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Courses Help Me Cope With a Heavy Courseload This Fall!

  1. Jun 5, 2010 #1
    I am a sophomore Mechanical Engineering major transferring from a really crappy college to the University at Buffalo, which is a halfway decent engineering school. I want to rock my first semester with a 4.0 and try to get some scholarships for my junior year. The problem is, that I need to take a fairly heavy courseload to catch up to the other students because I transferred.

    Here are the classes under my belt:
    - Calc I
    - Calc II
    - Physics I (Classical Mechanics)
    - Physics I Lab

    Here are the classes I'm taking in the fall (ends up as 18 credit hours):
    - Calc III w/ recitation
    - Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism) w/ recitation and Lab
    - Statics
    - Computation for Engineers w/ Lab (Essentially a very basic C++ programming course w/ engineering applications)
    - Engineering Ethics and Standard Practices

    *I don't have a job this summer and can dedicate my time to studying and hanging out with my gf (isn't life good?).

    These are the materials I have:
    - Physics I textbook and accompanying workbook
    - "An Intro to Mechanics" by Kleppner and Kolenkow
    - "Calculus: A Physical and Intuitive Approach" by Kline (Covers Calc I and II topics w/ physics applications)

    I was also looking at the MIT Opencourseware Calc III course:

    ***So, what should I do this summer to make my fall semester seem like a breeze, and make me more able to impress my professors (which decide who gets most of the engineering dept. scholarship money)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2010 #2
    To be honest, that isn't a very heavy schedule. At least for engineering, you should expect more on the way around 3rd yr.

    I basically took the same classes last semester, minus statics. I personally enjoyed calc III, and it's one of the reasons I switched to math from engineering. A few vectors here and there (which you can learn easily), but if you have a solid background in calc 1-2, you shouldn't need to study it over the summer.

    On a good day (no actual hw due) I did 2 hours of studying. If there was a quiz that week or exam, I spent about 5-7 hours in the library a day. Sometimes the other classes (like engineering ethics or whatever it is you've got) were just inconveniences. Make sure you don't neglect them though. I heard on another thread that you should consider yourself a professional student..... so don't stress about having to cope. Trust me, you'll do fine

    Edit: Oh nice book too, dude. I have that same one. If you have the reddish paperback version, look on page 702. These are the equations of the plane. If you want to study Calc 3, study from page 700 through 734. This will give you a background in 3-d graphs. Calc 3 does a lot of study in 3 or more dimensions. Don't bog yourself down in this section though. More important to simply know the shapes/geometry, be familiar with it. Then go on to partial differentiation, maxima and minima. Learn double and triple integrals. Everything from page 700 to 843 will be in calc 3. There's more in the actual class not in the book, but don't overwhelm yourself. PM me if you don't understand anything, and I can try and help you out.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010
  4. Jun 5, 2010 #3
    Thanks so much, if I run into anything I'll let you know.
  5. Jun 5, 2010 #4
    I would go ahead and review the material from your math classes, unless you're a math whiz or something. Maybe just start organizing your materials you need to be comfortable. Make a study schedule. Make a goal list for what you want to achieve. Don't let yourself get distracted, and remember the most important thing is to learn.
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