Refresher college courses?

Messages
3,372
Location
Kansas, USA
Even though I've only been in my new job as a low voltage tech 3 weeks I find everything electrical fascinates me.. always have. I'm thinking about trying for a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering for the second time. First time what I think was a bad teacher in precalc scared me off. I did score a B in College Algebra so I guess I'm not as dumb as I think. The last class I took was back in 08 and have almost enough courses to be in my third year but I want to take as many advanced classes in the community college first. Has anyone taken refresher courses where you're at? I've checked the local cc's but being the middle of the current semester it's hard to find anything. Basically just need a refresher in algebra. I have seen a few online sources but I think in person and hands on would be better.
 
Messages
9,103
Location
MN
You'll need to know more than algebra to get a degree in EE... Good luck out there.
 
Messages
3,402
Location
Iowa
It's a shame that engineering courses use excessive math as weed-out courses. Lots of math, not enough common sense teaching.
 

Al

Messages
19,256
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Originally Posted By: tpitcher
You'll need to know more than algebra to get a degree in EE... Good luck out there.
Yea you unfortunately need 2+ years of hardcore math (beyond advanced Algebra)
Originally Posted By: river_rat
It's a shame that engineering courses use excessive math as weed-out courses. Lots of math, not enough common sense teaching.
Well... I appreciate your point. I think it could be dumbed down for the 80% of us that operate as bread and butter engineers. But weeding out some of the gene pool is absolutely necessary. You need to to be reasonably smart. And I think the harder core math teaches your brain to develop an engineering mentality.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,950
Location
Iowegia - USA
Quote:
It's a shame that engineering courses use excessive math as weed-out courses. Lots of math, not enough common sense teaching.
I don't think it is so much as weeding out as it is necessary for the higher level EE courses. I would recommend a comprehensive pre-calculus course or a good algebra-trig review course. When I started back to the Uni full time as a returning student I had this math block. But the math dept offered a good review course which at this Uni was called pre-calculus, and something happened to my math dead brain during the course and afterwords I couldn't get enough math. So all is not lost. Work the problems and note what type or subject area math problems give you trouble. Then seek out the prof or a math tutor at the Uni. Don't be too proud to ask for help. Some people find it less stressful to begin their work at a community collge or a good tech school, get their AS degree and then jump up into the Uni. If I can do it, anyone can. grin
 
Last edited:

Eric Smith

Thread starter
Messages
3,372
Location
Kansas, USA
Originally Posted By: Al
[quote=tpitcher]You'll need to know more than algebra to get a degree in EE... Good luck out there.
Yea you unfortunately need 2+ years of hardcore math (beyond advanced Algebra) I'm aware that I'll need much higher courses than Algebra... but have to start somewhere.
 
Messages
3,402
Location
Iowa
Originally Posted By: Al
You need to to be reasonably smart.
And right handed. It is needed, but, what I meant was, I had a class where we all struggled to figure out how to calculate some really obscure stuff that we never used again....and this was an intro-to machining and plastics class. When we moved on to the more advanced machining class, none of us had the basics we needed in machining because the previous professor was so interested in math. There's more to engineering than calculus, etc. (and I got A's in calculus, and most math classes...that's not it.) OP, I second the youtube, and also websites like Purple Math.
 

Eric Smith

Thread starter
Messages
3,372
Location
Kansas, USA
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
Quote:
It's a shame that engineering courses use excessive math as weed-out courses. Lots of math, not enough common sense teaching.
I don't think it is so much as weeding out as it is necessary for the higher level EE courses. I would recommend a comprehensive pre-calculus course or a good algebra-trig review course. When I started back to the Uni full time as a returning student I had this math block. But the math dept offered a good review course which at this Uni was called pre-calculus, and something happened to my math dead brain during the course and afterwords I couldn't get enough math. So all is not lost. Work the problems and note what type or subject area math problems give you trouble. Then seek out the prof or a math tutor at the Uni. Don't be too proud to ask for help. Some people find it less stressful to begin their work at a community collge or a good tech school, get their AS degree and then jump up into the Uni. If I can do it, anyone can. grin
The precalc class I did try for a week did seem interesting but that teacher ughh awful. I did do the tutor for algebra a few times. I still have the precalc book I'll bring it out and start looking at it. Yeah I do prefter the community college.. cheaper also.
 

Eric Smith

Thread starter
Messages
3,372
Location
Kansas, USA
Originally Posted By: GROUCHO MARX
There's lots of help on youtube for the math courses. Some profs are just miderable teachers. Check out sal khan
Thanks I'll check it out. I think I did that back in 07 also.
 

Eric Smith

Thread starter
Messages
3,372
Location
Kansas, USA
Originally Posted By: Papa Bear
Originally Posted By: Eric Smith
Even though I've only been in my new job as a low voltage tech 3 weeks I find everything electrical fascinates me..
What job are you doing? What do you want to do?
Security Low Voltage Technician is my official title.. everything from putting in cameras to maintaining the software on the officers desk. I'd like to go several steps above that and do design of security/fire systems. I think this will be hot field with the right degrees and skills.
 

cmf

Messages
415
Location
Florida
Originally Posted By: Torino
Not to worry. By the time you get through calc/diffy-q you WILL know your algebra! John--Las Vegas
I don't agree at all. If you don't know your algebra you wont pass calculus I. On a side note I feel like I'm the only person that went to a university that called differential equations "calculus III". I would suggest learning pre-calculus algebra yourself. It's cheaper, it's easier to coordinate, and it's more effective (IMO). I wish you the best of luck. I believe one of the greatest gifts in life is the ability to work a career that you have a genuine interest in.
 
Messages
17,866
Location
Silicon Valley
Originally Posted By: river_rat
It's a shame that engineering courses use excessive math as weed-out courses. Lots of math, not enough common sense teaching.
I would like you to try using "common sense" to design a DSP filter or control system, no excessive math allowed.
 
Last edited:
Messages
5,576
Location
earth
unfortunately EE is one of the directions that need a lot of complex maths. as for me, I just do +, -, x, and / with a bit of spreadsheets thrown in here and there. more of an art.
 
Messages
1,340
Location
Louisville,KY
Also Physics. I think any engineering major will have lots of math and physics.Maybe bio and chemical engineering majors are exception. My Wireless classes have more physics than actual IT stuff, Network Security has lots of math in encryption algorithms topics and so on. I had a hope that I won't have math anymore, but it seems that it always finds a way to follow me frown
 
Messages
3,203
Location
Southeastern, PA
Go for the degree! Keep hammering on the math, you'll get it. I was a recipient of "the new math" back in the '60s in elementary school. With that and my personality... I didn't fare too well in math. When I got to college and took the placement tests, they slotted me all the way back to the beginning with regards to math. Soooo, I had every single math course twice in my life. In the end I got as far as differential equations. I remember when calculus "clicked" for me, and I understood, it was cool. Sounds like you're in much better shape with your math. Go for it.
 

Al

Messages
19,256
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
This is a most excellent book, I have gone over it a couple times in the last 2 years. Can't say enough good about it. You can get it new and shipped at Amazon for 10 bucks. Cheaper if you get it used. If you decide to get it let me know what you thought of it.
 
Last edited:
Top