Now, this may seem an odd time for me to post - I mean, it's just after 6am (and to be honest, I've just woken up). But I think this is important, so today, I'd like to write a little about some of the resources I use when I study.

Particularly some resources, developed by MIT Open Course Ware - and a lecturer named Herbert Gross.

So, sometimes when I study, I get stuck. It's natural, not all things are easy, so sometimes you just need a little step or two to help you out.

Personally, sometimes I hit trouble on one of my subjects at Uni - Linear Algebra and Vector Calculus. That is likely my fault - I stopped attending after the first week, because I just couldn't understand what the lecturer was lecturing about (I was sidetracked playing Jetpack Joyride when I got a bit stuck).

Now, after I stopped attending that class, I knew that I'd need to try something radical to help me to understand. When I get lost, or confused, I get stuck in a deep rut. I'm one of those that asks all sorts of questions off of the same basis and doesn't get to one solution very easily.

So, when I was sitting there, trying to figure out what to do - I thought I'd take a look at MIT Open Course Ware (when I was lurking about on my iPad (iTunes U for the win!). Now, they release a lot of free videos (MIT is a really good uni), from many of their courses, designed to help students that want to learn.

I checked out some of their maths stuff - and I found a series of videos called 'Calculus Revisited'. Topics that I needed help with were right there. Which was great, and incredibly useful.

Now, my style of learning is a bit obscure. The older the video, the more I tend to understand it. So I watched these videos, and while I didn't get them at first, after a little while, I understood the concepts a bit more. It came at a good time, too - I applied the knowledge that I had learned to my assignments, and attained a mark of 90%.

Believe it or not, the lecturer who made the resources that I study with made them back in the 70's. His name is Herbert Gross, and today, I'd like to share to you his website.

Herb made the resources for MIT Open Course Ware a long time ago (by the order of nearly 40 years). One of the results of his website was a little thing called 'Adjective Noun Math'. What he's done, over the years, is add a lot of resources that he has made to help students with math. They vary from some basic Algebra to the explanation of harder mathematics topics, like Vector Calculus and Linear Algebra.

I thought today, that I'd say thanks for his help, and share his site with everyone (it's also on the Blogroll). Make sure you check it out, you might just find something useful! 🙂

So, check it out - you may learn something new, 🙂

All the best,

Josh.

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  • Charles

    His videos saved me In understanding Uniform Convergence! ‘Calculus Revisited’ is a great resource. Thank you Dr. Gross!

  • Amazing lecturer.

  • Alex

    I've seen his MTI lectures in 2010 and was amased as well, so I decided to get in contact with the man to say THANKS. He was pleased about the matter like the other very old men when someone cares for them. So, be hurry to link with H. Gross, the remarkable lecturer !

  • Deek

    Look, let's call a spade a spade here. This kind of mathematics teaching is how things were back up to mid-70s. Thank God it is no longer the norm. I do not cast any aspersions at Professor Gross - he was just a man of his time - but in today's world students expect a lot less reasoning from axioms and a lot more fluent communication. And I mean communication - not just spouting out words. Enjoy your retirement, Professor Gross.

    • Kevin

      Deek, I think people getting high marks by listening to his lectures mean something; either the education system is still flawed like you say, or that professor gross's lectures were fluent and easy to understand.

    • tea_cosy

      Deek, I find your comments both disagreeable and unnecessary. In fact, I struggle to see what your exact criticism is. Certainly, in the first video lecture in a series, Prof. Gross spends some time introducing the principles and axioms that explain how he teaches the subject, but this is analogous to the introductory pages in any maths text book or the course outline given at the start of a semester. It can easily be skipped - the remainder of his videos follow the same approach as any math class - introduction of a theory or result, its proof, its consequences, worked examples and implications on different fields - calculus, geometry, algebra, and so on.

      Personally, I found Prof. Gross's lectures clear, well-expressed, engaging and profoundly insightful. He covers topics form every angle - algebraic and geometric, abstract and concrete. He tells you WHY he does things a certain way. Furthermore, his videos build up to complicated topics like matrix algebra and partial from nothing more than a high school understanding. The value of this is priceless - often when I am re-introduced to a topic I need to review my previous learning and a quick viewing of some the first lectures in a topic is exactly what I need.

    • kstahmer

      How were the disparaged mathematical teachings of the 1970s?

      That was the decade when Alan Baker won the Fields Metal for transcendence theory (1970), David Mumford won for algebraic geometry (1974) and Charles Fefferman won for mathematical analysis (1978). They were all 70s teachers, all remarkable mathematicians.

      Adroit axiomatic reasoning was mathematically essential in the 70s; and in every other decade, including our own.

    • Ashish Singh

      Have you ever wondered why all the great discoveries and lasting philosophies either happened in pre-Christian era or during the Renaissance. Its because of un-institutionalization of thought.

    • Hi Deek.

      Under the aegis of “Better late than never”, I just now saw your comment about my
      calculus video series. Quite frankly I have
      been awestruck myself by the response my 40 year old video series has elicited
      from today’s rather sophisticated audiences.
      Most amazing of all to me is that in just a little over 3 years there
      have been 115,000 views of my introduction to complex variables. I am very pleased that MIT eventually decided to upload my videos even thought
      they were produced in the archaic black-and-white-talking-head format of the early 1970’s.

