Trigonometric identities – gone. Techniques for polynomial factoring – gone. Ditto for logarithmic and exponential functions. Drat!

I guess recovering the calculus is basically going to take a wholesale rebootstrap of my entire maths education. Granted, a lot of it is going to be recovery rather than reintroduction. The skills have atrophied, and the surety of technique gone, but the memory of how to construct a proof, for example – the *concept* of inductive logic – isn’t completely lost to me.

This feels like having fallen off a mountain, nevertheless.

“Anybody have pitons?” I got pitons. The idea I have is to do both relearn algebra and trigonometry *and* write the software tools to help me do the math exercises. Instead of just the old pen and paper, I’d like to make use of a LaTeX engine and parser to enable me to solve these problems like I’d do on paper, but onscreen instead. I think of it basically as a way to generate problem sets *and grade them on the fly* to get feedback quicker (and to offset the tedium of interacting with the computer using an interface – a keyboard and maybe the mouse – that doesn’t allow easy math symbol input).

Much as I’d like to reprise Vance in its’ entirety, I’ll need to use a University course outline to guide the structure of my application. There were bits of Vance that led into complex analysis, real analysis, and linear algebra that I’d like to include as part of my course flow. I’m imagining an interactive Vance that does for algebra and trigonometry what Push Pop Press did for Al Gore’s book on the environment, and digital media should be able to be molded to the purpose: Javascript and HTML5 have evolved quite a bit since 1996, and might just enable a Web interactive application to do just that.

Can’t wait to start on elementary physics, *a la* Angry Birds.