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A development path for Mathematics

  1. Jun 3, 2007 #1
    I will refrain from boring you with personal details and simply state my problem.

    I'm not sure of what area of physics I want to study, however, they all seem to require a very strong math background. This is fine because I want to develop a strong math background. My problem is that at this time, my math is weak to say the least. I'm looking for somebody who wouldn't mind posting a basic path for me to follow. Ex: Algebra -> (insert next recommended study) -> (insert next recommended study) -> ...

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2007 #2
    not very erudite are we? look at the course flow chart for a math major at any university
  4. Jun 3, 2007 #3
    It's usually algebra -> trig -> calc -> multivariable calc -> linear algebra & differential equations. I don't know what's after that.
  5. Jun 3, 2007 #4
    Thank you yarold.

    @ice109 - That was pretty much the most insightful observation of all time, I mean, I really want to thank you for putting that much into your post. I can only hope that one day I can learn to be just like you. I really do hope that your other 56 posts are of this quality so we can finally prove that Jesus isn't the only perfect being.....I hate you.

  6. Jun 3, 2007 #5
    Are you a high school student? What math have you done so far?
  7. Jun 3, 2007 #6
    And while you're at learning all that stuff, keep learning number theory and keep discovering new ways to manipulate numbers and operators... you'll learn helpful little tricks that will improve your ability to manipulate algebraic expressions and so on.
  8. Jun 3, 2007 #7

    Chris Hillman

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    Science Advisor

    We need some more information

    As oedipa maas noted, we need to know where you are in your schooling (first year high school? first year college?) and probably which country, so that we can get some idea of what resources are available to you. Basically, while ice109's first sentence was a bit rude, his second sentence was good advice, in fact it is just what we told someone else (?) who just asked the same question. Basically, there is a fairly standard notion of what math physicists need to know, but which varies a bit between countries, e.g. France, Russia and the U.S. all have slightly different notions of what the core undergraduate math major curriculum should be (physicists just add physics courses to the math major-- any serious physics student will be double major in math and physics, which naturally requires being at least twice as efficient as the average student in either major). Consequently, assuming that you are planning to acquire a solid education in physics from a good university (pretty much the only practical way to go for a whole buncha reasons we probably don't want to get into here since they are irrelevant to your immediate concerns), following the course of study laid out for you at university is essential. If you are high school student and wish to get a head start, good for you, and in this case we can probably give some good advice.

    If "twice as fast" sounds daunting, bear in mind that if you don't yet know much math, it is too early to tell how talented you are (how quickly you can master new mathematical methods). This is because math has a very steep learning curve, meaning it can be quite hard to get started but as you learn more your ability to learn yet more math increases very rapidly, so that your efficiency will naturally improve greatly once you know enough math.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
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