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High School Student Unable to Decide Between Math or Physics

  1. Sep 23, 2012 #1

    I am a junior in high school and I can't seem to decide between physics or mathematics. I have always had an affinity for the two subjects since preschool. This is a very difficult decision for me because I enjoy both subjects very much.

    My knowledge for both subjects are at a layman's level, but I am aware of some of the subjects of today. For math I know the greats (Euclid, Archimedes, Fermat, Galois, Cantor, Gauss, Euler, Poincare, Bourbaki, Godel, etc.), the current players (Tao, Wiles, Grothenidieck, Conway), and a very basic layman knowledge of the subjects (Topology, Set Theory, Number Theory, Discrete Mathematics, etc.).

    The same goes for physics, but I won't list them to not appear pretentious.

    Could you please help? I am confused. :frown:
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2012 #2
    This literally made me laugh out loud after reading the above part.

    Dude, you're in high school, you don't need to decide yet. Just keep taking math and physics and decide later.

    Have you taken calculus yet?
  4. Sep 23, 2012 #3


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    Most colleges recommend that students not choose a specific major until their sophomore year. It is sufficient that you choose, say, the sciences or the humanities or literature by the time you are choosing a college.
  5. Sep 23, 2012 #4
    At the moment I am taking precalculus, but I am currently taking only college classes at the local university. So, next semester I will take Calculus.
  6. Sep 23, 2012 #5
    Then you have experienced nearly no math or physics yet. Which is ok! Just don't worry about picking yet.
  7. Sep 23, 2012 #6
    Is there anything you would recommend?
  8. Sep 23, 2012 #7
    In terms of? Course guidance? General university guidance? something else?
  9. Sep 23, 2012 #8
    I would say course guidance and career guidance, as in what are the odds of Physics in academia and industry.

    Could you elaborate?
  10. Sep 23, 2012 #9


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Gold Member

    When you're a freshman in college, enroll in one physics course and one math course. Take it from there. Problem solved.
  11. Sep 23, 2012 #10
    My advice is to listen to this advice exactly.

  12. Sep 24, 2012 #11
    That's a rather complicated question, and there are lots of discussion on this in this forum.

    It would probably be best if you wait until junior year to worry about this. The basic classes for math and physics are those that you would need to take for all sorts of things, and you don't have to worry much about career issues until you start thinking about whether you want to go to graduate school.

    One thing. I'm assuming that you are in the United States or Canada. If you aren't, then that changes things a lot.
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