I am very new to this platform so I may have misunderstood the intent of this site, or might seem a bit off, but please bear with me because I know what I want for certain.

I always wanted to study mathematics back in high school and I was reading up on anything I could find. But due to certain problems, I ended up studying medicine for my family. I still did read a few magazines on math, but I found myself unable to remember a single thing last week when I wanted to go over my high school notes which, and that got me very frustrated.

I know, regardless what happens, that I want to be a mathematician. I may lack the knowledge, but I know I see the world from a mathematician's eyes.

So if any of you can spare some time for me, please suggest books or study patterns for me. I don't expect this to be a quick process, but I would love to establish the basics for my journey to begin.

Thank you so much already.

  • $\begingroup$ Since you mention high school math, I recommend Khan Academy as a good resource. They have math from preschool through high school, and even some college level math. All free online: khanacademy.org/math $\endgroup$ – Joe Aug 9 '19 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ @guest's answer hints at a couple of good questions: Do you have an image in your mind of what a mathematician does? Does this image match what mathematicians actually do? Perhaps you want to do something that is very mathematically oriented (like data science, or statistics, or academic economics, or computer algorithm development, or teaching mathematics), instead of becoming a mathematician per se. $\endgroup$ – Jasper Aug 13 '19 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ It would be a good idea to "diagnose" yourself first: what you know, don't know, strengths and weaknesses. Then pick a good book. $\endgroup$ – Peter Saveliev Aug 14 '19 at 13:29

If you have forgotten things, it is because you either didn't learn them deeply the first time, or you've been so long away, they are buried. Start as low-level as you have to. Find things that are fun and challenging. You haven't yet shared what your level is, so it is hard to respond with specific resources.

I teach at community college in the U.S. and am quite comfortable with most topics. I still had a lot to learn before teaching geometry for the first time this summer. (And loved learning it.) Are you completely comfortable with the tools that algebra and geometry provide? Are you stuck at calculus level? (Or previous to that, or beyond that?)

Once you describe your level, many of us can answer with specific resources you might find helpful.


Buy this book and work through it. Good review of HS math and an intro to calculus. Very user friendly. Concise but simple, not cryptic. Answers to the problems.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0070026505/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i10 (shows $6.75 for price, plus whatever shipping cost.)

After you have done every problem report back, here. This will show your dedication.

If you don't understand something, then write it down (in a dedicated section of your notebook). At the end of each study session, ask questions on the regular math site [mathematics.se]. In general, I suspect, by just writing the question, and continuing to work, you will discover most answers to you questions yourself, during the course of a study session.

Changing to a career in math, when you don't remember it is not a good idea. It's already a steep hill for those who are good at it and current. You're not current AND have forgotten a lot. Not signs of aptitude. (Not meant to hurt you, just being analytical.)

In any case, I recommend to treat math as a bit of an avocation to start. This will test both your aptitude and dedication and see if there is any point in doing more.

In addition, I suggest to look for areas with some synergy. For instance doing a bit of data analysis on some medical work.


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