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Yeah. Find a pro that you can talk to. Nothing beats having a teacher for this stuff. Getting a leg-up can help you progress a hundred times faster. Even for the professionals learning mathematics is difficult, and people try to learn from other people. Of course, you also need plenty of suffering over the textbook and hours staring at the ceiling... Also, it helps if you actually have a concrete project in mind, not just "learn more cool formulas and stuff."

I think you can make up for the lack of a teacher to a certain extent by choosing slower-paced and more verbose source materials. For instance, Hammack's Book of Proof, and the Khan Academy curriculum (both mentioned elsethread) -- as opposed to, say, the dense exposition of Spivak's Calculus. The Spivak problems are incredibly well-composed, but will often stump the student. Not so the straightforward problems of Hammack and Khan.

I definitely agree that human interaction is needed, though (as noted in my other response) -- but it could be either a teacher or other students.

I choked on linalg for years, trying to read one textbook. The formal kind. Found a 5$ suggestion on Reddit (Gareth Williams), I made more progress in the following week than ever before.

Doesn't matter how as long as you do the work. If a book leaves you dry, try another one asap.

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