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Advice For Upcoming Class Load

  1. Jun 5, 2013 #1
    I currently attend a quarter based college in Washington. My adviser suggested taking Diff. Eq's, Linear Algebra, and Physics Waves and Lab in one quarter. Would this be a good idea or not? I am smart, but not a Sheldon Cooper lol. Any advice would be much appreciated!
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  3. Jun 5, 2013 #2
    I did my undergrad at a quarter based school. There the waves quarter of physics was by far the easiest one, so that course load might not be as hard as it sounds.

    Are you taking a fourth class on top of that? Four was the max allowed for me, and whenever I anticipated hard classes I would take 3 instead.
  4. Jun 5, 2013 #3
    I'm assuming you typically do 3-4 classes per quarter. If those are the only ones you are taking, I think it's a perfectly reasonable schedule. You will find the diff eq's class supports the waves class very nicely. Linear algebra is not that difficult, if you don't struggle too much with thinking abstractly.
  5. Jun 5, 2013 #4

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    Why do you think your advisor is wrong? Maybe that will help us answer.
  6. Jun 6, 2013 #5
    It seems strange to me that Linear Algebra is not a pre-req for diffy eqs. You can't get too far into the subject without systems of equations, this makes me think the course is rather simple.

    I think the workload for that schedule is fine.
  7. Jun 8, 2013 #6
    I've never heard of a "Physics Waves" class...is that like physics for nonmajors? Linear Algebra and DiffyQ were two of my favorite classes ever, they are about medium difficulty. This is definitely doable. Also, please don't connect Big Bang Theory with real science...
  8. Jun 9, 2013 #7
    My apologies for the late response. Finals are coming up and I forgot I posted this lol. I am keeping my classes at 3 per quarter. I take care of my kids during the day, so all my studying is done evening and night. I appreciate the advice.
  9. Jun 9, 2013 #8
    My apologies for the late reply. I am keeping at 3 classes per quarter only because I take care of my kids during the day. So far I have had no issues with math. This is my projected quarter for Spring of next year. I was in the military for 11.5 years and had to start at Math 95 (one below precalc 1). I am completing precalc 2 this Wednesday. So far, my classes have been extremely easy and I have been able to maintain a great GPA. I didn't want to assume that because I am having an easy time in my classes now that it will remain that way. So, I figured I would ask individuals with experience!
  10. Jun 9, 2013 #9
    Thanks for the response and sorry for the delay! My wife had a lot of issues with her student advisers. Seeing her experiences, I like to verify the advice I get from them. Also, it is the Trust but Verify mentality I gained in the military lol.
  11. Jun 9, 2013 #10
    I appreciate the advice. I am only going to community college right now, so you might be correct in assuming it is easy compared to other universities. My CC requires that Calc 2 be complete prior to Linear Algebra.
  12. Jun 9, 2013 #11
    Here is the course description for Physics Waves:

    Explores electromagnetic waves, the mechanics of oscillatory motion, optics, waves in matter, and experiments in these topics for physical science and engineering majors.

    I appreciate the advice. And until now the only thing I connected with real science was the Big Bang Theory and deity formerly known as God....
  13. Jun 9, 2013 #12
    Ok...would you mind telling us your major? I don't think the Physics Waves class will help you much if you are a physics major. However, if you are not a physics major, and you have free electives to fill, then go ahead and take it.
  14. Jun 9, 2013 #13
    How exactly would the Waves class not be useful for a physics major? Also, this is a mandatory introductory class/topic for every university. Oscillations and waves will be encountered in future classes.
  15. Jun 9, 2013 #14
    I reiterate Mmm_Pasta: why on earth would this not be helpful for a physics major? This is an extremely common first or second year mandatory class in physics programs.
  16. Jun 9, 2013 #15
    I have declared Electrical Engineering. Physics Waves is a prerequisite for University of Washington's College of EE.
  17. Jun 9, 2013 #16
    At my school we learn about waves, oscillations, and simple harmonic motion in the normal "Calc based Physics 1/2" sequence. This class sounds like a class for non-physics majors which deals mostly with further applications. Since he said he's an EE major then yeah it will probably help him out since he will be dealing with mainly applications, but a Physics major should have learned about waves in the usual sequence...
  18. Jun 9, 2013 #17
    So, basically you're taking a data point of one (your own university) and assuming that's how every university functions? A class focusing on oscillations and waves in more detail than a unit in a larger course might do is on the syllabus (required or recommended) in many physics departments—certainly every university I've ever studied/worked at, which is a fair few, and clearly the institutions of some other participants in this thread.

    Perhaps you should gain some experience beyond a single institution before pontificating about what is and is not "the usual sequence".
  19. Jun 9, 2013 #18
    Most intro ODE courses are cookbooks. There's generally no need to actually understand anything that's going on. The OP can rest assured that s/he will do fine without linear algebra and will retain absolutely nothing from the course after its conclusion.
  20. Jun 9, 2013 #19
    I enjoy your honesty lol, thanks.
  21. Jun 9, 2013 #20
    That's not to say that linear algebra won't help you. Systems of linear equations will come much more easily to you if you can some experience with e.g. eigenvectors. Really, linear equations are much more enjoyable when you understand the notion of a vector space.
  22. Jun 10, 2013 #21
    By no means did I interpret it that way:) Understanding any derivation makes life a lot easier whether you use it or not. I absolutely love math, so I am looking forward to taking it.
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