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Best class choices

  1. Jun 27, 2007 #1
    I am currently a high school student that has a desire to go into a mathematical and scientific career. I was wondering what future classes would benefit me the most in helping me achieve this goal. Here is a outline of the classes I have taken so far.

    High School
    Freshman - Physical Science and Algebra 1
    Sophomore - Biology and Geometry
    Junior (Classes I'm enrolled for 07-08 year) - Pre-AP Chemistry, Weighted Physics and Weighted Algebra 2
    Senior - Classes are Unknown at this time

    (My school offers a wide spectrum of classes. You name it we most likely got it)

    College (Summer time)
    I am currently enrolled at my local community college. There I am taking a combination of Algebra 1 and 2. But after I successfully completed my Algebra 2 for high school this will open a huge door of higher mathematics. And I was wondering was classes would be most benefit me for this particular career pathway I am interested in.

    Any suggestions on books, scientific magazines, web sites, etc that might help me get a head start on the next year is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2007 #2
    why would you be taking college algebra in the summer and then algebra 2 at school? take pre cal/trig in your junior year then take calc 1 the summer of your junior year and maybe physics 1 concurrently at community college then take ap calc 2 senior year then the summer in between high school and college take calc 3 and physics 2. you'll be one of the most prepared freshman ever.
  4. Jun 27, 2007 #3
    it's difficult to give any sort of recommendations without knowing what choices you have for mathematics and physics courses.

    i would recommend, however, taking at least calculus 1 by the time you graduate. if you can do calc 1 in the fall semester at the community college and calc 2 in the spring (also at the community college), that would be good, too.

    no pre-calc class required?
  5. Jun 27, 2007 #4
    I'm thinking about going into a scientific career that involves physics or something of that nature.

    The reason why I wasn't able to take math 110 in this summer course is because the college wants you to have completed Algebra 2 in high school before you take anything higher.
  6. Jun 27, 2007 #5
    I can tell you that it is great to already know material before you get to college where the material can be difficult. High school teachers are there everyday to help you, whereas you get to college and you're limited to office hours, your textbooks and others for help. That being said, I don't really believe there is really any reason to be this well prepared. Heck, I know a few people who didn't even see calculus or an in-depth physics course until college and did just fine. That's just my two cents.
  7. Jun 27, 2007 #6
    if you take AP physics and enjoy it, then you should definitely know that being a engineer or physicist is right for you. Thats what happened with me. Before I took it, I wanted to be a medical doctor just becuase of the money.
  8. Jun 27, 2007 #7
    In my experience, taking as much math as possible would be a good idea if you plan to go into physics. Many otherwise capable college students would be capable of taking more advanced physics classes, but are hindered by the mathematical requirements. Also, many high schools allow you to take college courses instead of high school classes, and get dual credit. If this is possible, then it would also be a good idea to take calculus-based physics 1 and 2 at your community college before you graduate. That way you'll be certain that you're interested in physics, and when you start college, you'll be a full year ahead in your physics classes.
  9. Jun 27, 2007 #8


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    It is good that you want to be prepared and if you take AP Physics or Intro Physics at a Community College, I wouldn't recommend trying to use these to test out of Intro Physics at University. A university class may be much different. This is my opinion of course, but I have heard many others who seem to think the same way. Good luck to you!
  10. Jun 28, 2007 #9


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    best prof = best class
  11. Jun 29, 2007 #10
    I agree with mathwonk, it's all about the professor.
  12. Jun 30, 2007 #11
    Learn a programming language. Take an electronics course. Study French or German or Japanese or Latin.... Learn to cook!

    As for extra-curricular reading, try "Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman".
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