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Deciding whether to audit, take the class, or take pass/fail

  1. Jan 11, 2012 #1
    Hey guys, I'm a sophomore thinking about adding into a complex analysis class. The thing is, I'm not sure whether the class would require concepts from Real Analysis (which I haven't taken) or not. The professor didn't list analysis as a prereq but from a conceptual standpoint speaks of the class as if it comes after analysis. I attended the first class and kept up perfectly fine, but that doesn't really say anything, since we haven't gotten into anything difficult yet.

    The course description states "Complex numbers. Analytic functions including exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions of a complex variable. Geometric and mapping properties of analytic functions. Contour integration, Cauchy's theorem, the Cauchy integral formula. Power series representations. Residues and poles, with applications to the evaluation of integrals. Conformal mapping and applications as time permits.
    That Conformal mapping is only "as time permits" leads me to believe that he doesn't go through stuff too quickly and this is really an introductory course. He also uses Brown/Churchill, which I've heard doesn't assume very advanced mathematical knowledge. As such, I was wondering whether y'all thought if I would be ready for this kind of intro level complex analysis course. I've had proof-heavy classes before and I aced multivariable and linalg
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2012 #2
    Oftentimes, introductory complex analysis courses will not strictly require tools from real analysis in the sense that the course will introduce those concepts when necessary. That said, analysis is hard enough over the reals; unless you have a good intuition for the things covered in a solid real analysis course, you're going to find a lot of complex analysis unmotivated and quite difficult.
  4. Jan 11, 2012 #3
    If you know single-variable calculus you shouldn't have any problem. In my course, we had to resort to L'Hopital's rule at some point, Taylor series, etc. but I think the course was pretty self-contained assuming you've covered everything in one of those massive high school/1st year college Calculus texts at some point or another. Speak with your professor about your situation just in case though.
  5. Jan 11, 2012 #4
    Question: Is this a general introductory course on complex variables (e.g. learning to do calculus with complex numbers), or a full blown course on complex analysis? Looking closer at the course description you offered, analysis would certainly offer some motivation, but you should be able to manage without that background.
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