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Courses How rigorous do these courses look?

  1. Jan 30, 2007 #1
    These are the mathematics courses that are offered at my community college. They also offer an associates in mathematics, which I am curious if I should get before I transfer. However, these are the available mathematics and physics courses. Since I am at a community college, I am curious how good these classes appear compared to a pretty good university program. I am transferring into UCSD which I hear has a high quality math program. I am curious how much independent studying do you think I will need to do, to construct a course as rigorous (or more rigorous) than that at UCSD, because I don't mind studying ahead and on my own. These are the available courses:

    Mathematics:

    118 A Survey of Modern Mathematics 3 hours, 3 units
    Prerequisite: Mathematics 96 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent, or Assessment Skill Level M50.
    One of the aids which might be used to determine readiness for this course is a qualifying score on the Intermediate Algebra Diagnostic Test. Topics from logic, modern algebra and other branches of mathematics designed to give the student an introduction to the structure of mathematical systems and their applications. This is a general education course in mathematics. Analytical reading and problem solving are required for success in this course. Transfer Credit: CSU and/or private coll/univ.

    245 Discrete Mathematics 3 hours, 3 units
    Prerequisite: Mathematics 122 or 151 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent.
    Advisory: English 101 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent, or Assessment Skill Levels W6 and R6.
    This course covers logic, methods of proof, set theory, Boolean algebra, number theory, equivalence and order relations, counting (combinations and permutations), solving recurrence relations. Transfer Credit: CSU and/or private coll/univ.; UC.

    252 Calculus with Analytic Geometry III 4 hours, 4 units
    Prerequisite: Mathematics 151 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent.
    The content of this course includes the algebra and geometry of 2- and 3-dimensional Euclidean vectors, limits, continuity, partial differentiation, extreme of vector-valued and multivariable functions, higher order derivatives, the chain rule, Lagrange's theorem, multiple integrals, integrals over paths and surfaces, and integral theorems of vector analysis. This course is intended as a general introduction to the theory and applications of multivariable calculus. It is essential for most upper division courses in mathematics and forms part of the foundation for engineering and physics. It is intended for the transfer student planning to major in mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, physical chemistry, operational research, or economics. This course meets general education requirements, CSU, IGETC, and TAG requirements. Transfer Credit: CSU and/or private coll/univ.; UC.

    254 Introduction to Linear Algebra 3 hours, 3 units
    Prerequisite: Mathematics 151 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent.
    This course covers matrix algebra, Gauss elimination, determinants, vector spaces, linear transformations, orthogonality, eigen values and eigenvectors. Transfer Credit: CSU and/or private coll/univ.; UC.

    255 Differential Equations 3 hours, 3 units
    Grade Only
    Prerequisite: Mathematics 252 and 254, each with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent.
    Limitation on Enrollment: This course is not open to students with credit for Mathematics 253.
    This course covers first order and higher order equations and their applications. Topics include linear first order and higher order equations, homogeneous and non homogeneous equations with constant or variable coefficients, and systems of ordinary differential equations. Methods used to solve equations include substitution methods, integrating factors, reduction of order, variation of parameters, power series solutions, and Laplace Transforms. This course is intended as an introduction to the theory and applications of differential equations and is the basis for many upper division courses in engineering, physics, and mathematics. It is intended for the transfer student planning to major in mathematics, engineering, operational research, physics, or other physical science. This course meets CSU general education requirements. Transfer Credit: CSU and/ or private coll/univ.; UC.

    Physics:

    195A Mechanics 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, 4 units
    Prerequisite: Mathematics 150 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent.
    Corequisite: Mathematics 151 and Physics 196A.
    Advisory: English 51 and 56, each with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent, or Assessment Skill Levels W5 and R5.
    The Physics 195A, B, C sequence is designed to give a foundation in calculus-based physics for engineering and science majors. Physics 195A deals primarily with the description of motion and its causes, and energy transfer processes. Transfer Credit: CSU and/or private coll/univ.; UC Transfer Credit: Physics (PHYS) 120AB\121AB and 124AB and 195ABC combined: maximum credit, one series (per catalog) Deduct credit for duplication of topics.

