I'm a former mathematician and I'm bad at maths too. I fuck up the simplest operations, failed Calculus several times since High School and still can't integrate for the life of mine. However I latter found a way with logic, even if I already forgot most of it. So don't worry, you'll find your way through it (in or out) as well.

I'm going to assume you just got intimidated by some of the weirder symbols in whatever token undergrad requisite you find yourself forced to go through. The actual ideas behind the notation are exceedingly simple. I'd argue that literal toddlers have a notional grasp of the majority of formally developed areas of mathematics. The cryptic mess we're left with today is simply a product of people trying to standardize the means of communicating these ideas. Not a system with the capacity to communicate an absolute truth but an elaborate game people have built up over a thousand years. That is to say you shouldn't expect any of the notation to be intuitive or inherently mean anything; historically, ergonomics was never really a primary design goal amongst mathematicians.

If you're referring to the occasional calculation/algebra error, that's not math. Anyone but the actual retards is going to struggle with accuracy in low-level manipulations. Post edited on 17th Dec 2014, 10:34pm

>>19230 >The actual ideas behind the notation are exceedingly simple [...] the occasional calculation/algebra error, that's not math
I think I understand that you want to stress the difference between mere applying of formulae and actual mathematical proof, but that's going a bit too far, man. Of course undergrad maths present conceptual challenges beyond notation too. Post edited on 18th Dec 2014, 12:35am

>>19229 This gentleman actually has the right idea. Having a lack of mathematical ability is really only detrimental if it's required in your career or day-to-day routine in some way. Knowledge that has no practical application for you has no use.

>>19236 Except that undergrad maths, just like undergrad logic, are not really meant as information you should archive and make direct use of (say, like geography and the reading of maps) but as a way to train your brain into the ways that we historically relate with analytical, critical and problem-solving capabilities: with higher intelligence, in the conventional sense.

So, more that memorizing for life this or that formula or theorem, the importance of studying maths and logic properly is precisely to learn to think and approach things in that rational way that has proven extremely useful and empowering.

>>19235 >that's going a bit too far
My mind shuts off when I'm completing trivial elements of such problems. As in, my decisions are processed completely unconsciously and I have very limited/no conscious recollection of anything I've done. If my attention collapses for an instant I do nonsensical things - and it often does with anything that tedious. I have to devote an unbelievable amount of time to rechecking my calculations as a result. This has characterized my relationship with this type of "math" since highschool and to my dismay I deal with it consistently as an engineering major. Take my previous post as bitter hyperbole rather than some kind of misguided critique of axioms.

>undergrad maths present conceptual challenges beyond notation too
Nah. It's very easy to take the "develops critical thinking skills" route in these flavors of debate. I fail to meaningfully differentiate between preparing for a calculus I exam and learning to play street fighter competitively - both are very much games in that their logic/meaning/cognitive interaction sets are utterly arbitrary. One is just substantially less linear and static while requiring synthesis and application of many other bodies of knowledge to play at the highest levels. Post edited on 18th Dec 2014, 3:42am

Why didn't you go for pure maths, then? if it's where the real deal is and being a mathematician is a wonderful way to be almighty respectable, while in fact doing near to nothing at all, olympically disregard the world and have lots of free time for your other interests (from authentic rhetoric and epistemological concerns to watching chinese cartoons).

>>19243 I had no interest in resigning myself to an academic vocational path. Engineering is the more versatile degree and if I fucked up my gpa at any time I'd still be left with a viable credential.

I'm not even "interested" in math per se, I just prefer to be informed about topic rather than mindlessly deferential to its regularly misconstrued status as the final, solemn bastion of profundity and absolute metaphysical truth,

>>19240 Mathematics =/= logic and reasoning ability. As the other anon mentioned, it's easy to take the "develops critical thinking skills" argument, but logic is not strictly mathematical in nature. Rather, mathematics USES logic rather than vise-versa. Logic statements written in mathematical and programming form (ie: if -> then) are learned far earlier than the undergrad level, and don't actually require any knowledge of math(s) to understand, nor will practice with mathematical theories or formulae necessarily improve one's logical abilities.

