How can I become excellent at math? It really interests me but when I fail I become demotivated and begin to give up.
EDIT: Could anyone suggest books for someone with a math education that just barely touches on high-school Algebra (got into parabolas, rationalizing, some graphing and functions). This is what I am currently doing: attending high school as a Junior.
Read the answers given by experts at Math Stackexchange!
Some gems of wisdom:
Researchers have shown it takes about ten years to develop expertise in any of a wide variety of areas, including chess playing, music composition, telegraph operation, painting, piano playing, swimming, tennis, and research in neuropsychology and topology.
The key is deliberative practice: not just doing it again and again, but challenging yourself with a task that is just beyond your current ability, trying it, analyzing your performance while and after doing it, and correcting any mistakes. Then repeat. And repeat again.
All the best in your math studies!
Men of Mathematics (Touchstone Book)
Here is the classic, much-read introduction to the craft and history of mathematics by E.T. Bell, a leading figure in mathematics in America for half a century. Men of Mathematics accessibly explains the major mathematics, from the geometry of the Greeks through Newton’s calculus and on to the laws of probability, symbolic logic, and the fourth dimension. In addition, the book goes beyond pure mathematics to present a series of engrossing biographies of the great mathematicians — an extraordinary number of whom lived bizarre or unusual lives. Finally, Men of Mathematics is also a history of ideas, tracing the majestic development of mathematical thought from ancient times to the twentieth century. This enduring work’s clear, often humorous way of dealing with complex ideas makes it an ideal book for the non-mathematician.