    195B Electricity and Magnetism 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, 4 units Grade Only
    Prerequisite: Physics 195A with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent.
    Corequisite: Physics 196B.
    This is the second of a three-semester calculus-based general physics sequence, intended to satisfy the transfer requirements of students planning to major in the physical sciences and in engineering. The topics of study include the basic principles and applications of electrostatics, magnetostatics, time-varying electric and magnetic phenomena, direct and alternating current circuits, elementary electronics and electromagnetic waves. Emphasis is placed on the mathematical analysis of physical problems. Transfer Credit: CSU and/or private coll/univ. UC transfer limitations; See a counselor.
    Back to the Top

    195C Waves, Light, and Modern Physics 3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab, 4 units
    Prerequisite: Physics 195A with a grade of "C" or better.
    Corequisite: Physics 196C.
    The fundamental principles of physics in the areas of waves, the behavior of light, and an introduction to quantum physics and the atomic and nuclear properties of matter. Physics 195B and 195C may be taken concurrently only if Physics 195A was completed with a grade of ìBî or better or with approval of department. Transfer Credit: CSU and/or private coll/univ.; UC Transfer Credit: Physics (PHYS) 120AB\121AB and 124AB and 195ABC combined: maximum credit, one series (per catalog) Deduct credit for duplication of topics.

    These are links to the associate degrees:

    http://www.sdcity.edu/PhysEarthSci/Physics/physASdegree.asp

    http://www.sdcity.edu/Math/mathAAdegree.asp
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2007
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  3. Jan 30, 2007 #2

    J77

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    I'd be a bit concerned with something called a "Survey of Modern Mathematics" - the others look like decent core subjects.

    Do you want to do the physics courses, as well as the maths?

    Of course, you couldn't go far wrong by basing your choices on the first part of the Tripos: http://www.maths.cam.ac.uk/undergrad/documentation/coursesIA/text.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2007
  4. Jan 30, 2007 #3
    Those are the basic math and physics courses that all engineers take.

    The survey course looks like a refresher course for those who have been out of school for awhile.

    (its kind of strange that english is a prereq for mechanics??????)
     
  5. Jan 30, 2007 #4
    one thing you will want to check on is how the credits you take now will transfer over when you go to UCSD. You may end up having to take those courses over again if UCSD program doesn't accept them as transfer credits.
     
  6. Jan 30, 2007 #5
    having gone to a community college previously I would highly recommend getting out as soon as possible.

    While you may have a number of courss that are up to or even better than university courses, the general climate in a community school is not good to be around for more than a couple of semesters.

    when I was at a community school last semester I had 2 exemplary math courses that went well beyond those that are offered at my new school UMASS the courses being linear algebra, and calc 3. however the physics course and math course that I took were garbage in terms of what they taught and the level they were taught at, and I honestly fear for the students who took those courses and expect to trasfer into a real school with their only exposure having been those two courses.

    two ways of discerning whether a course is going to be good or not are A: does the course finish the text book and B: do other students think the teacher is very difficult. you can also check course syllabae from UCSD and see if the topics are the same, or even email a professor and request a couple problems that he would give to one of his classes.
     
  7. Jan 30, 2007 #6
    I have a transfer contract with UCSD, so after I attain a specific amount of credits and complete my pre-reqs, I am transferring into Revelle college (their best college, especially for maths). As for the courses themselves, I want to do mathematical (theoretical) physics, so I am definitely taking all of the classes.

    I want to double major in physics and mathematics and I have been using two texts per course (their text and an independent text). I got an A in my Calculus 1 course last semester but it was the first time I had ever seen Calculus in my life, so I worked through our text as well as few others on my own. Since it was my first and only Calculus course and I worked ahead of the class (it was full of engineers who didn't want to do any math), I didn't really get much from the professor because we got stuck on silly topics because none of the other students wanted to learn it on their own (or at all it seemed). A lot of people, even in the Calculus courses seem to hate math. I had imagined the kids in my higher math courses would enjoy it more but I guess not.

    I won't be able to transfer as fast as I would like to because Revelle has about twice as many requirements as the other UCSD colleges do (I think they have 7 colleges at their campus) and I really want to go to Revelle (because I hear that it is the best math program there). I also pay for school on my own and work part-time to pay for rent (I live on my own), so community college is the only economic option that I have. Four years at UCSD would be extremely expensive.

