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Freshman EE student seeking advice

  1. May 20, 2006 #1
    Well finals just finished and I am pretty sure that I did pretty well over all except for my Honors Physics II course.

    I wanted to get advice about this. My final grade for the semester just came in for Physics II and its a C+.

    I thought I was going to do worse but the scale greatly helped me out. Anyways, I am considering anulling this grade and retaking Physics II in order to do better and get a better understanding of the concepts but at the normal level, not the Honors.

    I wanted sort of a challenge since I did very well in regular Physics I so I took Honors Physics II. But I got more of a challenge than I bargained for.

    Anyways, I would like to stay on track for a 5-years masters program but how would this course effect future courses in the EE field?
    Last edited: May 20, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2006 #2
    Unless you had a very rigorous physics II then you probably only dealt with physics on an algebraic level, which often leaves something to be desired in the understanding department. I found that if you simply take some more advanced maths then the physics is easier to understand. If you have done so, I would recommend at least taking up through linear algebra before even starting your EE classes (which is what I did and I am really on top of the more classically difficult courses like signals and systems which is a killer course at my school).

    In my opinion, I don't think it will affect you: The most important parts of physics for an EE will get beaten into you in other introductory EE courses. There are plenty of other environmental factors that could have affected your grade also, so I wouldn't take it as a sign of things to come. I just finished my third year of coursework in an EE degree so perhaps things change in the 4th year, but I doubt it.
  4. May 26, 2006 #3
    don't worry about physics 2. i'm an EE major and although we covered a lot of topics in physics 2, they're more like introductory material. but do make sure that you're very strong with calculus. especially with gradients, polar and spherical coordinates and transforming integrals from 3d to 2d and vice versa. all these will be covered like crazy in electromagnetics fields/waves course. so far i've only seen a relationship between electromagnetics and physics 2. also you might've covered basic circuit theory in physics 2 but circuits 1 and 2 will burn it into your head.

    i took physics for engineers 2 and got a B+ but for everything else in EE, i come back to electromagnetics class and circuits 1 class. these two are considered your foundations for EE. its sort of like mechanical students taking physics 1 and 2 even though only 1 applies to them. however they have more foundation classes they have to take like statics or thermodynamics later on.
  5. May 26, 2006 #4
    The prerequisite for EE courses is usually Physics II or some sort of physics course with an emphasis on electricity and magnetism. Retaking the course would then give you a greater breadth of knowledge, if that is what you walk away with. On the other hand, this could set you back a semester or two and cause you to take a 6 year Masters program. But what are the chances and is it favorable?
  6. May 26, 2006 #5
    What are honours courses in the states? How can a freshman take a honours level course?

    In australia, honours refer to the year after you graduate from undergrad studies...
  7. May 26, 2006 #6
    honors courses are classes that cover more topics or are very detailed about the material covered. also you get more gpa points upon completion.

    here in the u.s., classes after undergrad are called graduate (or grad) classes. after grad, they're post-grad or doctoral.
  8. May 27, 2006 #7
    True, though, not all "honors" courses give extra grade points. For example, I took the honors physics course at my college and got smack diddly in return for working harder (besides better understanding of material) Admittedly, since most of the people in the honors course would have gotten an A in the regular course, the honors course was graded so most people get B or higher and average grade is A or A- (an unusually generous curve given the average grade in regular is B- )

    "Honors" college courses are usually 1st year courses for people who come in to college unusually prepared for that course, but have not completed a comparable course - consider students who take advanced placement physics in high school, for example.

    One guy in the honors physics course one year got something like a 60% on one midterm exam and was feeling bad about it - so the next week he took the regular midterm exam and got a 98% :)
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