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Class or reseach?

  1. Sep 27, 2013 #1
    So I have a crazy professor in my numerical analysis class currently who is giving us assignments which have taken anywhere from 10-40 hours each to complete. I also am taking exclusively math and physics classes and I have a research project I am working on which takes a minimum of 6 hours a week. What do I do? I don't want a withdrawal on my transcript...do I just take a lower grade (B or C ) in numerical analysis so that I can work on my research project (which by the way the advisor is becoming impatient with me due to not being able to devote enough time to the project) in time to submit it to the conference???? I am freaking out? I ultimately want to go to grad school. what would look worse, a failed research project or a failed class???
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Depends on how your final grade gets made up and where you want to go when you are finished.
    If you want to go into research in grad school - then you have your answer.
  4. Sep 27, 2013 #3
    You probably need a good recommendation from your advisor far more than you need a good grade in numerical analysis.
  5. Sep 27, 2013 #4


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    It sounds like you need to talk to your professor to find out why so much work is being assigned. Perhaps this prof expects it to take much less time? Perhaps it's something you're doing wrong? Perhaps you need to start or join a study group to do the homework together? Lots of possibilities but it hard to know what the situation is without talking to people.

    It seems unlikely that failing something is the only option.
  6. Sep 28, 2013 #5


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    It's very hard to give advice here. Nowadays also in Germany we have this school-like nonsense at our universities, and I don't know what counts more for a the admission to graduate studies. I'd talk to both the numerical-analysis professor and your research-project advisor.

    In a normal world and objectively, a research project with the chance to find something new out, to go to a conference to represent your results, or even to get a publication out, is much more important than a single grade in one of your lectures, but as I said, it's hard to judge nowadays, where everything seems to depend on marks in exams! If I had to dicide about a student's admission to graduate work towards a PhD, I'd be much more impressed by a good research result than a great mark in a lecture.
  7. Sep 28, 2013 #6
    I think it is because I am having to teach or re-teach myself the material while I'm working on her assigned problems. I spent 4 hours of actual working time yesterday with a friend working on the homework, and we got one code written for one part of one problem on an 8 problem assignment where each question has 3 or 4 parts. I actually got an A on her first test, so I know the material it's just that doing the homework projects takes an insane amount of time to code and type into her meticulous format and is affecting my other, arguably more important classes.

    I agree that usually research would probably be a more important endeavor, but in this case I am taking numerical analysis as a prerequisite for a graduate engineering PhD. The research project I am doing is more statistics and operations research focused and really doesn't have much to do with my research area in graduate school (ion thruster physics). Do you still think the research is more important even though the class is directly related to engineering but the project isn't so much?
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