minds!
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  5. #5
    MHF Contributor Mathstud28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmf0106 View Post
    So a very brief intro, currently I am a junior at a university with a geography major and geology minor. Most of the graduate schools, for petroleum geology, I am looking at require a full year of calculus (calculus I/II). With that established, how difficult would it be to teach myself and master calculus before I ever step foot in the class room? I am not counting on a good teacher, I've had mostly nothing but bad experiences in my universities math department with the exception of statistics. So as previously stated, I would like to "master" at least calculus I on my own time. How feasible would this be in your opinion? I plan on buying several books such as Calculus I For dummies, Calculus II for dummies, Pre-Cal for dummies etc just to name a few.

    Any tips, comments would be greatly appreciated, especially how "doable" this idea is. Thanks!
    It is most definietly doable

    I am a junior in high school and I have taugh myself Calc I and Calc II and am currently learning Diff equations and Calc III

    My suggestion would be to do as many problems from as many sources as you can to not only get proficient from the matieriel but to see the format of questions asked outside of your books

    Also come on here and just read posts...as well as post your questions


    And finally I would strongly reccomend a textbook over the "...For Dummies" it is not good
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  6. #6
    Member cmf0106's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input so far everyone, by all means keep it coming!

    Mathstud, yes I do intend on purchasing many other calculus related books. I will not purely rely on the "for dummies" line of books. So far I have dropped about 60$ and intend on spending another 60$ before the end of this week, as this is a math forum I do not feel the inclination to post what 60$ + 60$ is .

    Also another note, what should I have a solid foundation in before starting calculus studies? I am warming up on college algebra right now. Is pre-cal, trig, geometry etc really needed? Is Pre-Cal enough etc
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  7. #7
    Eater of Worlds
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    From personal experience, it is certainly doable. Especially, if you're interested in the topic. I had to work and could not attend class back when I enrolled for Calc I. The teacher said OK and put the tests in the testing lab for me. I did not attend a single class. Just studied on my own and got an A. So, you can certainly do it. Get a good calc text. There are many out there and opinions will vary, but I like the Larson, Hostetler, Edwards book.
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  8. #8
    Bar0n janvdl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathstud28 View Post
    And finally I would strongly reccomend a textbook over the "...For Dummies" it is not good
    Quote Originally Posted by cmf0106 View Post
    I will not purely rely on the "for dummies" line of books.
    Mathstud is very correct, they are not good. Sure the books are fun to read because there's some humour in it, and explanations are made very easy, but they only work through 1 or 2 problems of a sort, then move on. On top of that, they are very elementary problems.

    A book I can recommend is the one my university uses: "Calculus: Early Transcendentals", by James Stewart.
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  9. #9
    MHF Contributor Mathstud28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janvdl View Post
    Mathstud is very correct, they are not good. Sure the books are fun to read because there's some humour in it, and explanations are made very easy, but they only work through 1 or 2 problems of a sort, then move on. On top of that, they are very elementary problems.

    A book I can recommend is the one my university uses: "Calculus: Early Transcendentals", by James Stewart.
    Or "Calculus an alternate fifth/sixth edition: Larson, Hostettler, Edwards"
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  10. #10
    MHF Contributor kalagota's Avatar
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    I would recommend TC7 by the late Leithold and surely, you can talk to him.
    Stewart has lots of nice problems. You can practice with it.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalagota View Post
    I would recommend TC7 by the late Leithold and surely, you can talk to him.
    Stewart has lots of nice problems. You can practice with it.
    Stewart is one of the better books. If money is an issue, goto your local library and see what they have to offer!
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  12. #12
    MHF Contributor kalagota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colby2152 View Post
    Stewart is one of the better books. If money is an issue, goto your local library and see what they have to offer!
    i doubt.. i have read both but most agrees with me.. anyways, it also depends on the people using/reading the book..

    so if were you (you as in the original poster), try to read first, say in you local libraries, before buying..
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