      And while I readily admit that I cannot be all things to all people, I am extremely
      pleased that the 42 year old Herb Gross in the videos will always remain 42
      years old and will continue to teach long after the 86 year old Herb Gross is
      no longer alive.

      • Ashish Sandhu

        Sir Herbert Gross you are GOD of Mathematics....I am a huge huge huge huge fan of you....Really you are God....Thank you so much for making such a wonderful videos.
        I really want to meet you once in my life...I am from India...and one day I will surely meet you...I wish god always bless you and give you a long life..

    • daysofdissent

      That's a shitty comment. Who the hell are you? Plenty of people still find Dr Gross's lectures extremely helpful.

    • What a foolish and ignorant comment.

    • P David Collins

      Indeed, let's call a spade a spade here. The kind of mathematics so engagingly and entertainingly exposited by Professor Gross is for thinking people, and hence, just too much mental effort for today. It is no longer the norm. I don't cast any aspersions at today's Deeks, after all, in today's world students no longer care, or need, to think. Siri can do all their thinking for them, leaving them free to while away their days drooling over music videos and texting their friends---er, I mean, engaging in fluent communication; not just spouting words, but rather deep, well-crafted words such as "sup dude" and "i was like, wup, day it is, like, gittin jiggy widdit". Never mind that a minority of the population remains mired in yesterday's mindset and continues their intellectual pursuits, which of course leads to even greater income disparities: we'll just let Siri figure that one out. A careful study of mathematics, or anything else for that matter, is just soooo yesterday. Fortunately we have some brave souls leading us to blissful disenlightenment. Enjoy leading us, Deek.

  • Roger Keulen

    Do you have his personal adres or do you know his birth date. ?

  • Ashish Singh

    I am just getting started on these videos and like you said, the older videos have different appeal. Maybe coz of the simpler times that was then, the style of instruction is just so soothing. I am really looking forward to it.

  • kschnapp

    Have I heard of him? Yes. In fact, I'm having dinner with him tonight (no kidding). He tells me that he is being awarded an honorary doctorate this spring in Corning. I'll mention your name (Josh Young) and your comments when we meet tonight.

  • Laertes Boechat

    My point is that Mr. Gross covers calculus in a very clean way. Mathematics was more important than ever in the 70's because of the Apollo space program. Today mathematics have a bad press since it is associate either with loners, losers, nerds and aseries of pejorative adjectives. This is a cultural mistake. People like Herb Gross are rather a role model for teachers.

    I personally like his classes. I cannot oblige anyone to like them but the fact that the videos are still appreciated in old style back and white means that content is king. He has good content, well presented in a clear concise and disciplined way. This content is above the technicalities of the media. It is rare for a person to have his job recognized during his lifetime. Congratulation Mr. Gross for your wonderful and exemplary work.

    For those criticizing my only guidance is. Try to do it better.

  • Tom Purcell

    After a number of years getting rusty, one day I'd thought I'd revisit the topic of complex analysis (as one does!) and came across, the MIT Lectures. Professor Gross is amazing! His lectures are a joy to watch and he exudes a real passion for his subject. You can't help but warm to this gentleman. I can't sing his praises high enough!

  • Mark

    It's true what they say, the oldies are the goodies.

    Absolutely amazing lectures, proper old school teaching style, just the way I like it. I'm a student now, I know what secondary, A level and Uni education is like now, and it's not a patch on this resource. I actually watched his complex analysis lectures in my first year of uni (I wanted it for something), and even though it's a second year module for us, I could still watch and understand his content.

    I think it's amazing that he's created such a brilliant resource that must have educated thousands of people at the time, has taught me, and will continue to help loads and loads more people. He should be really proud of this achievement.

  • David Cabrera

    I contacted him 2 years ago. He is an amazing person. I told him that smart people is kind or is not that intelligent, and he replied that "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care". He made me remember my first math teacher, who is still after 20 years, a paradigm to me, he was the first to show me that math is a language optimized both semantically and syntactically to express certain angle of the human experience with more precision than any other. If any of you likes the lectures by Gross, please contact him (hgross3@comcast.net) and leave feedback on his website. Being the son of retired Finances professor and PhD, I can tell you that there is no better prize for his lifetime of teaching for a guy like Gross (sorry for my english, i'm cuban... another thing that makes me value in a special way, such access to information like you have here in the US).

    • Luca Olmastroni

      David, I appreciate your comment and I share all the nice things you think about Prof. Gross I searched more biografical info about him but didn't find anything on Wikipedia. You mention his website: could you please indicate the url ? Thank you very much. Luca

  • Ashish Sandhu

    Sir Herbert Gross you are GOG of Mathematics....I am a huge huge huge huge fan of you....Really you are God....Thank you so much for making such a wonderful videos.

  • Ashish Sandhu

    Sir Herbert Gross you are GOD of Mathematics....I am a huge huge huge huge fan of you....Really you are God....Thank you so much for making such a wonderful videos.

    • It was a labor of love for me and I feel very fulfilled when I get messages such as yours that tell me how helpful my work has been to them. I send you my best wishes and warmest regards.