We recently started doing probability in my math class (Calc. 3C) and I am having a super hard time with it. It is really confusing. Any tips?

you're doing probability in calculus?? i would second the talk to the professor unless you can get one of your classmates to help you out. if it's the probability i'm thinking about (non-calculus), then it seems to come more naturally for some. with practice and a basic understanding of why you set up a calculation the way you do, it gets easier.

It's probably the one you are thinking of. It is not calculus based... it's just hard to understand the word problems and what they are asking for. It's a major pain. I am going to my professor's office hours to try to clear some of it up.

If talking to the professor doesn't help then I would probably look into a tutor for a few weeks while you are doing this portion of calculus.

Thanks for the responses. I think what is most frustrating is that we were supposed to start this probability stuff in week five or six. We only started it on Monday and it is already the middle of week eight (out of ten... not to mention that there is Thanksgiving break week nine). I think I would be better off for the final had we started probability earlier. Sorry for the rant. I always get frustrated like this when I can't grasp something new, even after working at it. I know I'll figure it out eventually...

Hope this helps: Here are they main things I used when I did probability and combinatorics: Key words when doing probability stuff: AND OR Key functions: Permutation and combination, whats the difference? - Permutation ( n!/(n-r)!) - i think this is right, is when things can repeat itself - Combination (n!/ (r!(n-r)!)) I think this is right, is when repeated things are not taken into account (notice the extra r! on the denominator... but check the formula because I am pulling this straight from my head =P) Those were the three things that got me through combinatorics/probability =P

The tutors at covel commons are really good. Even if you didn't sign up at the begining of the quarter, they may let you attend the sessions and the review. Good luck

This is probably one of my favorite quotes, and certainly my most favorite mathematics quote. It gets to the heart of how to succeed in math: WORK. I'm a math major and that's the only way I got through my undergrad and grad classes. Unfortunately, there are no secret formulas unless you're just plain brilliant (i.e. Good Will Hunting) which 99.999999% of us are not. I'd recommend getting a tutor only after hammering away for a while, otherwise it's a waste of money because you'll generally forget what you learned in that session. I can sympathize with you... Good Luck!!! As the drill will not penetrate the granite unless kept to the work hour after hour, so the mind will not penetrate the secrets of mathematics unless held long and vigorously to the work. As the sun's rays burn only when concentrated, so the mind achieves mastery in mathematics, and indeed in every branch of knowledge, only when its possessor hurls all his forces upon it. Mathematics, like all the other sciences, opens its doors to those only who knock long and hard. No more damaging evidence can be adduced to prove the weakness of character than for one to have aversion to mathematics; for whether one wishes so or not, it is nevertheless true; that to have aversion for mathematics means to have aversion to accurate, painstaking, and persistent hard study, and to have aversion to hard study is to fail to secure a liberal education, and thus fail to compete in that fierce and vigorous struggle for the highest and the truest and the best in life which only the strong can hope to secure. -B.F .Finkel

have you tried going to another TA? I went to UCLA and when I took it, the professor was a complete ditz. He actually attached the answer key to one of his midterms and we ended up having to take the test on another day. (Of coarse the curve was super high). Anyways, I remember I had a hard time with it too, because he was just really horrible at explaining things. The only reason I got through that class was because of my TA. Maybe you could try going to other TA's session if you haven't tried that already.

My TA's really good, and he definitely clarified things for me. I'm a lot better off than I was on Monday. It is still really hard, though. My professor is a COMPLETE ditz. He wants everyone to like him. If one person asks him to change the midterm date, he will (which is why we have the option of taking the midterm at two different times on this Friday or on Monday). I'm doing well in the class, but so is everyone else. I'm tempted to just focus more effort on O-chem and life science for the final, since the curve is so high in math and it will probably end up hurting me anyway...

I loved math. I had to love it to take all the way through Linear Algebra haha. Cal I, II, III, Linear Differential Equations(haha I have no clue) and Linear Algebra and I got A's in all of them. God bless math!