>>19245 >regularly misconstrued status as the final, solemn bastion of profundity and absolute metaphysical truth,
Nowadays I only think some mathematicians think this way anyways, correct me if I'm wrong. At least the masses don't seem to give a shit about math or philosophy.

I'm so bad at math, it's not even funny. I just can't focus in the class, and when I actually do study for it, I get horrible marks on it, and I'm discouraged and don't want to try it again.

I never once gave a shit about math or anything else in school. I thought I could change that sentiment when I started college, but I didn't. It took me 5 years to get a 2 year degree. Now I just work an extremely low-paying job, drink whisky everyday, and occasionally watch cartoons aimed at Japanese children.

>>19305 Not him but, whereas conceptually simple (Riemann), integration in action (obtaining primitives) needs of some kind of skill that not all of are comfortable with. Personally, I had not much problems with Calculus I and III and even Mathematical Analysis I (Measure Theory, Lebesgue, etc), but barely made it through Calculus II and it took me I think 4 times to barely pass Calculus IV too (R^n integrals; Green's Theorem, etc.). Another relatively easy thing I could never get right was Topology; I don't know why either.

This is what fucked me in h/s. I was ok with the simple stuff because it was, visually, obvious. arithmetic, Geometry, trig etc was ok.

I'm a visual problem solver mostly. I look at things and figure it out. Even subjects like basic electricity and chemistry seemed to have obvious rules which made it easier to understand.

But once mathematics became more abstract I just failed at it. I see now the odd .gif explaining things and suddenly it's like "ah", that makes sense but the way i was taught it really didn't work for me.

Maths weren't always conceived and taught as they are now. Before the industrial age, maths were learned as the Quadrivium: Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy and Music, that is, stuff that deals largely with the physical world rather than with language (which was the matter of the Trivium: Rhetoric, Grammar and Logic). It was science's and philosophy's development during the XIX and early XX century which forced maths into a radical formalization, founded on a reformulated logic (grounded on Boole's work) and later in set theory (with Russell as a huge cult figure), until finally crashing in many regards by the second half of the century (specially with the failure of Vienna Circle and the works of Gצdel) but proving miraculous for the development of the informatics and computation that opened the gates of postmodernity.

Paradoxically, it was precisely thanks to this that I (as I said before) could find some light at the end of the tunnel with mathematical logic towards philosophy... that is, with something that all in all isn't maths in the old sense, but a byproduct of this historical affair. As I eventually understood, my only concern was indeed the all-pervasiveness of language and signification; to be perfectly honest, everything concerning direct phenomena and mechanics (calculus, geometry, differential equations...) always was and still is painfully hard for me to grasp; other fellow maths students felt similarly: they just found a specific mathematical subject which language game (to borrow Wittgenstein's term) they felt comfortable with and could entertain as entirely abstract formulations; but if we talk about maths in the old way, the most skilled guys I got to know at college were invariably not mathematicians (usually physicists)...

Anyway, what I mean to tell you with all this is that maths might be taught in strange ways, but they're far more than this or that particular school of thought (or perverse political project) and overall a field that really reaches much more areas than itself. So, even if you find them really hard (as I did) and do not want to be a fucking savant cloudcuckoolander anyway (as neither do I), please do not come to hate and ban them entirely from your life. After all, even in their strangest take they gave us internet and who knows? maybe someday they could give us another pleasant surprise. Post edited on 1st Jan 2015, 10:11pm

>>19335 I don't follow. At all. What's poor Bourbaki to blame for any of this? Most sane people would probably agree Bourbaki's methods suck for teaching.
I can only speak for my own education, but pre-uni level math is still mostly concerned with practical applications(to a fault IMO), without any attempt to be rigorous safe for a couple of stabs into the axioms and basic theorems of euclidean geometry.

