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Thread: Humanities student looking for help

  1. #1 Humanities student looking for help 
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    Hello World! (etc.)

    I am a Humanities (more exactly, a Classics+Philosophy) graduate student from Portugal who has finally owned up to the fact that this perpetual ignorance of science needs to end. I haven't studied any scientific subject seriously since the time our school system forced me to pick the Humanities branch (10th) year, and it has been 6 years from that. I am ashamed to say I have forgotten much if not most of what I learnt, but I am decided to solve that: I am here to do that.

    I looked around the forum for particular threads where this could be found, to no avail, so I decided to post. For starters, I want to make clear that I have enormous respect for all the hard work and years of study people put into each of these subjects, and I have perfect conscience that even if I try hard I will only manage very smalls steps, in no way giving me 'instant knowledge of subject X'.

    Nonetheless, I have a few requests, and I would be enormously grateful to whomsoever would help me with them. What I am looking for is books that could help me get a grasp in the subjects I will name. I like to consider myself sufficiently intelligent as to not require the books to be easy or dumbed down they need just be accessible to someone who's coming at a subject virtually for the first time (what in language learning would be called a false beginner).

    After this prologue, and if there's still anyone out there!, here is the list. Thanks in advance.

    Mathematics
    Physics
    Chemistry
    Biology
    - specifically Botanics


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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman Beard Baron's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I would imagine a first year textbook for each of those subjects would be sufficient. Big and expensive, but that would cover everything. If you're looking for something easier and cheaper, just browse the web! You'd be amazed at how much you can actually learn from Wikipedia. It doesn't beat actually taking a course, though, but just to get a quick factoid or so it can't be beat!
    Here, I'll start you off on your biology route: Nothing in biology makes sense if evolution is not accounted for, so it makes the ideal starting place.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

    Of course, I would always recommend taking a summer course or whatever at your university. But if that's not what you want, so be it.

    Best of luck in your studies.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Yes, try used-book stores for the lowest prices. Textbooks are not big sellers (yes, a sad state of the world), so they tend to go for less money. The larger used-book stores will have a better selection. The books might also be a bit old (~10 years), but that shouldn't matter much.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  5. #4  
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    Thanks a lot, both of you! My original fear was that I wouldn't be able to follow them because I didn't have the [highschool] knowledge of them, but I think that --so far, let's not hasten things-- it's going relatively well.

    Once again, thanks.
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  6. #5  
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    http://www.learner.org/courses/mathilluminated/

    This survey course is online and free and really enjoyable to view.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Yes, definitely use online tutorials whenever possible, at least to supplement your textbooks, or for your primary source of information. Animations can be very useful in understanding a difficult concept.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  8. #7  
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    I chanced upon KhanAcademy while browsing these forums. Should I stay away, or it as good as it seems? And if so, any other places like it, and like the MATHilluminated one?

    Thanks
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  9. #8  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    It's okay for the basics. For anything advanced, you should research yourself.
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