Yes, normally I agree absolutely with that - and perhaps that is what is motivating me now.
But sometimes I just can't find the beginning of the thread of reasoning. It is as tho some pages have been left out of a book and I'm trying to make sense of the pages that I DO have.
For example. This is one of the info sites I referred to this morning. I've highlighted the bits that utterly confused me.
The absolute value of x, denoted "| x |" (and which is read as "the absolute value of x"), is the distance of x from zero. This is why absolute value is never negative; absolute value only asks "how far?", not "in which direction?" This means not only that | 3 | = 3, because 3 is three units to the right of zero, but also that | 3 | = 3, because 3 is three units to the left of zero.
But a few lines further on it says,
It is important to note that the absolute value bars do NOT work in the same way as do parentheses. Whereas (3) = +3, this is NOT how it works for absolute value:
Simplify | 3 |.
Given | 3 |, I first handle the absolute value part, taking the positive and converting the absolute value bars to parentheses:
| 3 | = (+3)
Now I can take the negative through the parentheses:
| 3 | = (3) = 3
As this illustrates, if you take the negative of an absolute value, you will get a negative number for your answer.
As I said back in my introduction, I am at a basic level in maths and don't have access to a tutor.
There is masses of info on the web, but I'm discovering that I am sometimes dropped into a topic that I haven't had the lead-up to.
Today that was 'absolute values', on Khan Academy.
I found an explanation of what this is on the Maths is Fun site, by using Google, but really feel quite stressed-out at this hit-and- miss way that I am staggering around maths learning.
Can anyone recommend a list of topic areas to cover IN ORDER?
This would need to be right from basic-basics, just so that I can check the foundations before I try to move on.
I've just bought 'Basic Maths for Dummies' by Colin Beveridge, so it may help.
But - I would REALLY appreciate some advice on the order in which I would best tackle topics.
Thank you again, Bob. Yes, the ideas are easier than the names!
I was doing the exercises at the mathopolis link where they ask you to click on which law was in operation for a given equation. I knew what the equations were doing but I kept getting the name wrong!
And thanks for a really enthusiastic reply. Sometimes my posts disappear into the internet void and I never hear again from the original poster. It will be a pleasure to help you whenever I can.
You don't know what you may be letting yourself in for!
Oh yes, and I know about what it is like carefully to answer a newcomer's post - only for them never to be heard of again... My only other forum is on astronomy, and that is a great attractor of casuals.
THANK YOU SO much!
My husband wondered what on earth had made me so bubbly after I'd checked my email - the sense of glee when one understands something that had been frustrating and opaque is totally delightful!
I played with the balance at the maths is fun website for ages. It is a great help to be able to visualise it like that.
Although I had seen that there were some interactive parts to the site, I usually access the web via a tablet PC running Android, which can't handle Java or Flash. My laptop runs Ubuntu, so could run the flash application but, sadly, not the Java one on the other site.
I very much appreciate your help - and your moral support. I will not be so tentative in seeking help here in future!
PS. I do like the quote from Galileo Galilei. A splendid maxim for a teacher.
Welcome to the forum.
Have you learnt about the factorial function yet?
64! = 64 x 63 x 62 x 61 x 60 x .......x 3 x 2 x 1
Post your questions ... we'll be happy to help.
Thank you for your welcomes!
Bob - not only have I not learnt factorial function yet, I have never even heard of it! Perhaps I should also explain that I don't have a teacher (I've retired to a Spanish speaking island and know enough Spanish to do the shipping, but NOT enough to learn maths in!)
No, really, that is why I am so nervous at being on this forum - I'm not at all sure that you will be able to BELIEVE how little I know.
An example is worth a thousand words, and this is what I am stuck on at present. It is a question at Mathopolis described as a Pre- algebra, Year Four (hard). I can work it out intuitively, but don't know how to work it out (evaluate? Derive? Solve?) using mathematical reasoning.
Which value of n makes the sentence 6+n=4*n true?
The options are given as 4, 3, 2, or 1.
The answer is obviously n=2
BUT I can't see how I could do that formally.
Nor how I would prove (should I be asked) that n=2 is the ONLY value for n that makes this sentence true.
I've gone through the notes that I've made from the pre- algebra sections on the Math is Fun website, and can't find anything to give me guidance.
I feel that there ought to be a way to get n on one side of the equals sign and the numbers on the other, but anything that I've tried has yielded rubbish. (e.g deducting n from both sides, which gave
6+n-n= (4*n )-n. Which l looks like garbage!
Hello everybody, my name is Margarita and I suspect that I will be the oldest person on this forum - I am 64!
But I am extremely immature when it comes to Maths, which is why I have just begun to work my way through the Math is Fun site and have plucked up the courage to join this forum,
The reason that I am so ignorant in maths is not because I didn't pay attention when I was at school. It is simply that, mostly, I did not GO to school. I had severe polio as a baby and spent most of my childhood in hospital, where there was very little schooling. My mother taught me to read and to do simple arithmetic and I was able to teach myself a lot from reading. (I even went to university to study politics!) But I wasn't able to teach myself maths.
Now, I feel that I want to rectify that lack.
If I could ask some extremely basic questions sometimes, that would be wonderful.
With best wishes