Getting Math help in realtime

Chances are that in the process of learning (or re-learning) mathematical concepts you will often find yourself in need of some clarification. That’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of. It actually means that you are absorbing something new and challenging. This can become an issue, particularly if you are self-taught and therefore don’t have the help of a “formal” teacher to give you authoritative answers. Sometimes you can find clarification along the way as you learn more about a given topic. Other times you are stuck with an exercise, but are still able to verify the solution with the help of a CAS. But what happens when you really have questions and you can’t find answers on your own?

Sure you can Google and with a bit of luck and skill find a helpful page. You may even decide to ask your question in a forum or in a proper newsgroup. However none of these resources are particularly interactive. There are many advantages which derive from a direct “realtime” conversation with other mathematically inclined people who are ready to provide assistance. There is an excellent Math chat that you can join if you want to ask for advice or get help on any mathematical subject. Below you’ll find the details needed to access it from your IRC client:

Server: irc.freenode.net
Channel: #math

If you are new to IRC and don’t have a client, you can use this web based interface to access it. In general though I do advise that you get a good client and familiarize yourself with the system. These are a few free clients that I recommend:

Windows: XChat 2
Mac OS X: Colloquy
Linux: XChat

Be friendly and respectful, don’t expect to be spoon-fed, and you’ll find this an invaluable resource. Occasionally you may even spot me there. 🙂

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5 Comments

  1. Adam Kosh March 20, 2008
  2. H October 22, 2008
  3. Lee March 19, 2009
  4. anonymous March 22, 2009
  5. Robert Badaracco April 25, 2009

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