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Clearing the path to Differential Equations

  • Thread starter torquemada
  • Start date
  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

According to my school, I gotta take calc 3 and 1 semester of linear algebra before i can start differential equations. Is this so? Anything else you would advise to add? Or is this too much and I can deal with less? I ask because many have advised calc 3 before any physics even though my school only requires calc 1, so it seems there isn't total consensus on the best/correct sequence for coursework. Any feedback is appreciated. :)
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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It depends on the content of each of your math classes, obviously, but I took differential equations before I took linear algebra and did fine.

Calc 3 definitely isn't required to start learning physics.
 
  • #3
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Yea really depends. At my school the ODE class only has Calc 2 as a prereq. The linear algebra stuff needed is kinda incorporated into the text book as far as I see.

Partial Derivatives have shown up a couple times already (just started the class) and I'm taking Calc III concurrently. Took me about a minute to figure them out though.
 
  • #4
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My course outline looks like this:
last semester: calc 1 + gen physics A w/ calculus
this semester: calc 2 + gen physics B w/ calculus
next semester: Differential Equations + physics electives
semester after: calc 3 + physics electives
semester after: gonna take linear algebra (even though not required for physics major, it's one of the few things missing from me being a dual math major) + physics electives

My advisor has all the physics majors set up like this.
 
  • #5
141
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torquemada,
I got similar situations..
My curriculum requires me to take Calc 3 and Linear Algebra before Differential Equation
But from my understanding those classes are somewhat tougher than my friends in engineering took..

Calc 3 is usually involved in intro EM, so some background can be helpful...
 

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