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Thread: What type of logic-study would help for beginning undergrad level maths

  1. #1
    Oct 2010

    What type of logic-study would help for beginning undergrad level maths

    ** Sorry for lenght of post. I'm quite passionate about wanting to get a better understanding of math ... I hope the readers of this forum will understand !

    Question: Given what I wrote below about me and my goals, does anyone have any particular thoughts on what I can read to help my *approach* to solving math problems at the level I am currently at? I just find math really interesting but at same time headpounding difficult and boring as result. I think with the right approach and mindset it will make things much easier. I would like to work through some 1st and 2nd year Algebra and Calc books.

    I would also note I work in the financial sector in a non-math position. But Math is always helpful in this career.

    My objective: I don't want to take courses in Algebra or Calculus. My objective is simply to have the use it or lose it approach to math. I don't want to lose anything I already know so I would like to continue practicing.

    I have a very good visual memory. I also have a very good concept of written language, science, scientific method, logic given my university studies.

    I have a B.A. and BSc and during my degree I've taken mostly some basic statistics courses. I haven't taken anything in Algebra nor Calculus. I have a Linear Algebra book I'd like to work through it. I have a self-defeating notion of Calculus (had straight 'A's for first month of HS calculus then dropped out after I got lost and started making up my answers. I want to conquer my 'fears' and finally be able to work through an entire books' worth of Calculus.

    I have a general scope of different fields of math (mostly wikipedia reading) of number theory etc. I suppose other than 1st/2nd year level understanding of Linear Algebra and Calculus and maybe some Stats I don't know where else I would venture. Maybe something relevant to Financial Mathematics.....? And somesort of Physics with Calculus. Physics has always been of interest to me.

    The most "recent" math text I worked through was for a Stats class: Essential of Econometrics.

    The books that I currently have and plan to work through, I bought largely on strength of reviews on-line and for the calculs book because it uses more concrete examples with physics.

    Linear Algebra by Poole
    Calculus: An intuitive and Physical Approach by Kline
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  2. #2
    A Plied Mathematician
    Jun 2010
    CT, USA
    You know, it's funny. As I was reading along, I kept thinking, "Kline for Calculus." And there it was at the bottom! It's a good choice, indeed. I don't know Poole's book on linear algebra, so I can't approve or disapprove.

    In terms of logic, I'd say that a knowledge of formal and informal logic helps the math student everywhere, sometimes even in intangible ways. I would recommend Copi and Cohen's Introduction to Logic for the informal logic. I'm not a huge fan of their symbolic approach, however. For that I'd recommend Barwise and Etchemendy's Language, Proof, and Logic. Their take on the natural deduction system is very nice, I think. It's easy to remember, at any rate!
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