- #1

- 37

- 0

- Programs
- Thread starter Mandanesss
- Start date

- #1

- 37

- 0

- #2

- 206

- 0

Speaking from personal experience in a similar situation, probably the safest thing to do is choose math as a minor for now. If you find you enjoy the more advanced classes and do well, then you'll probably be far enough along in biology and math to just swap your major and minor with relative ease. Plus a good amount of experience in another scientific field could make finding a job after school that much easier. The only big problem is that it might take you longer to graduate.

- #3

- 998

- 0

It sounds like you really are getting more into your math courses than your current major. What textbooks have you been using?

I'd suggest picking up a few top-notch textbooks from the library; Say, Spivak's "Calculus," (this will cover things that you already know, but from a much more rigorous perspective), Artin's "Algebra," and anything else that looks interesting. Try to follow the first few chapters on your own, and in particular try to solve a number of problems, especially from the algebra book. The style of presentation will be something remotely similar to what you'll see in higher-level (though still introductory) mathematics courses.

Also, at least at my school, there aren't any professors who will object to people sitting in on their lectures; You might want to sit in on a few for some upper-level math courses. Obviously the experience will vary depending on the instructor, and if you don't do it right at the start of a course then you will be completely lost, but it may at least give you some grasp of "what an upper division course is like"!

Another potential idea to talk to one or more of your former instructors about switching majors. They'll probably be able to give you some sort of insight into the differences between the courses you've taken already and more advanced courses.

I wouldn't worry at all about your "mental arithmetic," as long as you understand the fundamentals of symbolic manipulation (it's surprising how many people don't!). As I've demonstrated repeatedly in other threads, I can hardly even add integers with any reliability!

I'd suggest picking up a few top-notch textbooks from the library; Say, Spivak's "Calculus," (this will cover things that you already know, but from a much more rigorous perspective), Artin's "Algebra," and anything else that looks interesting. Try to follow the first few chapters on your own, and in particular try to solve a number of problems, especially from the algebra book. The style of presentation will be something remotely similar to what you'll see in higher-level (though still introductory) mathematics courses.

Also, at least at my school, there aren't any professors who will object to people sitting in on their lectures; You might want to sit in on a few for some upper-level math courses. Obviously the experience will vary depending on the instructor, and if you don't do it right at the start of a course then you will be completely lost, but it may at least give you some grasp of "what an upper division course is like"!

Another potential idea to talk to one or more of your former instructors about switching majors. They'll probably be able to give you some sort of insight into the differences between the courses you've taken already and more advanced courses.

I wouldn't worry at all about your "mental arithmetic," as long as you understand the fundamentals of symbolic manipulation (it's surprising how many people don't!). As I've demonstrated repeatedly in other threads, I can hardly even add integers with any reliability!

Last edited:

- #4

- 206

- 0

- #5

- 37

- 0

I forgot to mention that I am a Math minor right now. If I do change majors, I'd have an extra semester, which I'm ok with. Plus, I'd end up with a double minor in Bio and Chem. I've talked to my Calc professor on numerous occasions about switiching majors, she thinks I should. But I always wonder if she's just saying that or if she really means it.

I'm glad to know my mental arithmetic problem won't be too much of an issue, since I do understand symbolic manipulation.

- #6

- 1,085

- 6

- #7

- 185

- 0

- #8

- 905

- 4

If you like calculus, but not the upper level math courses, then you just might fit in with us physics people!

- #9

- 337

- 0

Sure, take off a few points, or even half the points for the problem, but at least I'm not getting D's like I did in grade school for those kinds of mistakes.

On that note though, I've found that the better you know the material, the less likely those little mental lapes are. In fact, I've found that if you do enough practice problems, and do them over and over again, you are able to spot those mistakes long before you turn the test in.

- #10

- 229

- 0

So my point is, whatever you do, do really well.

I studied mathematics, but I knew what I was going to do with my degree beforehand, so try to think about what you want to do AFTER you graduate.

As for whether you have what it takes, only you can answer that. The things that will help you the most IMO are

1. having confidence in your own mathematical ability

2. working hard

Goodluck.

- Last Post

- Replies
- 10

- Views
- 13K

- Replies
- 58

- Views
- 4K

- Last Post

- Replies
- 9

- Views
- 5K

- Replies
- 23

- Views
- 23K

- Replies
- 16

- Views
- 3K

- Replies
- 1

- Views
- 724

- Replies
- 2

- Views
- 4K

- Replies
- 11

- Views
- 3K

- Replies
- 17

- Views
- 4K

- Last Post

- Replies
- 18

- Views
- 5K