    I am only in my second semester but I have started working through some introductory graph theory, abstract algebra and combinatorics until I get through some more Calculus sequences and then I can start learning some Linear Algebra. I just finished teaching myself Trig about two months ago and worked through most of the Calculus before the course began.

    I am not very good at maths compared to some of you guys but I feel like I excel compared to the other students in my courses but then I remember I am at a community college and quickly feel average again.

    If I do my best to learn everything I can from the professors and if possible, make my courses more rigorous by working concurrently through a more advanced text, will that help prepare me for the transfer to a university? My biggest fear is transferring there and being completely behind everyone and have no idea what is going on. I want to be a top maths and physics student and will work as hard as I need to.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2007
  8. Jan 30, 2007 #7
    if your working hard on your own then you have nothing to fear, its only the people like the engineers you mentioned who have real trouble in transferring, if you have a work ethic like yours you would greatly benefit from a larger university, but you can certainly get along without it. Just don't start failing classes and then taking 3 years instead of the 2 then 4 years etc.

    I'm sure you see a number of people at your CC that have been kicking around that school for far more than two years, just remember not to become one of them (although they can make good company)
     
  9. Jan 30, 2007 #8
    I also attend a community college so maybe I can help.

    "They also offer an associates in mathematics, which I am curious if I should get before I transfer."
    I've heard that the A.A degree could either help you or hurt you. Some employers may like to see that you've earned a degree. But others may look down on it if they think community college students are dumb. Of course, the truth is that MOST community college students are lazy, not all.

    "Since I am at a community college, I am curious how good these classes appear compared to a pretty good university program"
    The professors most likely will dumb down the class. So most likely it will be up to you to decide how much you're going to get from the class.

    "I am curious how much independent studying do you think I will need to do, to construct a course as rigorous (or more rigorous) than that at UCSD"
    I usually spend about 7 hours a week studying for my physics classes, which includes reading the textbook and doing some HW probs before lecture. I spent about 5-7 hours a week for my math classes

    "I am transferring into UCSD which I hear has a high quality math program"
    I thought it doesn't really matter where you go to as an undergrad, as long as it isn't like a Cal State, and that where you go to for grad school is far more important
     
  10. Jan 30, 2007 #9
    I just transferred from a CC in California to a UC school, so I'll say a few things. Don't go for an associates. It won't help you transfer. Also, DON'T talk to your CC's counselors for advice on transferring to a UC school for a math-oriented major (math, CS, physics, etc.). They will give you bad advice. Talk directly with people from UCSD and find out from THEM exactly what to do. Go to assist.org etc.

    And yes, CC courses are a bit more dumbed down than the equivalent university course, and take much longer (semesters versus quarters) so the kids who got there out of high school may be better than you. But with your work ethic I bet there won't even be a difference. Go on the course websites for UCSD and look at their lecture notes, homework assignments, etc. You can see what they do and if you're so worried then you can fill yourself in on what you miss. If possible make friends with someone from that school. But since you're majoring in math and physics I wouldn't worry too much about them having seen things/concepts you haven't. If you were a CS major things would be different.

    BTW, I can't believe you expected to see motivated people in a calculus 1 course! Trust me, the students don't start getting serious until you get past calculus 2. Remember that even people who don't like math such as the econ and psych majors have to take calculus 2 and so you're going to run into a lot of losers who hate math and just memorize formulas and tricks without regard to how they work. If your school is anything like mine you'll find smart people in the linear algebra course.
     
  11. Jan 31, 2007 #10

    Chronos

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    Differential equations at a CC? That is usually a 3rd or 4th year course for university students. Most CC's don't go beyond Analytic Geometry. I would check with my university of choice before assuming a CC course in diffEQ would transfer.
     
  12. Jan 31, 2007 #11
    I took Diff EQ at a CC, have had no problems. Same books, same chapters, the only difference I saw from CC was my bill!
     
  13. Jan 31, 2007 #12
    yeah diffeq is a sophmore course at most schools now (meaning a CC would probably offer it), along with calc 3 and linear algebra. Maybe your thinking of a more matematical course involving more proofs than the sophmore student could handle? or would want to know if they are heading for engineering and/or physics.
     
