Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need tips

  1. I am in my freshman year majoring mathematics,which I chose independently right after the entrance examination.I really admire the well-constructed logic and symbolic system in math,and I hope to have a good graps of it.

    During the first year, I take the mathematical analysis and advanced algebra as two major courses,which are totally different from the simple math in high school.
    And that's where my problem lies.
    The assignments are beyond my ability at present.And every week,the homework costs me three quarters of my leisure,leaving me little time taking part in other activities.Compared to those who have studied Olympic Mathis at a very young age,I feel like I am nothing.
    And my gpa last semester are relatively low,which really drives me in distress.
    There are almost unfinished work every week,new assignments to be delayed,and this becomes a dead loop.I don't think my time management is wrong 'cause I have spent so much time in mathematics,but I still can't get it through.
    My confidence is badly damaged,and I begin to suspect my initial choice of my major,but I have no intention of transferring my major,as I really want to go further on mathematics.
    It's really a contradictory situation for me,when the reality is against my will.
    How can I make a progress in mathematics,instead of facing the undone questions ,working nothing out?I don't think a lot of homework can solve my problem.
    Is there any possibility that I can catch up with the student who've studied Olympic math and achieving my dream of becoming a mathematician?
    Thanks for your reply.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    What areas of math do you like most? What other subjects or interests do you have?

    Perhaps a related major is better such as Physics, Engineering or Comp Sci where you'd use more applied math.
     
  4. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    I've never known any university to offer what seems like senior level courses to freshmen. There are pre-reqs for a reason.

    On a more personal level, do you think that maybe you are finally realizing that you have limits? You shouldn't beat yourself up that much, we all have them, whether some of us want to admit it or not.

    Plus there is some advice that I sometimes see on this board and that is to not compare yourself to others. You are not them and they are not you so things will always be different.
     
  5. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    What math have you taken before. The two classes you listed freshmen don't usually take without a intro to proofs
     
  6. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    I wouldn't be surprised if the OP goes to a school such as this one. They happen to automatically accept people who have done well on the Olympiads and their entrance exam is very much like a set of Olympiad questions, from what I understand.
     
  7. micromass

    micromass 18,695
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    Judging from the OP's language, he's likely not from the US. In Europe, courses like mathematical analysis and abstract algebra are freshman courses. At least, they were freshman courses for me. I never took an intro to proofs class either.
     
  8. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    HOLY COW! That's gnarly!! The only non-computer/math courses is Humanities I. :rofl:
     
  9. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    I don't know much about what courses American freshmen take,but here,we don't have any pre-reqs,and I think the intro to proofs was learned in high school classes,as there are such stuffs in the textbook.
     
  10. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    You reference "here" like we all know where "here" is.
     
  11. Perhaps the MA here is a bit different from that of other countries.I've found that compared to the book of Rudhin,The textbook here emphasizes less on abstract concepts such as set theory and topology and more on calculus.
    Plus,it seems that the two courses are taught during the first 3 semester here in every university's math department.
     
  12. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    I am sorry for my ambiguous discription.Well,this is in China.
     
  13. bcrowell

    bcrowell 5,733
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    Research jobs are extremely hard to get. If you were the top student in your department, I'd still advise you to have a backup plan, not invest your entire sense of self-worth in the goal of going into research, and not to embark on degree unless you feel you will enjoy the process regardless of the outcome. You're not the top student in your department, but that doesn't change my advice -- my advice is exactly the same.
     
  14. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need


    why does the US have easier curriculum than other countries? im jw



    edit: wow I just looked at the curriculum for imperial college london and complex analysis is a sophomore course there?!! That's a graduate course at my university.

    ... feeling inadequate
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  15. Nabeshin

    Nabeshin 2,200
    Science Advisor

    Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    Little bit off topic but a short response. Two main reasons 1) Highschool preparation is often inadequate, and 2) Universities often require many 'general education' requirements outside the chosen field of study, which often add at least a year to the length of the degree.
     
  16. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    I don't know why people believe they have to be the next Euler to learn mathematics. Just spend time studying it, and eventually you will learn it. Nobody is going to point and laugh at your proofs because you aren't "Olympic Godlike Status."
     
  17. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    what math classes do you guys learn in high school?? :eek:
     
  18. Re: Depression:I am afraid that I would never reach my dream of a mathematician.Need

    inadequate, but also... detrimentally underfunded.

    Anyhow, don't give up, and don't rely on others to tell you what you yearn to hear. Truth comes from accepting your flaws and weaknesses first. Only you know yourself truly.

    Someone here said that getting a research position was not easy, well, that someone is only half-right. Nothing worth doing is easy. But, research will, and should never, ever, be dictated or controlled by an institution or an organization.

    If you are passionate about a field of mathematics or other; commit yourself to learn, bit by bit. You dictate your own research, as long as you keep an elevated level of academic integrity.

    In academia, there are all sorts of characters, don't take their word for granted. There are many mediocre minds under the mansard roof. Look beyond labels imposed by society; it is all propaganda. Find truth in the work of the ancients, and the few who pioneered the fields.

    Stay on top of your duties. If you're typing on this board, you have the privilege of an internet connection; use it wisely.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
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