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Classes that can be effectively learned in a summer semester.

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Long title, but basically a good summation of my question. I hate summer time, every year it's made me feel like a lousy losing loser with all this time on my hands and I never get anything done. So I'm taking 3 classes at a local community college (this is my very first semester of college ever, I just graduated HS). I really like it, although the 4 hour classes are a pain I feel like I'm getting ahead and I learn a lot because most of my time is spent doing something productive.

What I'm worried about, however, are the harder courses. Right now Calc. 1 isn't a problem (mostly because it was self-taught since I had Physics C last year), and so I'm getting ahead in a few other things (mostly calc. 2 stuff at the moment). I'm a physics major and at this moment looking to definitely go on to grad school so I want to make sure that I take classes that aren't terribly difficult to learn but also material that isn't terribly dense, since the summer is always a shorter semester (about half as long, sometimes less, than a normal semester).

So back to the main question, what sort of classes shall I be looking at to take during the summer? Definitely looking to finish up at least one LA elective credit, but would love to take some math classes and possibly physics. By next summer I would be in a position to take differential equations, but I believe that is a difficult subject from what I've researched and 2 months isn't enough time to 'let it sit'. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
 
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I took ODE's this summer, the whole thing from first class to final exam was 1 month long (actually a day less), and I did well (94%), I actually found I had more than enough time for it...of course I didn't have a job and really didn't have anything else I had to do, plus I liked the class. I would imagine most computational math classes are doable during the summer.
 
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Really? A lot of people say that it's doable, but isn't it an important part of most advanced mathematics used in physics? The people I've talked to and the things I've read generally suggest that even if you can learn it within that time frame it wouldn't have the same effect as taking it during a longer period of time. That's really my main concern.
 
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Well I don't know, I think that it was better that I took it during the summer because I could focus just on that course and not 5...it's possible that if I did it during a regular semester we would have covered a bit more, I'm not sure...but all the theorems we learned weren't hard to wrap your mind around, like some things in advanced calculus were.
 

lisab

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I took math classes a couple summers, those seemed to work well.

One that wasn't so easy: chemistry. In a normal semester it was 3 lectures and 2 labs per week, and they squeezed all that into a summer class. It was brutal.
 
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I took math classes a couple summers, those seemed to work well.

One that wasn't so easy: chemistry. In a normal semester it was 3 lectures and 2 labs per week, and they squeezed all that into a summer class. It was brutal.
was it general or organic chem?
 

lisab

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RunSwimSurf

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Second semester general. Organic would have been really tough!
Hmm, that's what I'm doing this summer....starting tomorrow! :eek:
 

lisab

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Is it possible to take Modern Physics (right after princ. of physics II e&m stuff) during the summer? I will be learning linear algebra and calc. 3 in the spring, would it be possible to do that class and differential equations? Or should I switch the physics class out for a humanities class and simply focus on the math?
 

lisab

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Is it possible to take Modern Physics (right after princ. of physics II e&m stuff) during the summer? I will be learning linear algebra and calc. 3 in the spring, would it be possible to do that class and differential equations? Or should I switch the physics class out for a humanities class and simply focus on the math?
In my opinion, if you're going to take a summer class it's better to choose a general ed requirement over a physics class. You're probably aware that summer classes are more compressed and condensed, and I've found some physics concepts need a bit of time to percolate to get a good understanding. But that's just my experience.

I've taken science classes in the summer only because I had to, in order to meet the prerequisites of a course I needed to take in the fall.

So I'd say take the humanities class unless Modern is a prerequisite for a fall class you're planning to take the following fall.
 
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A math class is doable in the summer, and you can possibly retain most of the information since a significant amount of time will be put into it.

The only problem I ran into is that it usually takes me two days to really "get" math material. This can be a problem when there is a rapid pace every day and material builds on previous material. So it is important for me to look back on previous material a few days later to really understand it and put the pieces together.
 

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