Thursday, September 08, 2005

Learning Curve in Math

One Hundred First Post: Learning Curve in Math

I was reading chapter 23 of “Graphics for Engineers” by James H. Earle and I was reminded that sometimes in math and graphics the reader has to read the same section at least twice. Sometimes people are sometimes discouraged when they don’t understand all the symbols and diagrams, but the only reason they do not understand is that they didn’t take the time to read and follow along with the examples. It may seem impossible or to complex, but if the reader sticks with it they will learn a lot.

In math, like most subjects you have to learn some fundamentals and understand them before attempting the more complex problems. Fortunately most books are broken into steps and are simplified. The author has to take a complex subject and simplify it. Unfortunately math can still be very complicated and hard to understand at times. Sometimes the reader just has to follow along. Latter they will understand more once the basics have had time to “soak in.” Meaning even if you don’t understand read and pay attention. You will begin to piece together the little elements which will increase your understanding as you learn more.

Fortunately there is one aspect of math that is in the student’s favor. Math takes one part of a whole and expands upon it. In other words, math can describe the very small details and describe many things. So if you only learn one little part of math, you can use it to describe many things. Restated, a little bit of knowledge in math goes a long way.


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