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So, I've gone through most of my life without knowing any math (I've worked as a musician for years, and finally got fed up with the BS in the music industry) and haven't really thought about broadening my knowledge, until it just hit me a couple of weeks ago  I actually love it. I love the problem solving, and don't have any problems focusing for hours, since that is required for both song writing and studio work.
I did the Algebra thing in HS, and since I went to a University in Sweden, no more math was required beside Stats, and that was a couple of years ago. What I'm trying to get to is; is it possible to learn more difficult math without taking classes? I always loved challenges, but is it possible to do so without a teacher? 

It's absolutely possible to do it without a teacher. In fact, this is probably true for math more than any other subject.
What kind of math are you interested in learning? Straight up pure math or something more applied? The single most valuable thing in learning pure math is the socalled "mathematical maturity" which can only be obtained by struggling through difficult mathematics for a long period of time. Though one thing you'll find is that real math is nothing like what you studied in high school. Proving theorems using deductive logic rather than applying memorized algorithms. 

Thanks for the quick reply :).
To be honest, I haven't really thought out the general direction I would like to take it. Since I've always been interested in Software technology and to learn "what's under the hood" in applications/games etc, I would assume that the computer science direction is where I'm heading. Calc II/III type of things. But, if I really like it, I won't hesitate a second to go on towards a university, although I'm no big fan of the classroom setting. The painstaking/struggling part is what I'm looking forward to, I need to challenge myself again. Been too long since I did that. I love the moment when you "get it" and a solution is within reach. 

I'm in school for programming now and deal with a lot of high level math.
You can learn it by yourself, but it would be painful. The benefit to having someone tell you when you're wrong and show you where you went wrong is irreplaceable. If you really don't mind the struggle and head banging then you can learn just about anything on youtube. (I use youtube frequently when what my teacher is telling me doesn't click, there are 10,000's of math videos, and many of them tutorial series by good teachers / professors) You can also look up what books different colleges use. Most math books now come with a key that will give you access to websites with practice test, videos and all sorts of help while learning new math. I don't see why you couldn't just buy the book and use the resources without being enrolled in a school. I would suggest you seek the help at least an online or in person tutor to start learning this math. But if you do have a good understand of algebra and the basics then by all means it is possible for you to continue on your own. 

I'm teaching myself Calculus at the basic level. I made the mistake of taking Stats my senior year of high school instead of precal, then I decided I wanted to go into engineering, and then the dominoes started falling in miserable disarray.
I haven't been in an algebra class for more than a year. First day of college orientation I find out that in order to get into any advanced math classes you have to take a placement test. I needed to get a 22/30 to get into preengineering algebra classes. I only got a 15/30 and was unceremoniously placed into remedial algebra. I've been studying algebra and calculus at a furious pace since so that I can retake the test and hopefully get into preengineering my first year. I find calculus incredibly interesting, and I sorely regret not learning it earlier. But I'm hoping studying before getting into calculus class will pay off in a year or two. 

http://www.youtube.com/user/patrickJMT
this might help you out a bit. 

ye youtube math instructions videos like the post on top, i use that for most of the math i learn now in school.


You could try MIT Open Courseware. There are calculus and linear algebra courses with video lectures, all for free.


Khanacademy also is a helpful website if you want to learn all sorts of math.


So, I've gone through most of my life without knowing any math (I've worked as a musician for years, and finally got fed up with the BS in the music industry) and haven't really thought about broadening my knowledge, until it just hit me a couple of weeks ago  I actually love it. I love the problem solving, and don't have any problems focusing for hours, since that is required for both song writing and studio work. As a student majoring in math, it is my opinion that learning math without a teacher is rather difficult. Math reading can be very offsetting because you may have to read a particular sentence or paragraph several times before you start understanding it, and many more times until you really get it. If you start now though, it's just a matter of time until you get used to reading math textbooks / papers. Like anything else, it's a skill that can be practiced and improved. Khanacademy also is a helpful website if you want to learn all sorts of math. Khan academy is wonderful for plenty of lower level (up to calculus and whatnot) maths. When you start getting to higher level, proofbased mathematics, I don't believe you can find that sort of stuff on Khan Academy. Also OP: are you interested in engineering type math (applying math to solve problems) or mathematical science (using math to prove more math). You should keep in mind this distinction for what you want to read and teach yourself.
Edited by AlienAlias#1502 on 9/21/2012 8:46 AM PDT


A basic Computer Math course would cover Binary and Hexidecimal numeral systems. It would be worth your time to understand the basics of these systems if you're interested in programming.


Coursera.net
You need to learn PreCalculus which actually contains all kinds of algebra. That's where you should begin, you need to get a book and learn from it. Because learning online is kinda frustrating and doesn't cover much. PreCalculus covers: Basic Algebra, Plotting, Graphs, Trigonometry, polynomials.. etc. Get a good book, I recommend the latest edition of PreCalculus 5th Edition by Lial. Which I revisited it because I wanted to get ready for differential equations (Calculus) Good Luck BTW: just wanted to say that along with that book comes an online service to teach you online using (Videos, tons and tons of similar problems, problem checker. It's called MathXL) I attended all of my classes but the teacher was kinda bad. The book and the online service is what actually made me get the A a year ago.
Edited by Imonar#1155 on 7/20/2013 9:47 AM PDT


To OP.
Funny I was in a band that went crazy and spontaeniously combusted. Pondering what to do with my life next I figured the nearest bar would be a good place to drink i mean think about it Hammered and struggling to focus properly on a keno card i was infuriated by the numbers for some reason. I decided to pick a fight with math. I took cheap speed math classes at night for like 50$ And continued to do so every now and then. I got as far as electrical theory. Which came in handy for fixin broken gear. Learn math. Than use it to do your bidding. Its worth it.
Edited by Xyster#1612 on 7/25/2013 5:47 PM PDT


i am a computer major and i am yet to see myself use any math, but through all the math classes that i had to take which go all the way up to advanced algorithms and etc, i found that classes are useless, pick up a book and learn on your own, if you have a question you can google or check youtube tutorials.


Here you go:
http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/#mathematics 

Here's a link you might want to save for programming MOOCs you can do on your own time:
http://www.reddit.com/r/learnprogramming/comments/1zms0p/heres_a_list_of_48_free_online_programmingcs/ If you get into programming, you may like using a scientific/math orientated programming environment such as Matlab (expensive) or Sagemath.org or Python(x,y) (both free). I have no experience with Wolfram, but that is of a similar idea that is still evolving. Sagemath.org has a plethora of videos and examples. One of my favorites is titled "Modeling in Sage: Love, War, and Zombies" which you can find on this page: http://sagemath.org/helpvideo.html I am into robotics and control, so this math is useful for me. Fyi, at my job, I often times collect a set of empirical data I need to crunch and make one of those pretty plots you may have seen in scientific articles online. That's what I use the above for mostly. For science! edit: My advice is to just work hard. Working smart comes from finding the right resources. edit2: Fme. I should have read the OP's post date...
Edited by MCP#1477 on 3/5/2014 1:14 PM PST

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