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Advice needed regarding Math classes

  1. Aug 28, 2008 #1
    Hey everybody. I hope I posted this in the right section; it was either here or in Diff. Equations..

    Anyway, here's the deal: I'm currently a sophomore at a community college, planning to transfer to a University in Fall of 2009 to finish my BS. By the end of next semester (Spring '08), I will have "Engineering Standing" by the standards of the subject University.

    I am in Calc II right now because I had to take College Algebra and Trig my first semester of college to prepare me for Calc I. Anyway, I only have 1 semester left here before I move and was hoping to get all of my Calculus classes out of the way before I do so. I know of at least 1 person in the past - and a couple people I have classes with now - that have taken Calc III and Differential Equations at the same time.

    Now, the Diff. Equations class at my community college transferes to the University as Calc IV..so..um..yeah.

    My question is, is taking Calc III and Differential Equations at the same time - and passing both - a realistic goal?

    It seems like trying to take Calc I and II at the same time, but I don't know. Maybe there isn't a lot of Calc III used in Diff. Equations?

    Thanks for your input.

    Jimmy
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2008 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Is Calc 3 a prereq for Differential Equations? If so, don't take them at the same time.
     
  4. Aug 28, 2008 #3
    Ordinary Diff. Eq. doesn't really touch on many Calc III topics. You should be fine taking Diff. Eq. after a Calc II course.
    (Note: for me, Calc III was more difficult than Diff. Eq., but both are really fun classes.)
     
  5. Aug 29, 2008 #4
    I checked my school's website, and according to the Differential Equations syllabus, Calc III is a pre-req.

    However, like I said before, I've only known a couple people who have taken Diff. Equations, all of whom were taking Calc III coincidally.

    I will see how I end up doing in Calc II first. Maybe then if I feel confident I'll take them both.

    Thanks for your replies.

    Jimmy
     
  6. Aug 29, 2008 #5
    I took Diff Eq after Calc III (assuming that's multivariable/vector calculus), and I did perfectly fine. What helps you more is taking linear algebra before Diff Eq and Calc III, but I'm sure you can survive it. You might see a little bit of calc III topics like partial differentiations, but those are not very hard.
     
  7. Aug 29, 2008 #6
    Yes, the Calc III is multivariable. Unfortunately the school I am currently attending doesn't have a linear algebra course.

    Thanks for the reassurance, guys :cool:

    Jimmy
     
  8. Aug 29, 2008 #7

    Defennder

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    No linear algebra course? How can such an important topic be left out?! It'll surely be covered somewhere. Check your course catalog again.
     
  9. Aug 29, 2008 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    Well, if you think the advice of a couple guys on the internet is more valuable than the advice of the faculty at your school, you'll know what to do.
     
  10. Aug 29, 2008 #9
    Yeah, I agree. It might be listed as matrix algebra or vectors or something, so definately look into this.

    As for taking ODE and Calc 3 at the same time, it should be no problem. There are a few cases where Calc 3 results are used, but the majority of ODE is based on calc 1 and 2.
     
  11. Aug 29, 2008 #10

    cristo

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    I agree with this: it is important to look at prerequisites, since they are set by the people responsible for teaching the course. Names like "Calculus III" and "Differential Equations" are so broad that it is impossible to tell what is in each course from university to university. It would thus be unwise for someone on the internet to give you advice on taking them concurrently, when this contradicts the advice of your faculty.
     
  12. Aug 29, 2008 #11
    I'll check, but I'm 99% sure that there is no Linear Algebra course. Keep in mind that this is just a local community college. I would say that less than 5% of people that are enrolled will do anything beyond College Algebra. Most people go to earn an Associate's Degree and are done. There are only 7 people including myself in my Calculus II class.

    Anyway, thanks for the replies. I'm glad to hear that Calc III and Diff. Equations should work out together.

    Jimmy
     
  13. Aug 29, 2008 #12

    Defennder

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    Seriously, what can an associate degree can you nowadays? I'm surprised the majority aren't continuing on (if they aren't hindered by tuition fee concerns) to a bacherlor's.

    And I really don't see how you can take a DE course without knowing linear algebra. You'll definitely cover linear independence of solutions to DEs in any intro DE course. The concept of linear independence comes from linear algebra. Having said that, I believe your curriculum is oddly structured.
     
  14. Aug 29, 2008 #13
    At my Uni, Calc 3 and Linear Algebra are pre-req's for Differential Equations..

    Of course most engineering programs don't require LinAlg though.. Usually just Calc 1-3, and an applied Diff Eq course..

    It would be best to at least email the professor and ask if they knew anyone that has tried it.. Besides if it's a pre-req you will probably need an override to get into it anyway.
     
  15. Aug 29, 2008 #14

    Defennder

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    That's the case for my college as well, except to make matters worse, they squeeze all the linear algebra course requirements into two compulsory math modules which covers Calc I to Calc III + ODEs! As a result, the 2 math modules become very packed and virtually all maths proofs are omitted. It's no wonder EE students who haven't done any math courses outside of the two compulsory maths classes find certain inter-related math concepts hard to understand. I myself took an into linear algebra course outside of these 2 classes and am doing an intermediate level linear algebra course to plug in any gaps. I'm still wondering what other math classes to consider, though.
     
  16. Aug 30, 2008 #15
    What are the course descriptions for each?
     
  17. Aug 30, 2008 #16

    mathwonk

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    only the instructors at your school can answer these questions. they will choose the material and the prerequisites.
     
  18. Aug 30, 2008 #17
    I'm fortunate to have Multi, Diff-EQ, and Linear at my local CC - it's the only one around that offers any math beyond Calculus II. I'm taking Multi and Diff-EQ this year, having taken both Calculus II and Linear together last spring (which was challenging).

    My Linear class started with eight people and finished with five. I'm anticipating that Multi will have a dozen people max. It's why I'm taking all my math at the local CC. The teacher speaks English as a native language as well.

    I'll be dual enrolled at UMass this year as well, and there are people there who take Multi and DiffEQ together. There is also a good number of people who take Multi during Summer Session I, and Diff-EQ during Summer Session II.
     
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