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Online Math Resources: Your Guide to Free Help

Online Math Resources: Your Guide to Free Help

Author: JT Newsome

This packet  lists my favorite resources, then describes how they are useful and when/how to use them!

There are a ton of online resources to help you learn math more easily and this packet will help introduce them to you!

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Wolfram|Alpha is an excellent online tool. It is essentially a computational database, meaning it has tons of data ranging from math to science to art and beyond! Simply input problems using the correct syntax and it will compute everything for you.

What it is great for:

  1. Verifying solutions to homework problems: Have you ever had a problem that was not in the back of the book that you want to double check that you got the right answer? Then Wolfram is a quick and efficient solution. Just don't be tempted to use it to get the solution to all your math problems or else you will probably not learn what you need to and it will be counterproductive!
  2. Gaining further comprehension of the problem at hand: I often find a math problem easier to understand when it is displayed visually or graphically. Wolfram automatically generates relevant information to your input. If you input: "x^2+x+2 = 0"  you would get a graph of the parabola on a cartesian plane, along with the solution (in the most probable form, but also 'alternate' forms) and other information, to name a few.
  3. Wolfram also offers free access to hundreds of math applications that visually express famous math problems (Wolfram Demonstrations Project). With a CDF player or web-brower (with all necessary/updated plugins) you can play around with them to gain an understanding of basic to advanced mathematical principles (and often, in a more entertaining/interesting way).
  4. Wolfram also offers a lot of support for Mathematica, which is great for more complicated math problems or when you are processing a lot of data in a specific way, for example. This site really has a ton to offer. Try exploring the site a bit to see it's other many splendid capabilities.

How to use it:

Essentially, Wolfram is capable of taking any type of input, whether it be the written or numerical form (e.g. one + one or 1+1. etc...). Type in any equation and Wolfram will try and yield the result (e.g. x + 12 = 33, x = 21).

A video published by the creator of Wolfram|Alpha, giving an overview of the Wolfram Computational Database and the basic capabilities, has been posted below if you wish to view it!


Wolfram|Alpha Overview

The creator gives an overview of Wolfram|Alpha and it's capabilities.

Math Video Tutorials

Many days I am just too lazy to read my math textbook...They are also often written in a professional manner, which can become dull quickly. I for one enjoy getting some popcorn and watching someone else do the math while I listen! I have taken my fair share of math classes and so I have some favorite sites that I would like to share (let me know if you know of something that helps YOU more, so I can post it on here for people who may think like you).

My  Favorite Math People(s)

  1. Patrick JMT (youtube) or his official site: This guy speaks clearly, writes well, and keeps to the point. Definitely my first stop. Just search on his youtube home page if you are having difficulties and there is usually a video to walk you through a similar problem. 
  2. Khan Academy: Some guy from India uploaded a **** load of math and science videos. I don't like the stylistic aspect of it as much, but he gets the job done, another great resource.
  3. Your math professor and fellow students: Don't be afraid to ask others for help. Everyone has trouble sometime and if you are too shy to speak up, then you are signing your own educational death warrant. I can't emphasize this enough (yes, I am speaking from personal experience here).
  4. Yahoo! Answers: If you can't find anyone, then someone on here can probably help you out. 

Source: Inline Citations

When All Else Fails...

If none of the above resources are able to help you out, then simply search on Google! However, be careful! Not everything on the internet is true or credible. Usually just using your common sense will help you avoid bad sites. Typically, if they want money, then it is fake (always triple check before giving out sensitive information or money/credit card numbers). Most everything I have posted does not require any "sign-up", money or downloading.Furthermore, if you are browsing math forums with user-generated content (even Yahoo! Answers), don't automatically accept what they say as truth, try and verify everything yourself if possible. Well, best of luck!!!