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Courses Course Difficulty Guesstimate

  1. Dec 15, 2011 #1
    Hey PF. I've got a month of break before classes start again, so naturally I'm going to spend it nose-down in books like a good little nerd. Trouble is, I don't want to use a shotgun approach to self-study; I'd rather use a focused approach on what I think might present the greatest difficulty next semester. So, could y'all help me out and tell me which course y'all think will be most problematic?

    Course Schedule:

    Ordinary Differential Equations: Some partial differential equations as well, but relegated to the unidimensional cases of the heat, wave, and potential equations. Pretty much a four-hour course using the Boyce-Diprima book, chapters 1-7 and then chapter 10. I already took this course, but made a D because I was an idiot and didn't practice the computational aspect. Retaking it again this spring.

    Engineering Computation: "Numerical methods and applications to aerospace engineering problems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester." This is essentially a programming class using MATLAB, focusing on engineering applications.

    Dynamics: "Two- and three-dimensional kinematics and dynamics, applied to a broad class of engineering problems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester, with discussion hours if necessary." Looks like engineering physics to me.

    Thermodynamics: "First and second laws of thermodynamics; thermodynamic processes, cycles, and heat transfer. Three lecture hours a week for one semester." Looks like more physics to me.

    Mechanics of Solids: "Internal forces and deformations in solids; stress and strain in elastic and plastic solids; application to simple engineering problems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester, with discussion hours if necessary." Looks like more--ah, of course I'm gonna be taking loads of physics :D
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2011 #2
    that term sounds awful lol . . . best of luck

    i think dynamics is the worst, but that's me.
  4. Dec 15, 2011 #3
    ODE's are ODE's. Learn how to work with them and you'll do fine. Practice makes, well, average lol.

    NumComp for engineering: is typically tough if you aren't a programmer. I happen to have had tons of experience with matlab so when I took a course similar to this I was in good shape. It'll probably be challenging, but matlab is an incredible tool.

    Dynamics: It is engineering physics. Generally with a focus on changing reference frames.

    Thermo: It's not physics, really. It's heat transfer, fluid flow, and as you wrote, thermodynamic processes and cycles (adiabatic, entropy, bla bla bla).

    Solid Mechanics is the study of stress and strain and deformation on materials. It's not really like physics except that it has equations.
  5. Dec 15, 2011 #4
    I love ODE but it is something that requires practice. The computation class might be a bit hard if you dont have any programming experience, otherwise it should be easy. Matlab is a great environment that's really easy to work with. I just finished a class like that but my class was a complete waste of time with a completely useless professor.

    I havent taken Dynamics because I hated statics. It looks like engineering physics to you because that exactly what it is. I'll be taking thermo next semester so I can't comment on that.

    All in all, I cant say theres any class there thats particularly difficult as a subject. Nothing easy though. So focus on your weaknesses, whether that be math, physics, or programming.
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