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John H

Do I need another algebra book?

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Hi folks! I've just finished reading through Practical Algebra (a self-teaching guide), which was absolutely fantastic. I feel like I've got a really strong grasp on everything that the book aims to teach. My question is though, should I buy a second algebra book to go with this one? Currently, my plan to get to grips with the maths side of things, was to read some books in the following order: Practical Algebra (a self-teaching guide) -- Done Help Yourself to Advanced Algebra (basically another book of problems really) Geometry and Trigonometry for Calculus (a self-teaching guide) 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development The thing is, being as I need good working knowledge of algebra in order to learn the other topics properly, obviously it means it's an important topic to make sure I understand. To give you an idea of the content of Practical Algebra, here's a rough breakdown: Chapter 1 - Basic Concepts Chapter 2 - The Number System Chapter 3 - Monomials and Polynomials Chapter 4 - Special Products and Factoring Chapter 5 - Fractions Chapter 6 - Exponents, Roots and Radicals Chapter 7 - Linear and Fractional Equations and Formulas Chapter 8 - Functions and Graphs Chapter 9 - Quadratic Equations Chapter 10 - Inequalities Chapter 11 - Ratio, Proportion and Variation Chapter 12 - Solving Everyday Problems Do you think it's worth getting another algebra book or am I being over-cautious? Cheers.

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You probably need more practice than more books. I'm not sure how you learn, so I'm not sure the best way to get that.

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Yeah, see that's why I like Practical Algebra, because it really is completely practical. Every single topic had lots of problems to go with it. Also, the other algebra book I mentioned is exactly the same.

The biggest reason I'm asking is that I keep hearing of Algebra I and II and I have no idea what that is. Is it just how algebra is divided up for students in America, or have I missed the boat there?

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If your book covered those topics in detail and you're good at manipulating equations, you can definitely jump ahead to trigonometry, which is definitely integral for 3D graphics. Like was said, the more practice the better, and in your future mathematics courses and career, honestly you will probably use algebra more than anything else since you will always deal with equations. I'm not sure the precise topics of Algebra I and II in America, but I believe it boils down to Algebra and Advanced Algebra.

It's awesome that you're so motivated to learn all of this!

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Thank you very much for the reply. I think going through the Help Yourself to Advanced Algebra book, should be what I need then.

I just wanted to re-affirm the direction I was going in. Thanks for the help. [smile]

Edit:

Quote:
Original post by mnansgar
It's awesome that you're so motivated to learn all of this!


Yeah, it's pretty cool actually. Amazing the motivational bonus you can grab just from changing your diet (I'm being serious, too).

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Quote:
Original post by John H

Yeah, it's pretty cool actually. Amazing the motivational bonus you can grab just from changing your diet (I'm being serious, too).


You changed your diet and gained more motivation? What's your diet now? :)

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Basically, I used to eat quite a lot of junk (chocolate and crisps mainly). I never ate vegetables except potatoes and I didn't eat any fruit. I've never been overweight, but up until recently, I've never eaten very well either. All I do now, is eat 5 different types of fruit every single day, I have 3 different types of vegetable with my dinner as well and I've taken up karate again.

Doesn't sound that radical but it's made a hell of a lot of difference, not just mentally, but physically too. I never thought it would make as much of a difference as it has, but everything from my skin complexion to stress management has improved. [smile]

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Well,
I just got out of my Algebra class this year at school and the cool thing about the class was that my teacher had a degree in Computer Science! He taught Computer Science also, but I couldn't be in it as you must be a Sophmore and I was only a freshman. But he knew I am interested in programing and Video Game programing so he would teach extra hard on stuff that I would need on Algebra for Game Development. I am about to pop him an E-mail right now and ask him the stuff I would need to know as I want to make sure.

Also,
Thanks for the list of books as I am thinking about getting one.

A quick question though:

Does your match skills come in handy on the Graphics programing side or just regualr programing? Just wondering cause I am getting closer to jump to aGraphics API so I wasn't sure if I would need a book or not.


Chad


Also,
I saw some talk about Algebra 2 and stuff. How it goes here is:
Freshman(9th grade):Algebra(unless you had it in 8th grade then it is Geometry)
Sophmore(10th Grade):Geometry(unless you had that last year. Then Pre Cal I think. Could be Algebra 2 though. I think pre cal though)
Junior(11th grade):Algebra 2(Yes,I am pretty sure it goes pre-cal then Algebra 2)
Senior(12th grade):Calculas and Triganometry(I am pretty sure both classes are in one)

So to answear the question, I think it is Advanced Algebra. Not sure. Maybe someone who has had it before can answear that.

Chad

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Sounds like you are on the right track.

Any Algebra Text book would probably be good for you, just work through lots and lots of problems, especially word problems.

If you go to a used book store to get some text books, be armed with some knowledge.

Look the books up on the internet and look for thier errata sheets and logs.

Nothing is more frustration than a Math book with tons of errors in it.

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I think the track you have choosen is good. First have a solid understanding of algebra and then jump to trig.

I'd suggest trying to get the most basic Trig book, one that doesn't have to do much with other math fields such Geometery or Calculus.

Trig is the marriage of Geometery and Algebra, but you don't really need to know the Geometery part. Its just redundant. It wouldn't hurt but its not needed.

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You might want to spend some extra time on trig. It is very very simple, most things will just fall into place. Trig is easy to understand, maybe one of the easier math subjects to understand, but it is pretty tough to KNOW.

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Cheers for the explanation on Algebra I and II, Chad. For your convenience, here's the links to all of the books I've mentioned:

Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide, 2nd Edition
Help Yourself to Advanced Algebra
Geometry and Trigonometry for Calculus (Wiley Self-Teaching Guides)
3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development

Quote:
Original post by Chad Smith
Does your match skills come in handy on the Graphics programing side or just regualr programing? Just wondering cause I am getting closer to jump to aGraphics API so I wasn't sure if I would need a book or not.


You'll need lots of maths for graphics programming. To quote a few people on GameDev to say it, "The more math the better". For what it's worth, I wrote a few games (Pong, BreakOut and one other... can't remember) in Allegro. Whilst I got it all working, it was made much more difficult by the fact that I hadn't used any maths from school for around 9 years. I got a lot of things working, but it was more down to trial and error as opposed to understanding why something worked, which is what spurred me on to improve the maths side of my knowledge. It'll definitely pay off though. [wink]

Thanks again for the response.

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