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Best part of physics for a spacial/visual thinker & learner?

  1. Sep 20, 2007 #1
    I am a highly visual person and have always been. I love physics but seem to have been stumped. I stopped my education because of the math. I finally realized that I don't understand the math. I was finishing up calc III and didn't understand it. Granted, I could do the math. But, I didn't understand what it mean't and how it worked.

    So i sat down and tried to think of what might be right for me. I dropped out of my classes and decided to earn extra money to travel through Europe/etc...

    But besides that, I wanted to figure out what career would be best fitted for my ablilites. I can visualize anything anywhere at anytime. I know physics is visual and all, but is it possible to do it without much use of math? I want to be able to try to use my visual abilites to do the hardest physics possible. Or even better something related to space. I was told of the field theory and some crazy geometry... but eh

    I am lost. hell visual/spatial people are good for business, architecture, art, etc...

    But I have become in love with physics even though I have no real professional knowledge.

    sending out an s.o.s. ;)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2007 #2
    geometers have it tough these days
  4. Sep 20, 2007 #3

    Chi Meson

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    Sounds like my difficulty. I never got good enough at the high-end math, and so my progress was squashed. At least I made it through undergraduate.

    I found that my most favorite employment between degree and the teaching high school physics (a great gig if you are at a good school) was as a bicycle /ski technician. If I didn't go into public education, I would have probably become an electrician. I would have made more money as an electrician, but it still takes a few years to get licensed.
  5. Sep 20, 2007 #4
    No money in architecture.

    How do you feel about structural engineering?
  6. Sep 21, 2007 #5
    structural engineering doesn't sound fun at all. I don't know what to do...
  7. Sep 21, 2007 #6
    The 'trouble with' math is often you don't see any use for it (at the time you're in it)---

    --it's not until later that you see it's use (why in the world does a third grader NEED to know what 25 x 25 is?)
  8. Sep 21, 2007 #7
    Most of the stuff that needs to be done in America is pretty much bread and butter. However if you hook up with an international firm doing work in Dubi or parts of Asia it can get wild and crazy.


    Engineers with "spatial" abilities will still be sought after in a world of 3D computer imaging. The computers don't think for you.
  9. Sep 21, 2007 #8

    Chris Hillman

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    Hang on, back up, is your premise correct?

    So are most mathematicians and applied mathematicians (e.g. physicists).

    You could do the problems, but felt that you couldn't understand the thinking behind them? Did you ever try looking at a really good book on analysis? This might be just the book for you: Tristham Needham, Visual Complex Analysis. Then try T. W. Koerner, Fourier Analysis.

    How long have you been out of school?

    No, but it's not clear to me what evidence suggests that you are so very bad at math.

    Yeah, architecture, engineering, physics/math teaching, programming, etc. etc. can all be dead-end drone careers--- or not. I suspect your happiness depends on your resourcefulness in making life interesting, more than upon your choice of career.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2007
  10. Sep 21, 2007 #9


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    What other courses do you handle well? How many times have you restudied Calculus I, II, III ? If you have not tried completely restudying them, then maybe you are limiting yourself. Are you expecting to only study each of them to earn acceptable credit and then never study it again? You want to use Calculus as a tool for Physics. Learning the tool requires frequent and sometimes lengthy study. You should, if you not have already, studying some of it again, even if unofficially, to learn this tool better.

    the reason for the question on "other courses... good at", is to suggest to look for other options which might use either less or very little Mathematics. Generally, studying some mathematics is much better than studying none at all.
  11. Sep 22, 2007 #10
  12. Sep 22, 2007 #11
    I have never restudied anything. I was a huge slacker in HS. I was in Algebra II my junior year. I pulled a C, which was better than the D I got from Alg I the year before. But at the end of my junior year, my math teacher gave us our options of next year's math course. She said to us that there is Trig or precalc. I asked her if she could sign me up for precalc because it seemed challanging and all the "smart kids" were in it. She said "no" and thought I was only good enough for Trig. She also had an AP(Advanced Placement) Calculus AB class. I said to here that I would be in that class next year. She laughed and was like ok...

    I dual-enrolled over the summer at my local community college. I took Precalculus for free and received a B. So I return my senior year and was still placed in trig because the grades haven't been ready. I walk out of the class and see her. My trig teacher walks over to her and says "hey I have a student here who will be signing up for your AP class." She looks at me and is like "haha yea right." I told her that I took preclac over the summer and got a B. I also explained that I can now sign up for it and will be starting tomorrow. Short story short, I received the highest AP test grade of 5 and got credit for it in college. She uses me as a underdog success story.

    Anyways... I never restudy and just do what I have to do. Mostly because I never found an interest in most of the math. Finding the area under a curve never seemed to tickle my fancy. The only reason I did so well in Calc I was because she said I couldn't do it.
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