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How important are these two math classes?

  1. Jun 14, 2005 #1
    I'm having some problems planning the next few semesters. I'll be taking full loads, 18 units of engineering(EE)/computer science (minor) classes.

    One thing is bugging me, a comp science class that I don't need for the minor but requires 3 pre-requesites: philosophy: symbolic logic, linear algebra, and discrete math. I can only squeez in one class at a time, so it'll take two years to take that comp science class (AUTO LANG+COMPUTN) and its pre-reqs.

    Now I don't need that class, however I do need (or just want...) the following:

    - a good foundation in math. Those two classes sound pretty good. :-)

    - After finishing a minor, being able to take a few high-level Computer science classes like robotics or software engineering. Not many require 310 (that compsci. class) as a pre-req, but many need 'instructor consent' and I'm sure that class will weigh in.

    So is it worth it? There is some sort of middle ground, by taking just linear algebra. Discrete math requires I take philosophy: intro to symbolic logic first so lin. algebra is more accessible.

    I'd also like to know how important those two math classes are for an Electrical Engineer. Obviously the more math the better, but will I be using much of it? For EE majors at my school we only need to take Cal I-III and diff. equations.

    Thanks for any advice. :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2005 #2


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    Linear Algebra and Discrete Math are a definite requirement for an EE as far as math goes, other than calculus (single and multivariable) and diff eq. I dont think you need symbolic logic for linear algebra, as it has nothing to do with it nor will it be benefecial for linear algebra. A lot of those philosophy and sophomore-level based classes will be a derivation of some higher aspects from senior classes, so I'd rather pass on that and go straight to senior level classes and/or graduate level classes without wasting your time
  4. Jun 14, 2005 #3
    Doh! I was hoping someone would say 'nah not really' and it'd be over. :biggrin:

    That's 21 units of madness next semester! :rofl:

    Btw multivariable calculus is usually covered in calculus III, right? After your post I looked up the catalog and couldn't find a class for it. It's also not in the description for 'Advanced Calculus.' I called the math department and they say multi-var. is Math Analysis III (which is basically calIII for eng/sci in our school). The course description is 'solid analytic geometry, partial differentiation, and multiple integrals with applications.' Does that fall under multi-variable calculus? I thought calculus III is just I and II in 3d or something like that. :confused:

    Anyway thanks for the advice!
  5. Jun 15, 2005 #4
    What they call "Calculus III" at some schools is "Multivariate" or "Multidimensional" calculus at others, and I've heard a few places call it "Calculus IV" (scheduling differences?).
    That sounds right, although I can't guess why it's called "Analysis".

    Rough idea of what's covered in multivariate (from Larson/Hosteler/Edwards, "Multivariate Calculus"):

    Vector-valued functions
    Arc length, curvature
    Functions of several variables
    Partial derivatives
    Lagrange multipliers
    Multiple (iterated) integrals
    Change of variables (integrating in polar/spherical coordinates)

    and some introductory vector analysis (this is critical for E&M!):
    Vector fields
    Line/surface integrals
    Divergence/Curl/Gradient (ironically enough, Maxwell didn't know about these when he first formulated his 4 Equations! His paper was a mess - my professor told me this.)
    Conservative vector fields
    Parametric surfaces
    Green's & Stoke's theorem

    Linear algebra is essential to physics. Discrete math is almost the easiest course offered (after Statistics); it's all fun and games, and binary algebras. It ties in with Comp. Sci. very well.

    They're mostly unrelated subjects.
  6. Jun 15, 2005 #5
    Thanks for clearing that up. :smile:

    And the philosophy: intro to symbolic logic course is a pre-requisite for the discrete math course, sorry for the confusion. :redface:
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