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EE Major - what math should I focus on?

  1. May 9, 2006 #1
    I just changed my major to EE (actually last semester). I was previously a comp sci major. While in CS I took calc I, II, discrete math, then calc III and linear algebra. I hated math when I took up to discrete math. I always just wanted to solve the problems on the computer. It wasn't until calc III and linear algebra that I actually started to like math. I then took a circuit design class and was like... screw computer science (algorithms were boring the hell out of me), I'm changing my major.

    So anyways, I changed majors. I then took diffeq and became facinated with math. Someone recommended Godel, Escher, and Bach... and from there I really started to enjoy (the first time ever) going to math classes. I just took a PDE course and we used Strangs applied math book, again it upped my facination with mathematics.

    Anyways... long story short. I am basically done (as an undergraduate) with my math requirements. I'm sure there will be some "new" math in my up and coming engineering courses, but as far as courses that are "MAT XXX", I am done. I do NOT want this to be the case, so I plan on self studying various courses. My question is this: Which courses should I self study?

    I kind of screwed around in Linear Algebra, so I was thinking of self studying this over the summer. MIT has video lectures, I REALLY like Strang's writing style, so I was thinking of picking up his book and then watching the lectures.

    In your opinion, which math should I choose to focus on? I really enjoyed the little bit of PDE work I did, especially the wave equation. Also, I have NOT narrowed my EE focus down yet. I'm not sure what I am going to do. Next year I will be going to various seminars to check out the different paths I can take. So I'm sure this will somewhat change the answers given. Anyways, I'll leave it at that.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Thanks for reading all that :)
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2006 #2


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    Which school are you attending?

    In ours, we had "Advanced Engineering Mathematics" spread out into 3 semesters. It was a great course. It included all the things we needed for our EE classes. (including LaPlace and Fourier Analysis, Complex Analysis, 1st & 2nd Order DiffEq., Partial DiffEq, Vector Calc, Matrix Manipulations, etc..)
    Last edited: May 9, 2006
  4. May 9, 2006 #3


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    I didnt see you mention complex analysis, which would be extremely useful. Im quite surprised that its not compulsory.
  5. May 9, 2006 #4
    I go to Arizona State University. The "advanced" math class I took was vector calc, fourier series, laplace, heat, and wave equations. That 3 semester class you took sounds awesome by the way.

    It's quite likely it will be covered in one of the engineering courses.

    So the recommendation thus far is complex analysis? Any recommeded books?
  6. May 9, 2006 #5
    by: J. Wiley
  7. May 9, 2006 #6
    Learn linear algebra - the theoretical stuff. (Row, column, null) spaces, vector spaces, Hilbert spaces, Fourier series, Finite fields, Error Correcting Codes (i.e., Hamming codes), etc. It is _very_ important to EE, far moreso than calculus or analysis.

    After you're done with linear algebra, go for probability - probability density functions, bayesian analysis/inference, etc.

    If you can master those two topics you will _rock_ at advanced EE (some areas)
  8. May 9, 2006 #7
    Take a class in Complex Variables.
  9. May 10, 2006 #8
    I've decided to study linear algebra again, and complex analysis. I found another post on recommendations for complex analysis, so I'm going to go check a few of those books out of my technical library. For linalg I'll just go through MIT's lectures and relearn that stuff... it should be a little bit easier, since I've been exposed to it already and did ok. But I was taking the class for a grade at the time, not to actually learn the material.

    I apperciate everyone's help. Thanks.
  10. May 10, 2006 #9
    what class ?
  11. May 10, 2006 #10


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    Okay I am reading the course description for your MAT362 (Adv Engr Math). at asu website. Looks like they tried to concentrate as much as they could in that one.. I believe our Adv Engr Math text was by Kreyszig.

    I remember reading over the complex variables material again just before taking Signals and Systems. It made that class a lot easier to follow. If you haven't learned about Curl, Divergence and Gradients. That would be something to brush up on before taking your Electromagnetic Fields classes.
  12. May 10, 2006 #11
    The class that I was referring to was linear algebra. It covered vector spaces, (row, column, null) space, eigenvalues, etc... I pretty much just memorized what I needed to for the test. Treated the class as an algorithm. ie) to solve question N, I run algorithm B. I don't remember much of it. So I will actually try to learn the material this summer.

    Before we jumped into Maxwell's equations in MAT362 we backtracked into Calc III. We covered stokes' and the divergence theorem. Part of the discussion on these two theorems was curl, grad, and divergence in orthogonal coordinate systems. So I think I'm alright with that stuff. I'm actually relatively comfortable with vector calculus.

    Is https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0471504599/002-0747345-4245660?v=glance&n=283155"the book?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  13. May 10, 2006 #12


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    Staff: Mentor

    Check out this book FrogPad, I think you'll like it a lot. It's my main DSP self-study book:

    Digital Signal Processing by Williams

    (I'm not sure I have the title right -- it's at work where I use it often, and I'm home now)
  14. May 10, 2006 #13

    Is this the same book that you recommended in another post on complex anslysis?

    If it is, I went to my schools library today to get the book :)

    Unfortunatly they did not have it on the shelf. The computer said it was out there, but I couldn't find it :(

    I'm going to check back in a few days and see if they have it.

    The book I am referring to is:

    is that the book?

    I ended up picking up a book called:
    "Fundementals of Complex Analysis for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering" by E.B. Saff and A.D. Snider. Seems like a good book from the first chapter I read. It has been gentle on the reader thus far.
  15. May 11, 2006 #14


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    Yeah, that's the right one. I really enjoyed it.
  16. May 11, 2006 #15
    Cool. I'll check it out as soon as it reappears on the shelf :)
  17. May 12, 2006 #16


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    Actually, this is the one I was referring to. (I see they also have it in paperback)
    Last edited: May 12, 2006
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