So here’s my situation. I’m a university student who decided to switch majors and study something that will actually make me money in the future. I haven’t taken math in 2-3 years and need to take Calculus. Does anyone have any sites that have good information for “free” education? In my case, I need to brush up on pre-calc. I’d really like to not have to pay to take pre-calc again.
Not quite, while it’s true “pre-cal” is nothing more than a review on advance Algebra 2 and Trig, you need a solid foundation of it in order to understand important Calculus concepts such as finding derivatives and limits. For example, you’ll be needing to use the difference quotient A LOT in any intro Calculus class, and you learn that concept in pre-cal. You’ll also be using a lot of logarithms and the trigonometric functions (sin/cos/tan/etc), again stuff you’ll learn in pre-cal.
I suppose if you do practice hard enough on your own you should be able to skip pre-cal. You’re focusing on computer engineering anyways, which doesn’t really take that much Calculus.
Don’t be scared about math, 99% of the people in this world can be competent mathematicians. I believe a lot of stuff in beginner college math is all about practice anyway. It’s like riding a bike, once you sit down and practice doing the problems, it’ll all come naturally (I almost never study for math exams anymore lol). I mean, you don’t practice riding a bike do you?
You could get by in freshman/sophomore level classes with just precalc. Past that you’re going to want some calc and logic (predicate and propositional). And depending which way in CS you want to go (graphics, database management, etc.) you might want some higher level calc, or linear algebra, trig, etc.
Some schools have Calculus classes that you are allowed to use a Calculator and those that you are not allowed to are usually only for engineering students. I’d look into that and if all you need is Calc 1, then a TI-89 will do most of the class for you.
Wow that’s great. If you get the chance, I recommend learning how to use vi editor to do your programming (when you take your programming classes) as soon as possible. Employers really look for familiarity with the Unix environment, and if you can rattle off twenty+ shortcuts in vi editor, it will really make you stand out from the other undergraduates.
The real reason to use vi though is that it happens to be the most fun way to program. It’s just like street fighter–once you get your execution down, it starts getting really fun as you try to increase your efficiency when you code. (Err… sorry for mixing metaphors halfway through.)
Is vi the same as vim? Actually I’ve already taken 2 programming classes and am in my 3rd one right now. They’re teaching Java only here and we’ve been taught to use Eclipse. I’m definitely looking to switch from Eclipse though since it seems very unwieldly.
Hmm, I’m actually not sure. I use a version of vi editor where I work to write Verilog-A code for circuit simulation; my degree was not in computer science, so I’m a little hesitant to be giving advice on something I don’t know very much about. (As for Eclipse, I used it for my senior design project, and boy, it was not fun, since I didn’t know anything about the Java programming language when I was given my project.)
For learning vi, I think the easiest way to start getting a feel for it is to start browsing the web using vimperator. My situation is a little different from yours since my company has me set up in a Unix environment already, but a good idea IMO would be to go to your campus programming club and ask them to teach you how to install Linux on your desktop/laptop. Most hobbyist programmers would be delighted to walk you through this process, and even if you aren’t able to find any such people, there are bound to be workshops sponsored by CS club that would go over this stuff.
On the subject of employment, since you’ve already taken a few programming classes, it’s a good idea to start looking for internships at your career center. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t able to land any for this summer–the economy isn’t good right now and a lot of companies are tight on money. In this area too, sign up for workshops on how to write your resume and nail the interview–your motivation for doing well in your classes will take a huge leap after you’ve had to use it in a working environment.
I’m not sure, but I believe that most campus career centers have mock interviewers and resume editors who are willing to critique everything you are doing in trying to land a job. (Mine did.) Tell us how it goes, and good luck!