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, 2019 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, 2019 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. $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2019 at 13:29

3 Answers 3


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.


Although this question was asked 2 years back but the Knowledge I acquired recently so here it goes.

The objective is not to "understand" but to Fall in Love. Falling in Love is different, so you'll have to have Relation at a Personal Level with Math and the Elements in it. Open a Math Book NOT TO UNDERSTAND but to "get to know" better, date sort of and let your curiosity guide you. That's how I learned Math. Opened a topic in Wikipedia and what ever I didn't understand I clicked on that link and then another, sometimes it took a week-10 days to return back to original topic. That's when I realized Numbers is what people don't understand properly and Numbers are the ONLY REALLY ABSTRACT entity in Mathematics. I studied about Numbers a lot and finally what I learned is that usual way is for a Teacher to teach Math using things like 1 Apple, 2 Apples, 3 Apples. I thought let's try and understand Numbers without using "things"; JUST THE NUMBER ITSELF. Chasing that line of thought I arrived at this>>> Numbers are nothing but a SERIES OF EMPTY SPACES. Each Space has a name and a value associated with it. Each Space can contain ONLY ONE Numeral. So Numerals don't tell us anything about the World, they simple tell us about the Number as to how many units, tens or hundreds it contains. So this Series of Numerals forms a number and then Number tells us something about the world. So this explanation happened to me, I didn't read it like this anywhere. And it happened because I had that personal relation with Math.

PISA also says that "Experience" of/while Learning plays a very important part in whole Learning process. Approach it with lot of Heart and Be Attentive....


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