[bct] Re: college math courses

  • From: "jeffs mail" <j1armstrong@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 15:00:23 -0600

Scott,

I know how you feel, you are not alone in your persistence to know why. My math teachers used to tell me just to accept what they said as fact. I realized that it surely was fact but why? I needed to understand the underlying thought that went into figuring it all out. You might be able to find books on the great Greek mathematicians like Pethagerus and so on which would explain more.

I'll bet you would love the series, "Connections". If you get a chance, try to find the episodes at your local video store. In this series which I think was produced by either the Discovery Channel or PBS, the host explains the early origins of many of our modern inventions and one is completely surprised by what early inventions lead to what current gadgets or technologies. For example, The machining expertise which first made the iron cannon possible was eventually to lead to the production of the modern piston and cylinder used in gasoline engines. At the same time, along another path, someone figured out that a container, turned up-side-down over a swamp, would fill with combustible gas. Once closed with a stopper which contained a fuse, one had an effective gas powered gun which shot the stopper like a bullet. This also was a part of the background of the gasoline combustion process which moved the piston in the cylinder

Here are some results from Google on books about Greek Mathematics which, for me, is where it all comes from. The origins of most mathematic theory and reasoning start there. When I was studying to be a programmer, they required college level calculus and I also took high level classes in geometry, trig, and a bit of statistical analysis. I am probably rusty but if you pose a question here when you just have to know why something is what it is, the brain-trust here is more than capable of answering or looking it up. I'm not referring to myself but the sum total of the mail list's brain power.

Book results for names of greek mathematicians
Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics -
by Reviel Netz - 349 pages
History of Greek Mathematics -
by Thomas Heath - 461 pages
Science and Mathematics in Ancient Greek Culture -
by Lewis Wolpert - 400 pages

Jeff Armstrong
----- Original Message ----- From: "Scott Howell" <s.howell@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 3:18 AM
Subject: [bct] college math courses



Folks, don't think I asked this here before, but if I did, well write it off as my failing memory. I've been trying to figure out how to deal with math courses at the college level. I've managed thus far to do most of it in my head, but having a book would be helpful, but most books are no longer available in braille for the most part. I'm getting old so keeping all this in my head isn't as good as when I was young, but I want to finish my degree before I get to old and math is not only my strong point, but its holding me up rom finishing.
So, what do most folk do, are there any really good book that explain therory which I need. See Ican't just take someones word for how to solve a problem, I want to know the why which has always been a problem for me. I need to know why in order to work the problems. I'm interested in algebra and geometry. Any advice or book titles appreciated.


tnx

Scott






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