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math concepts

Math concepts to learn

These articles explain my unique approach to learning math and physics, along with discussing many of the real-world applications of mathematics

Ed Latimore
Ed Latimore
Writer, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

I am not a mathematician.

I’ve never considered myself good at math. In fact, as I explain in my post teaching you how to get better at math, I actually failed most of my high school math classes. I even failed calculus three times before I finally understood it on the fourth try.

Now I have a physics degree. A degree that requires so many math skills and the ability to grasp high-level mathematical concepts that everyone who gets it automatically gets a mathematics minor.

The articles in this section of my website explain many of my unique approaches to learning math and physics, along with articles discussing many of the real-world applications of mathematics, physics, probability, and the problem-solving mindset that comes along with it.

7 ways to improve numeracy skills

Numeracy is defined as a person’s general ability to work with and understand numbers. It’s not a high-level skill, but it is an important one to grasp before you move on to higher-level math.

This is the general issue people have before they move on to conceptual math skills. Conceptual math is the math that requires you to think rather than regurgitate. It’s the first step to taking your math lessons and applying them to the real world.

In this article, I give a few ways to help develop your numeracy skills so you can solve harder math problems.

Read **7 ways to improve your numeracy skills**

12 reasons why math is important (and how to get better)

Unfortunately, many American kids tend to write off math because they had a bad experience learning it in middle school. That’s unfortunate because the most valuable positions in society are occupied by people who are at least proficient in math.

Number sense is money sense and it goes a long way in opening many doors for you. Whether in the trades as an electrician or mechanic, a program, or an old-fashioned engineer, people who take the time to grasp important math concepts make more money and have a higher quality of life.

But those aren’t the reasons to become proficient at math. This article breaks down the 12 reasons why math is important and tells you some ways you can get better at math.

Read **12 reasons why math is important**

8 unexpected reasons why math is so hard

I wrote this article because I was contemplating what made math so difficult for me and then what made it so much easier for me when I approached it again as an adult. Part of it was my renewed interest and discipline, but another major factor was that I learned how to learn math.

This new understanding of how to approach math also made me appreciate why a lot of people find even basic math difficult. I wrote this article to dig into the main reasons I’ve found that people find math so hard. I also give some solutions to help you approach the subject with more confidence.

Read **8 unexpected reasons why math is so hard**

A boxer teaches how betting odds work

This past year, I got into sports betting. I wasn’t actually interested in gambling, but rather putting to use the ideas presented in Annie Duke’s best-selling classic “Thinking In Bets.”

In this article, I break down how ratios and decimals on the betting line work, how to read them, and how to make the best decisions to make money—or better decisions—using betting odds

Read A boxer teaches how betting odds work

The easy 4-step problem-solving process (+ examples)

I taught students how to think during my 3 years as a full-time math and physics tutor. Quantitative reasons are fantastic grounds to train people to use their minds to think about problems and solve them.

This article goes through the 4-step problem-solving process that I taught to all of them. It worked to not only get them through school but to make them better thinkers in life.

Read **The easy 4 step problem-solving process**

Is physics hard? How to learn basic physics

A lot of people think physics is difficult.

I suppose they aren’t wrong, per se. The real challenge with physics is that you can’t just memorize your way through the course. You have to actually learn everything and make sure you grasp the concepts presented.

It’s also a discipline that requires quantitative reasoning, a strong vocabulary, and the ability to visualize things. This article talks about all the things you have to do to successfully navigate a physics class.

Read **Is physics hard? How to learn basic physics**

How to get better at math in 7 simple steps

This article gives the plan I used to improve my math skills.

I walk you through how I—at the age of 30—relearned all the math from algebra 1, up through precalculus and trigonometry to prepare me for calculus and physics.

Here you will not only find inspiration (I show my high school transcripts to prove how hopeless I was) but you’ll also get real techniques to help you become a more effective mathematician.

Read **How to get better at math in 7 simple steps**

Why is calculus so hard?

Calculus is the first and last advanced mathematics class that most people ever take. It has a reputation for being extremely difficult and something that only .

This article was motivated by my 3 failures in calculus and my experiences teaching, tutoring, and giving general math instruction to high schoolers taken the subject.

Read Why is Calculus so hard?

How to learn calculus

Following on the heels of breaking down why calculus is so hard to learn, I wrote this article to help students tackle this beast. The biggest problem I saw in students was their lack of a solid foundation and understanding of trig, polynomials, and algebra.

Along with basic math concepts and math facts, you also need to understand how everything works. I dive into strategies to help you learn calculus so that you can appreciate Isaac Newton’s greatest gift to humanity.

Read How to learn calculus

Ed Latimore
About the author

Ed Latimore

I’m a writer, competitive chess player, Army veteran, physicist, and former professional heavyweight boxer. My work focuses on self-development, realizing your potential, and sobriety—speaking from personal experience, having overcome both poverty and addiction.

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