>>19344 Maybe it could work for mathematics majors. For anything else it seems questionable at best, the biggest problems I see is that most applications that rely heavily on complex analysis are quite sophisticated and someone being dropped into the complexes straight away probably can't really appreciate why it's easy(or much at all, since working with complex variables pretty much entails working with multiple variables)

>>19352 >What's poor Bourbaki to blame for any of this?

Their legacy of stressing formalism on maths' education, over the principle that maths should be understood in their pure abstract form rather than as representations of phenomena, even to the point of avoiding the use of graphics at all (which was >>19332 complain: that at some point even High School maths seem to loose "visibility" or touch with "reality").

Personally I can just partially approve of the Bourbaki approach, insofar as I now regard maths as entirely formal and metaphysical; but I see how this is in conflict with their undergrad take as a tool for science and why people complain about some mathematical subjects as bizarre/impractical/useless for daily life or even for technical purposes. However, I wanted to comment on how that is just one way to look at maths, belonging to a time and age, but there are others and some of them might actually catch their attention at some point (as they caught mine). I mean, for me at least, finding out that maths weren't just science's bitch was one of the best things ever.

I am terrible at math. I was fine in school up until I was about 6 years old when we started more complicated problems.

I never learned how to multiply, add, or divide off the top of my head. It was too difficult.

Long division killed me inside. I failed every math exam I've ever done and fell so far behind the teachers stopped caring and helping me.

Secondary school was just as bad. I consistently failed things and never understood any of it. It does not make any sense to me.

I was put in the bottom tier math class, no university or college will accept me. My math grades are always questioned.

I tried so hard for many years. My parents used to force me to study 2 hours a night and I would just cry and give up because it made no sense.

It makes me so anxious when i see maths problems. Fuck everything about maths. I hate you people who glorify maths so much, i hate you if you brag about how good you are at math and how more people should be better skilled with it.

>>19377 I will gently teach you mathematics under the warm glow of anime. You must be willing to ignore my visible erection and the occasional instances where my desires overpowers me and I lick your face.

>>19332 >>19335 >>19377 I just watched a documentary about the brain, which said that spatial intelligence (likely needed for geometry and probably elementary arithmetic) is on the right half whereas language abilities (including logic --without Van Euler diagrams assistance-- and probably algebra) are on the left half. It's like, just like western culture itself, both history and the current teaching of maths had migrated to one side of the brain to the other. Probably side-oriented different approaches on teaching maths could prove helpful; I remember hearing somewhere about a similar idea for teaching people to draw.

Trying to learn calculus and I feel like I'd get it; if anything I was told made sense.
I listen to the lesson, read the material and even if I were to remember it rote I couldn't do it. It's not like I don't get it. I've worked with programming functions which really helped prepare me for this, I can tell. I can usually stare at the page and play with the problem until the answer makes sense, but right now I'm using Squeeze to find limits and I just can't brute force it.

For one, I can't do multiplication in my head. For two, I dropped out of school because algebra was too hard. The stuff they teach in middle school was too hard for me, despite having multiple tries at it! For five, it takes me a few seconds to understand what numbers really mean in some contexts. Video game score sheets, for example, intimidate the shit out of me.

The sad thing is, I wanted to be a computer programmer.

>>19616 Yeah, I could just have one up on my computer, but my lack of math skill goes deeper than an inability to do mental arithmetic. I'm afraid it's a case of terminal dumb.

>>19382 Yeah. The left tend to be more critical, analyctical thinking based, and syntax and logic. The right tend to be more intuitive, fast, hollistic, defective thinking based, and creativity, spatial thinking and emotions.
Something funny: Positive emotions are found on the left brain in males, negative emotions the right brain. It is the opposite in females. Also the only "negative" emotions that you can find in the brain hemisphere which supposedly contains positive emotions is anger, and studies have proven that anger stimulates the left brain hemisphere.

TV puts you in a state where your left brain is almost completely inactive. brotegt ur lef brian :DDDDD