  14. Jan 31, 2007 #13

    J77

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    Differential equations has quite a wide scope.

    I expect a first year DE course would involve linear systems, existence/uniqueness of solutions, and simple stability analysis.

    I doubt it would contain, eg. centre manifold reductions, bifurcation analysis, singularity/catastophe theory...
     
  15. Jan 31, 2007 #14
    Upon transfer to UCSD (Revelle), I am required to complete three semesters of a foreign language, three sequences of calculus and analytical geometry, two-semester sequence in a field non-contiguous to my major, an art, music or theater course (before or after I transfer) and a few other weird requirements. This is only for Revelle college (They have seven colleges on the university campus) but it is most well known for it’s math program, so I figured if I am transferring, I might as well transfer into there. The other colleges have absolutely no extra requirements, so I have the option of getting out of my CC faster but end up in a different college, or I can complete the requirements and transfer into Revelle. I can post a link to the requirements if it will help give me advice.

    Also, Samh, since you mentioned that you transferred, did you use the TAG system? If not, is it hard to transfer into a mathematics and physics major from a CC?

    As for the mathematics course, UCSD expects all prospective math majors to complete three sequences of calculus and analytical geometry, linear algebra, differential equations and vector calculus. The only class that our school does not offer, is vector calculus, so I will either have to learn it on my own (and they offer a test for vector calculus which you can receive credit for if you do well) or take it at UCSD. I will have no problems completing all of my mathematics and physics courses (which are required of me as well), I am just curious how far behind I will be.

    The description for differential equations is posted in the opener, but I will go ahead and copy it here:

    255 Differential Equations 3 hours, 3 units
    Grade Only
    Prerequisite: Mathematics 252 and 254, each with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent.
    Limitation on Enrollment: This course is not open to students with credit for Mathematics 253.
    This course covers first order and higher order equations and their applications. Topics include linear first order and higher order equations, homogeneous and non homogeneous equations with constant or variable coefficients, and systems of ordinary differential equations. Methods used to solve equations include substitution methods, integrating factors, reduction of order, variation of parameters, power series solutions, and Laplace Transforms. This course is intended as an introduction to the theory and applications of differential equations and is the basis for many upper division courses in engineering, physics, and mathematics. It is intended for the transfer student planning to major in mathematics, engineering, operational research, physics, or other physical science. This course meets CSU general education requirements. Transfer Credit: CSU and/ or private coll/univ.; UC.

    UCSD actually requests that high school seniors or those who are financially disadvantaged, should finish their GE’s at CC because it is structured for transfer. I have spoke with a few students at UCSD who take GE’s at CC (one of which was recently admitted into the UCSD Medical School) who had to drop both a philosophy and psychology course we were taking, because the amount of work was more than the credit was worth (compared to the courses he had at UCSD). This is of course, for non-math GE’s so I did not assume that I won’t have to work hard, it is the opposite.
    As I said, last semester was my first and only experience with Calculus (I didn’t go past Algebra in high school), so my impressions were from a first-time perspective.

    I am working through abstract algebra, cominatorics/permutations and graph theory, since they are self-contained and I have not yet taken Calculus II (although I have started working through the text). Are there any other recommendations that can be made to help me out? I am definitely going to explore the UCSD website and see if I can follow some of their courses concurrently with ones I am taking, to stay on track.


    I have heard that as well but I am only ten minutes from UCSD (I live in downtown San Diego) and moved out on here on my own to go there. Since I am already going there for math and I hear it’s a hard program, I am worried. Even if it doesn’t matter for graduate school, it will matter if I don’t get a high GPA compared to the other students. That is my concern I guess, even if it might be trivial.

    I just don’t want to **** this up. I have one last chance to do something with myself, so I want to do it right. No one in my family cares if I go to school, so this is something I have to do for me, and me only. I appreciate your advice though, bro and am taking everything into consideration.

    Thanks for the help guys! I really want to do well, so I am making sure I construct a rigorous program for myself.
     
