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Fall Semester Classes

  1. Jun 2, 2013 #1
    I'm working on my bachelors in Electrical Engineering and for Fall Semester I'll be taking first semester circuits, linear algebra, and third semester university physics. Can someone recommend another class that would benefit me in electrical engineering.

    These are the classes I'm looking at:

    (The classes that I chose are the only ones I am eligible for due to prerequisites)

    Class Name: Mathematical Structures
    Course description: Logic and set theory, induction, functions, order and equivalence relations, cardinality. Emphasizes writing proofs

    Class Name: Mathematical Methods in Physics 1
    Course description: Differential equations, linear equations, vectors, matrices, Fourier series, and numerical methods.

    If someone can suggest another subject for example statistics, programming etc. that would be beneficial please mention them so I can search for classes under the subject.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    computational physics.
  4. Jun 3, 2013 #3
    Some comments on the two classes you listed:

    This course, I think, is exceptionally useful. It complements your linear algebra course quite well, and the material in it forms the foundation of your EE courses that focus on linear systems (e.g. signals and systems, control theory, signal processing) as well as your electromagnetics courses.

    At the university I go to, this course (we call it "discrete mathematics") is only required for mathematics, computer science and computer engineering majors. I'm an EE major, and I took the course and its follow-up for fun. It turned out to be useful: the course helped me learn think in terms of abstract structures and reason mathematically, both of which are very important for my rather mathematical thesis.

    With that said, if you don't want to go theory, I reckon that the course will be useful only if you specialize in software. Either way, I recommend the mathematical methods course.

    As for other classes, things like probability and programming are universally useful. If a programming course is not part of your EE curriculum, definitely take one. A dedicated course on numerical methods (usually called "Numerical Methods" or "Numerical Analysis") may also be useful if you decide you like doing things like simulations or even firmware and embedded programming.
  5. Jun 3, 2013 #4


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    Education Advisor

    I would be very careful to call this class discrete mathematics. Mathematical structure sounds like a mathematical introduction to set theory and proof writing intended for math majors. Discrete mathematics may have elements of this within the class, but it has a much more wide and perhaps less in-depth approach ie you may learn some combinatorics, graph theory, and maybe even simple game theory. It's very dependent on the university. Nevertheless, this course in particular sounds like a math proof course intended for math majors.

    Anyway, without a doubt I would recommend the methods course. The more mathematical techniques you know prior to having to use them in a physics class can only help you :).
  6. Jun 3, 2013 #5
    I think I know where you go to school, and I think we go to the same university; I've taken both of these classes, if so. I highly recommend math methods, the course has an unusual "studio" format where the first 1.5 of 2 hours is spent in a recitation and the last .5 hour is spent in a "mini lecture." However the course is enormously demanding on your time; you will need to complete several intensive group projects. There are two homeworks every week; not only that, but the choice of textbook is a university-specific tutorial. Rather than prove main theorems or techniques directly, it typically leaves many of these derivations to walkthrough-style exercises... which can be quite difficult (although the course curve and grading style tends towards being generous). Finally there is a take home final exam which is extremely challenging. Again the curves make it not too difficult but on top of other things it can be quite time consuming.

    Who is teaching mathematical structures? The course is usually not terribly hard. However I took it with Kierstead, whose teaching style was enormously different from other professors and vastly more challenging. The math department at ASU has much less rigid rules (for instance, the physics department has a silly rule where 1/3 of the students always get A's, 1/3 get B's, and 1/3 get C's or something like that, which results in a high retension rate and some ridiculous curves... the math department is much more strict).
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  7. Jun 3, 2013 #6
    I'm going to Arizona State University
  8. Jun 3, 2013 #7
    Yep that's where I'm at.
  9. Jun 3, 2013 #8
    Ha cool. This will be my first semester at ASU and it looks like Bremner and Czgrinow are teaching the Mathematical Structures course.
  10. Jun 3, 2013 #9
    I've heard good things about Czgrinow. Dunno anything about Bremner. Good luck!
  11. Jun 3, 2013 #10
    I am also starting at ASU pretty soon. I am taking my maths/physics/chemistry at a CC because ASU is a little to expensive for me eventhough I'd love to have attended there from day one.:frown:

    Not to derail your thread, of course.:smile:
  12. Jun 3, 2013 #11
    Which CC? I personally went to MCC and quite enjoyed it. If you are a strong student I highly recommend Santilli's Calculus sequence... but only if you're a strong student!!
  13. Jun 3, 2013 #12
    I am transferring from Mesa Community College.
  14. Jun 3, 2013 #13
    Mike I just realized you're a EEE student, and I have to point out that both courses are probably not terribly useful to you unless you want to keep your options open for a physics or math major:

    For methods, the physics department cuts out some of the mathematics found in linear algebra and differential equations that are not usually useful to physicists (laplace transforms, systems of differential equations, linear optimization, matlab training), and adds a bunch of mathematics which is probably not useful to engineers, as the course is prep for a second semester in Strum Liouville systems and all the special polynomials and diff eq solutions such as Bessel's functions, Legendre Polynomials, analytic functions (which can be useful to EEE people), differential geometry etc. Unless you're interested in being a physicist it might be a waste of your time.

    Math structures will be interesting but again completely orthogonal to interests in EEE, unless you want to study something like control systems and need all of that higher level mathematics.
  15. Jun 3, 2013 #14
    I just took his calc 3 class two semesters ago and was the only A in the class. He is a great teacher
  16. Jun 4, 2013 #15
    Yes, of course. My mistake - sorry. At my university, this material is included in the first discrete mathematics course, along with some combinatorics and very basic number theory, but it would be unfair to categorize it under discrete math.
  17. Jun 7, 2013 #16
    GCC and MCC. I've noticed MCC and Chandler Gilbert is pretty Eng oriented compared to the rest of the MCCs. Have you taken your statics there? How are the ECE classes there?
  18. Jun 7, 2013 #17
    How was it there? What classes did you take while you were there?
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