- Thread starter harpazo
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I've often told students that calculus is where they will finally learn algebra (because they are forced to use it heavily without support); I don't mention the alternative, that they will fail calculus because they didn't put enough effort into the algebra.

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You said "

That is not the same as "they get lost and fail the algebra part of calculus"!

(Okay, it's probably just a translation problem. In colloquial English, "to do something" would be interpreted as "in order to do something".)

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Read Dr. Peterson's reply.

You said "Do you agree with the statement that too often students take calculus to fail algebra?"

That is not the same as "they get lost and fail the algebra part of calculus"!

(Okay, it's probably just a translation problem. In colloquial English, "to do something" would be interpreted as "in order to do something".)

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Exactly. You said it better than me.

I've often told students that calculus is where they will finally learn algebra (because they are forced to use it heavily without support); I don't mention the alternative, that they will fail calculus because they didn't put enough effort into the algebra.

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Read Dr. Peterson's reply.Students often fail calculus because they haven't mastered algebra, if that's what you mean.

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Doing the calculus part is easy. Simplifying the problem via algebra is not so easy.

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Students often fail calculus because they haven't mastered algebra, if that's what you mean.

Read it yourself if you don't understand what I wrote.Read Dr. Peterson's reply.

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Stepping into calculus 1 without knowing algebra well is a big mistake. This is far too common in high schools and colleges. Students confidently walk into a calculus class only to have their spirits crushed by the reality that math has a special way of humbling us all.Read it yourself if you don't understand what I wrote.

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Why are you trying to explain this to me? You are the one who asked the question. I was likely teaching calculus before you were born.Stepping into calculus 1 without knowing algebra well is a big mistake. This is far too common in high schools and colleges. Students confidently walk into a calculus class only to have their spirits crushed by the reality that math has a special way of humbling us all.

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Really? Before I was born? I am 54. How old are you? As old as Father Time?Why are you trying to explain this to me? You are the one who asked the question. I was likely teaching calculus before you were born.

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If one gets a PhD in mathematics in 1964, one has taught calculus since before you were born. You do the mathematics.Really? Before I was born? I am 54. How old are you? As old as Father Time?

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I'm very happy for him.If one gets a PhD in mathematics in 1964, one has taught calculus since before you were born. You do the mathematics.

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I always tell students that (for the most part) the calculus part of calculus is actually simple but the algebra part is hard.

Why are you now doing calculus? Have you already mastered your algebra?

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I am not doing calculus. I am not an algebra expert. I saw a professor on youtube talk about students failing algebra in calculus. This motivated me to ask others here for their point of view.

I always tell students that (for the most part) the calculus part of calculus is actually simple but the algebra part is hard.

Why are you now doing calculus? Have you already mastered your algebra?

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I agree 100 percent. If a student takes calculus over and over again, the school loves it because all students are walking dollar bills. I was a walking dollar bill. Of course, I only took one class three times but it was not a math class. I yearned for a better grade in that particular course and achieved my goal. This delayed my graduation by one year.

Math departments across the board should administer a department algebra exam for students going into calculus 1. The passing grade should be 75 percent or higher. Less than 75% no calculus 1. Do you agree?

I took precalculus in the Spring 1993 semester. I was not mathematically ready for precalculus but Lehman College allowed me to take the elective course anyway. The professor suggested that students in the class form little study groups. This helped a great deal.

I got an A minus. The professor was actually a graduate student working on his doctorate in mathematics. He skipped many chapters that form the heart of precalculus. We did not cover much of trigonometry, no matrix algebra, no polar coordinates, no parametric equations, no polar equations, no graphing, etc. The graduate school student converted precalculus to algebra 1. No wonder I got an A minus!! Fun days in my youth.