Combinatorial Math: Helpful for physics major?

In summary, the forum member is a junior physics major looking for a final class to take in the spring semester. They are interested in pursuing graduate studies in theoretical physics and potentially working in industries such as finance, economics, or medical physics. They are considering a variety of classes, including statistics, programming, and introductory biology, and are seeking input and advice from others. Ultimately, they want to choose a class that will align with their interests and goals and provide a strong foundation for their future studies and career.
  • #1
pjl2934
25
0
Hello all,

The spring schedule is out and I'm trying to figure out what class to take with my required physics courses. I will be taking EM, Quantum, Directed Research, and I'm a TA for University Physics II. Which is 10.5 credits (TA is 1.5). I still need one more class to be full time.

I am currently a junior and only have Statistical Mechanics and senior lab with seminar left for the physics BS, but I'm also going to take some grad level like Theoretical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics and do more research. I'm currently unsure of what area to go into for graduate school, so therefore I don't know what extra classes to take to fill in my schedule. I would really like to work in the private industry in some way, hopefully research, math, and analytical thinking would be required. Maybe R&D, economics, or finance? I would enjoy any of those areas, I believe.

So now that you know all of that, I'm thinking a variety of tracks and would like to get any opinions. Based on what is available and fits around my current class times, I'm thinking about taking either Combinatorial Math, Intro Chem I, Intro Bio I, a finance class, an economics class, a statistics class, or a programming class? For some reason C++ isn't offered and the Java class is only offered to Engineering students and some others, but not physics majors. Weird.

In grad school and eventually in my career I would like to work in theoretical physics, but would also be happy with experimental work. I really like particles and fields and have some interest in biophysics. Economics and finance are my next choices and my fall-back is medical physics. I am already married with two young children, so stability is something that I really desire in my career.

The courses I take now will be my education base to build on in grad school, so I need to figure out what my emphasis will be. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
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  • #2




It seems like you have a lot of great options for your final class in the spring semester. Based on your interests and goals, I would suggest taking a statistics or programming class. Both of these skills are highly valuable in both theoretical and experimental physics research, as well as in industries such as finance and economics. They also provide a strong foundation for graduate studies in any field of physics. Additionally, taking a programming class could open up opportunities for research in computational physics, which is a growing field with many job opportunities in both academia and industry.

If you are interested in biophysics, I would also recommend taking the introductory biology course. It will provide you with a strong understanding of the biological principles that are becoming increasingly important in many areas of physics research, such as biophysics and medical physics.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose a class that aligns with your interests and will help you achieve your goals. I would also suggest talking to your academic advisor or professors for their recommendations and advice. Good luck with your decision and your future endeavors!
 

Related to Combinatorial Math: Helpful for physics major?

1. What is combinatorial math and how is it helpful for physics major?

Combinatorial math is a branch of mathematics that deals with counting, arranging, and selecting objects or elements. In the context of physics, combinatorial math is used to analyze and solve problems related to combinations and permutations of particles, energy states, and quantum states.

2. Can you give an example of how combinatorial math is used in physics?

One example is in quantum mechanics, where combinatorial methods are used to calculate the number of possible energy states and the probability of a particle occupying a particular state.

3. Why is combinatorial math considered important for physics major?

Combinatorial math is important for physics major because it provides a powerful tool for solving complex problems and understanding the underlying principles of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and other areas of physics.

4. How can knowledge of combinatorial math benefit a physics major in their future career?

A strong understanding of combinatorial math can benefit a physics major in their future career by helping them to tackle challenging problems and develop innovative solutions in fields such as quantum computing, materials science, and data analysis.

5. Are there any specific techniques or formulas in combinatorial math that are particularly useful for physics major?

Some useful techniques in combinatorial math for physics major include the multiplication principle, the binomial theorem, and the concept of generating functions. Additionally, knowledge of graph theory and group theory can also be applied in various areas of physics.

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