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After Calculus

  1. Jun 30, 2008 #1
    Hey Everyone!

    I'm going to be a Junior in high school next year and I am wondering what math course to take. My school has a schedule where there is only 4 classes a day; but they all run longer. So you can get through a normal math class in half a year with just as much time in the class room as a 8 block schedual. Well my freshman year I slyly doubled up on Trig the first semester and PreCalc the second semester. My sophomore year I doubled up on AP Calc AB and then AP Calc BC. Getting through both AB and BC with exceptional marks in my sophomore year my advisor set up a meeting with me to discuss what math I should take next year. My school does not offer a math course past AP Calc BC but he told me that since I was ahead I could start to look at alternative options. He discussed setting up a special course with the calculus teacher at my school to give some select students a special Calc II Class. He also discussed me taking some special courses at a university for Topology, Linear Algebra, Analysis, and some other courses.

    Really, I'm not sure what I should take. I know that I really should take what I'm interested in; but I would like to hear some suggestions from you guys. Of my math courses I really liked Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus... I'm reading up on topology courses but I would really like some advice from people who have taken calculus and what they took next.

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2008 #2
    Depends a lot on your strengths.
  4. Jun 30, 2008 #3
    You really need some strong algebra grounding if you plan on studying advanced mathematics, especially topology. I would go with linear algebra and topology, assuming the LA course emphasizes the algebra and is not just "all about matrices".
  5. Jun 30, 2008 #4

    Ben Niehoff

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    I was in a similar situation a long time ago; took AP Calc BC in tenth grade. What I did was to take differential equations at a local community college during the summer afterward. Any of the following subjects would be appropriate to study next:

    Differential Equations
    Linear Algebra
    Multivariable Calculus

    Note: When I was in college, I scoffed at "linear algebra" because the name sounds like it must be simple stuff. In fact, it's quite advanced and very important. All of modern physics is founded on linear algebra, and various extended abstractions thereof. So make sure you get a good foundation in it. :)
  6. Jul 2, 2008 #5
    The previous suggestions are excellent. But I'm going to suggest something along a different line:

    Number theory.

    It's fun.
    It's simple enough that you don't have to worry about it being too difficult for a high school math teacher.
    There are many easy-to-state but unsolved problems in number theory. If you solve one of them, you'll be set for life, career-wise. :biggrin:
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