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Advice for sharpening my math skills


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Lately I've become interested in mathematics although I have always had (great) difficulty with it and I've always suspected that I have a below average IQ. I'm fascinated with the idea of mathematics being the language of nature and I plan on getting around to working on math problems in my spare time (I don't remember ever having done algebra, calculus or anything beyond basic arithmetic in school). I know that listening to classical music and practicing meditation have been shown to strengthen math/critical thinking skills and I'm sure eating healthy, exercising regularly and taking care of your health in general would also help keep the brain young and healthy, is there any advice beyond this that any of the mathematicians/math fans on here could offer? Is there any point in even attempting to grasp higher mathematics in my late 20s if I do have a below average IQ (since I don't think there's any evidence that IQ can be significantly altered past a certain age or if one doesn't have a genetic disposition toward higher intelligence)?

 

Thanks for the help

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Hello. What are your reasons for suspecting a below average IQ. You seem like a much above IQ person to me by the writing. Perhaps you been hanging out with smart folks that in comparison seems below, but compared to the whole population, definate above average. I always eaten healthy. I have really sensitive tongue, I chew more than most people, I've noticed. I am very careful with my eating, for example, I subcionciously keep track of how much fibre I've had and how much my sugar intake should be according to the change in temperature and activitiies.

 

A person is made up of multiple things, not just skill and body. There is also relationships. I think establishing a strong bond with a smart math person can be more effective than knowing how to do those math on your own. Math is not that important and powerful for any work that is general to be honest. Math helps, but is not the only substance that can help.

 

I sharpened my math skills throughout my life, through studying of number patterns and tricks of calculation and number recgonition, etc.. On the later years I started studying calculus while doing physics experiments with high-tech simlulation software. I also played some sudoku puzzles to increase my reaction time. Reaction time to numbers does improve the overall effiency of doing math.

 

Lastly, from my years of experience doing math I'd say that when doing math, it is not like pushing a cart, it is not the more force the better. It is the more force at the correct locations the better. Also, balance of exercises is important. Too many of my coleagues no longer excel over me because they don't exercise and eat right! (notice how it is eat right, not eat more, once again, life is much about doing it right, not doing it more)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is there any point in even attempting to grasp higher mathematics in my late 20s if I do have a below average IQ (since I don't think there's any evidence that IQ can be significantly altered past a certain age or if one doesn't have a genetic disposition toward higher intelligence)?

 

Thanks for the help

 

First of all keep the doubts and negative thinking aside. I believe that anyone is capable of great things as long as they're interested. If you are interested in Higher Mathematics then that's the first step to learning Higher Mathematics.

 

Let me tell you this, that Higher Mathematics trains you to think analytically and critically about any problem presented to you.

 

And remember to always have fun :lol:

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  • 1 month later...

Lately I've become interested in mathematics although I have always had (great) difficulty with it and I've always suspected that I have a below average IQ. I'm fascinated with the idea of mathematics being the language of nature and I plan on getting around to working on math problems in my spare time (I don't remember ever having done algebra, calculus or anything beyond basic arithmetic in school).

 

I thought I was the only one! I have a similar problem to you, I'm going back into education in my late 20s and I've never been great at math, (spent a good 10 years in industries that avoid it), but I really like it, it fascinates me. And I'm planning a degree in physics too.

 

The trick is not to doubt your abilities. Negativity won't help you learn, it will be hard not to doubt yourself. Don't think you "got it wrong" consider "you just didn't understand it the first time" and then go back over it.

 

Don't just memorise, make sure you try your best to understand the concepts. Go over it a number of different ways, try different things. The way it's presented may not be the best way for you to understand it.

 

I don't believe anyone is "bad" at math, (coming from someone who always thought he was "bad" at math) it's just practise, gaining familiarity, and memory, and all that builds understanding.

 

The next trick is to never give up, no matter what. It will be hard, you will get frustrated, but you also will make progress without you even realising it.

And when you do realise it, you will feel proud, and that gives you a boost to tackle more. It's a good circle.

 

Naturally Wikipedia, and various online sources are great, soak it all up, as much as you can. You have to actively pursue maths, you can't just learn it from reading a text book.

Edited by Purephysics
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Lately I've become interested in mathematics although I have always had (great) difficulty with it and I've always suspected that I have a below average IQ. I'm fascinated with the idea of mathematics being the language of nature and I plan on getting around to working on math problems in my spare time (I don't remember ever having done algebra, calculus or anything beyond basic arithmetic in school). I know that listening to classical music and practicing meditation have been shown to strengthen math/critical thinking skills and I'm sure eating healthy, exercising regularly and taking care of your health in general would also help keep the brain young and healthy, is there any advice beyond this that any of the mathematicians/math fans on here could offer? Is there any point in even attempting to grasp higher mathematics in my late 20s if I do have a below average IQ (since I don't think there's any evidence that IQ can be significantly altered past a certain age or if one doesn't have a genetic disposition toward higher intelligence)?

 

Thanks for the help

Get an account on the Khan Academy. It has exercises and youtube video in the style of a classroom explanation (with the difference that you can replay this, while ordinary teachers generally don't repeat things).

 

It starts really easy, but it will become challenging soon enough.

 

Also, it's set up as a game: you can earn points for doing exercises well. And you get badges for certain achievements. It may sound a bit cheesy, but it's actually fun.

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