Long time listener, first time poster.
As the title suggests, I’m looking for advice on what I need to know to be prepared to take Calculus. I’m thinking learning Geometry, Algebra I and II, and Trigonometry will set me up nicely. Anything I’m missing or are any of my choices not needed?
That paragraph serves as a tl;dr version, but I’m a nerd who tends to be inclined to write walls of text. If anyone is interested in the context, read on.
I am in my mid 30s and dropped out of college after a year my first time. I worked in production, music, theater and video, and built a decent multimedia skillset. I’ve worked at a number of companies that offered L&D programs, and leveraged them to build skills over the years.
I first become a presentation specialist based on strong knowledge of MS-Office. Later I picked up Photoshop, Illustrator and In Design. I learned Avid, Final Cut, Avid, After Effects, etc and put together a nice career around video production specializing in post-production. Not having a degree always felt like it held me back.
About 2 years ago, I got an offer to work at a fairly high-end engineering college. I accepted, and a benefit is free classes. I’ve engaged in a multimedia-based degree with a minor in CS, and have been cherry-picking classes as a non-matriculated student. I went with things that would help my job - animation, motion graphics, digital imaging, etc. Good times. Quality knowledge. Throw Maya on the ‘known software’ list.
But now I’m matriculating in the fall, and will have to take the general ed requirements, including Calculus. I dread math. Loathed it as a high school student. Passed Geometry and Algebra 1 and failed Algebra II. Think I got out of HS without having to take any more math. To be fair, my failure was born of boredom, laziness, and distraction rather than capability. I enjoyed understanding what mathematics can do, and was interested in the general concepts, but not interested in showing my work and repeatedly solving problems. I didn’t do homework.
I’ve recently taken some history of sci/tech classes at this college as well, and I was inspired to learn that all great thinkers of antiquity tended to have a base in math. I particularly enjoyed learning of the sign, legend suggests hung outside of Plato’s Academy, which read: 'Let none ignorant of Geometry enter".
The professors are my co-workers, so poor performance is out of the question, as it will negatively affect my reputation and career. I am committed to learning mathematics - to improve myself, to protect my career, and because it seems like a worthwhile pursuit.
Anyway, I have to play catch up. I’m planning on using Kahn Academy to facilitate my learning cheaply. A google search on 'Calculus prerequisites" suggests I should maybe not worry about geometry. Seems important, though, if Plato’s sign is to be believed. I’m also going to have to take Physics at some point and the CS minor will require a bunch of algorithm business.
Any advice appreciated.