# Thread: I am starting to clutter my brain...

1. Hello!
I a starting to get frustrated due to the fact that there is so much in every subject. I'm a working on calculus now, and it is quite easy along with all the other math subjects... Now my frustration is that when I'm working on a calculus problem, that requires some type of algebra sill, or trigonometry skill that I've never seen, or heard of. I go and look it up... Now doing this is just confusing me now because, I'm having troubles organizing it into my brain so to say. I want to finally finish calculus so that I may be able to start applying it to more complicated science... Can anyone give a list on math subject, certain skills I must know? I mean learning a new concept as always been easy but maybe a list on what I should know, and in the order I should know it...

2.

3. That's the thing about Calc. You're like "Ah, I'm finally done with Algebra, moving on..." and then you get into calc, and run into the hugest and most monstrous algebra problems you've ever seen, as well as deeper trig.

My opinion is that Calc is where you really solidify your algebra skills. Even if I had a mostrous algebra problem, I would put the paranthesis around it, replace the big scary terms with symbols, and then see it in its simplicity. I learned that the same basic SIMPLE algebra rules apply to big problems and small. Its the same with trig. However big and scary the problem, the same basic rules always apply, its just that its hard to see them sometimes. But don't be intimidated. You're not alone in having Calc challenge your algebra skills. Calc is easy, I believe its the algebra that makes a lot of people have a hard time with it. So push through, and don't be afraid to pick up the old pre-calc book or even earlier books for all the review you need in trig and algebra.

4. That's not the problem... I'm saying I've taken Algebra (it wasn't that hard), but when I work on a calculus problem (I teach it to myself) there's always some Algebra or trig skill that my school lacked to teach. It's upsetting because I'm going to calculus back to algebra, then back to calc, then to trig... and on and on.

5. Algebra is a foundation on which calculus (and most every other math subject) is built on, just like arithmetic is a foundation algebra is built on. There's no such thing as calculus without algebra.

6. And don't forget the trig. I clearly remember the aha! moment (but not the problem itself - it was nearly 50 years ago) when I was in the middle of a new calculus chapter. That's why we did all that trig stuff.

7. Originally Posted by Physicsforall
I a starting to get frustrated due to the fact that there is so much in every subject.
Yes, gone are the days when a mathematician knew all math because math was not so advanced.

And, no, I can't give you a list of what you need to know. I just know that I sympathize with you.

Also, long gone are the days of the Renaissance Man. Consider polymaths such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Jefferson, who made contributions in multiple subjects. Nowadays this is rather rare. The one recent polymath who comes to mind is physicist Luis Alvarez, successful in his field of physics, who later collaborated with his geologist son Walter Alvarez on the Alvarez Hypothesis about an asteroid impact that caused the mass distinction of the dinosaurs and other life forms 65 million years ago.

8. Originally Posted by Physicsforall
Hello!
I a starting to get frustrated due to the fact that there is so much in every subject. I'm a working on calculus now, and it is quite easy along with all the other math subjects... Now my frustration is that when I'm working on a calculus problem, that requires some type of algebra sill, or trigonometry skill that I've never seen, or heard of. I go and look it up... Now doing this is just confusing me now because, I'm having troubles organizing it into my brain so to say. I want to finally finish calculus so that I may be able to start applying it to more complicated science... Can anyone give a list on math subject, certain skills I must know? I mean learning a new concept as always been easy but maybe a list on what I should know, and in the order I should know it...