Weakness in algebra

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Weakness in algebra

Postby capefeather » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:59 am UTC

This kind of gets into more general issues, but I figured this was the best forum to put this. For a little bit of background:

I ran into severe problems in my second year of undergrad and my grades plummeted to the point where I failed a course. I am very bad at adapting to unfamiliar situations, to the point that it's (part of) a documented disability. On top of that, I suffered from a great deal of disillusionment when my family resorted to criticism, insults, and measures to take greater control of my life, all bordering on the bizarre and incomprehensible. Suffice to say my academic troubles persisted over the next few years, during which I ended up getting well-acquainted with processes like course drops/withdrawals and petitions.

When I started off in university, my intent was to pursue physics supported by a strong background in math. However, after problems with a required lab course that forced me to drop it, I moved more toward math, though I continued taking physics courses. Eventually, I consulted with the undergraduate chair of the physics department about the lab course, which led me to decide to pursue math. I have overcome a lot of setbacks (including the aforementioned) and I have actually done quite well in courses on a number of areas. However, I remain stymied in algebra.

I don't know what it is exactly that is preventing me from really "getting" algebra. The course just comes off as really dry and the professor doesn't really agree with me. So I've been considering just trying to rely mostly on self-study, but I don't know where to begin with that. So many of the problems seem like random puzzles devised because the subject has been "figured out" in some fashion (the Holder program for finite group theory being mostly finished), and some of them rely on results from OTHER problems. I'm having a lot of problems with figuring out how to break an algebra problem down into smaller parts.

Unfortunately I didn't have as much time as I

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Re: Weakness in algebra

Postby mark999 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:13 am UTC

Which areas of maths do you like?

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