Basic Training in Mathematics: A Fitness Program For Science Students

I stumbled upon the Yale 2006 Physics 201 course on iTunes U. It’s very very good. The professor himself is actually quite a character. After watching about half of the first one, I looked him up on google to see what he was about. There’s no doubt about it, he’s the real deal. One of the first things he said in his physics course was – This is going to be hard. We can’t gloss over the math, there will be a lot of it. Sorry.

I liked him so much, per his recommendation as a study guide I bought his book on amazon.

The Book

Basic Training in Mathematics: A Fitness program For Science Students

It aims to go thru teaching the student (that’s us!) – the “maths” they’ll need to undertake a course in science.
In this case, the professor’s own physics course.

Chapter 1, Page 2

Don’t be impressed, or afraid by that page. It looks scary, but what is going on there is very simple. Thanks to the professors talent in explaining.
Of course you will be googling some math symbols, but again no need to fear “teh scary maff lawlz.”

In order to help me retain more of the knowledge.
I aim to write an example per every section (I would define section as individual significant pieces of knowledge, that make up a chapter. Where a new idea is presented, or previous idea elaborated on in depth).

This is the first one i’ve created. It’s actually laughably simple, but i wanted to make sure I made one before I went to bed. Also it is the FIRST section in the book so I wanted to stay true to that.

Here is ‘a function of x’, where f(x) is continuous, that is – a line can be drawn through it without lifting the pen from the paper:

f(x) = x^2+x/2;

A modest start. Tomorrow I will show the derivative of that function, which should be kind of cool. The classic example is that given the location of a particle P at a time T the derivative of that function is the instantaneous velocity of that particle.

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