Hi, I suck at math.

I've been working a 2d (yes 2d) library lately at it's been making my head spin. The terminology, the equations, all of it.

What I want to do is get good at math, or at least stop sucking. Does anybody know a good book a total math noob like me can use to get to the point where it won't be hard for me to grasp new concepts? I'm a bit reluctant to go to math lessons because they basically teach what they taught in school (and look where that got me). I am willing put my programming on hold and get this done before I even try to touch 2d programming code again.

When you say you suck at math, how bad is it? Are we taliking about not knowing advanced calculus and algebra, or not knowing your times tables? Who are you comparing yourself to?

This site has lots of tutorials, demonstrations and explanations that might help you. I have used it often for some advanced concepts, but it starts at beginner and works through to the advanced levels of mathematics. There are many other sites out there aimed at online math learning, that's just the one I've used.

Good luck :) And remember, mathematics is actually fun when you get the hang of it (spoken like a true geek I know...)

What kind of 2D library? Graphics, or physics? or something else?

I like this book alot, it says collision detection, but it also has a lengthly intro to many of the concepts of simulated 'space and time': http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1558607323?tag=realtimecolli-20. Is 3D rather than 2D, but it's (a hell of) alot easier to convert 3D stuff to 2D than the other way around.

But, I don't have masses of books, (infact, I only really have that book, and this one, http://www.amazon.com/Calculus-Analytic-Geometry-George-Simmons/dp/0070576424, which is way to deep for what I tend to need), so perhaps there are more appropriate choices.

For basic 2D math.. A 'middle-level' education textbook should probably suffice.. In UK terms, an A-level or equivalent textbook should have enough material to understand most things you'd need to do w.r.t to 2D geometry, linear algebra, integration/differentiation, and that's a good basis for doing a whole lot of stuff.

Often, the hardest thing to work out is where & how to actually apply what you know, and what extra you'll need to know in order to do x. If you can classify exactly what x is, searching for how x is usually done, reading that material, following references / researching what you don't know, and recursing tends to work quite well, and you'll pick up useful transferable stuff along the way.

A quick question, what sort of mathematical architecture are you using? By that I mean, when you think about your code, do you think 'points and angles' or 'vectors and matrices'?

Well, from all indications, it looks like your speciality is animation and graphics. I think "3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development" should get you on track and improve your mathematical abilities.

commented: As it turns out this very book has been my savior +6

To answer a few questions:

It's a graphics library, not physics

Vectors and matrices, but also points I think. Not angles though.

Matrix transforms are perhaps harder to initially understand than applying offsets and rotations directly to points, but it's IMO the 'right choice' to use matrices, because it makes everything in the future easier. (e.g. to do anything more complicated, you either have to use matrices anyway, or do what matrices would do in longhand)

What level would you say that you're at? What are you having trouble with at this moment/ what was the last thing you had trouble with?

Matrices are exactly what I'm having trouble with. I haven't really grasped what they are and how they work. All I know is that they can be used to "transform" primitives (eg scale, skew, rotate).

Another thing I'm having trouble with is understanding some of the mathematical functions for some of the operations on vectors. For instance, I don't know what theta means, and I keep seeing parts like |x| and I don't know what that means either.

hello, Don't worry you're not alone I also sucks to my math subjects. What particular math lessons are you taking up right now? even if I sucks to my math classes I still have a little knowledge about math subjects.

commented: More useless 1-line blather from the sig link spammer -6
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