  16. Jan 31, 2007 #15

    symbolipoint

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    This discussion makes me curious:

    Math programs tend to have a course in sequence which is a combination-course of differential equations and linear algebra, both topics in one single course, at the end of the undergraduate caclulus sequence. Later, Math majors have a separate linear algebra course, and often also a separate differential equation course. From my own university study, I did not learn adequately from that combination course. Are the single dedicated courses actually better than the single combined course? How can someone compensate for the deficiencies of that combination course?

    Even worse, the combination course is often one of the prerequisites of the single separate dedicated courses; so one does not fully learn the prerequisite material but still needs that combo course to qualify to take the other courses.

    symbolipoint
     
  17. Jan 31, 2007 #16
    That is definitely an interesting question. What university are you at?

    Everyone, feel free to pose any academic questions you have here. We can expand this discussion more, if others want to participate.
     
  18. Feb 1, 2007 #17

    J77

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    It's not surprising that a course which teaches two things at once - which aren't absolutely related, apart from manipulation of matrices - leaves you unprepared for further courses.

    Rereading the original descriptions - I thought of this: core courses are usually pretty easy. If you've got an aptitude for maths you should breeze through them; don't let their ease put you off the more advanced courses. However, make sure you still take these core subjects seriously.

    Thinking back, the biggest thing which 2nd and 3rd year students complain about is that they are expected to remember the simple techniques given to them in the 1st year!
     
  19. Feb 1, 2007 #18
    I'm taking similar courses at a CC in San Diego as well right now. However, I don't believe all of those classes transfer to UCSD. I would suggest checking out this site for some transfer information. http://www.assist.org/web-assist/report.do?agreement=aa&reportPath=REPORT_2&reportScript=Rep2.pl&event=19&dir=2&sia=SDCC&ria=UCSD&ia=UCSD&oia=SDCC&aay=06-07&ay=06-07&dora=PHYSICS-ASTROPHYSICS
    Also, I don't understand how you plan on taking all those classes with only a year remaining. I'm pretty sure I've seen you post saying that you're taking Calc II in your 2nd semester of your first year. I think it's wiser to save some of those higher level classes for UCSD anyways, because the teaching level isn't spectacular at the CC level
     
  20. Feb 1, 2007 #19
    Which CC? I ask only because I am the only one in my group of friends that enjoys school. If I didn’t call my friends and make sure they went to class, they would fail. Even my girlfriend cringes when I mention school, physics, math or philosophy. I am always trying to find someone chill to talk with.

    What are you majoring in and where are you transferring to my friend?

    I use assist.org to figure out what to take. I don't want to do astrophysics necessarily (I want to do quantum mechanics - mathematical physics) but it is the specialization they offer that I am most interested in (should I e-mail the UCSD math and physics departments and speak with them?). All of the classes you mentioned transfer and are required. The only one that wouldn't transfer is a survey of modern mathematics. Regardless of whether things transfer I will still do them. I do them because I like to do math and physics. The studying I do at home isn't worth any credits either.

    I don't have a year remaining nor do I have a time table. I don't think I explicity stated that anywhere did I? If I did, I apologize for the confusion. I work 25-30 hours per week, so that is what prohibits me from taking more classes. They only offer a limited amount of physics and math courses and they conflict with my work schedule. That is the primary reason I will be at CC longer than usual. Otherwise, I would overload myself but I just don’t have the time. I have to pay my bills or end up on the street. Instead, I grab the text book to a course I want to explore, grab a syllabus and start working through it the best that I can. This way, I can get exposed to it without worrying about making it to class or being prepared for a test because of work. I may not even be able to take Calc II this semester if my work schedule gets changed (which it may), which will irritate me. This is why I am asking so many questions, I have a lot of retarded complications to hurdle.

    I have heard it’s best to get the classes done at CC so that when I transfer, I can move into their high-level courses so I won’t fall behind the others that started out there. I am interested in hearing opinions about this though.
     
  21. Feb 1, 2007 #20
    Also, here is a link to the UCSD colleges:

    https://tritonlink.ucsd.edu/portal/...4448692267a11256ec5e210514b01ca?storyID=20580

    This is a link to the transfer requirements for revelle college:

    https://tritonlink.ucsd.edu/portal/...4448692267a11256ec5e210514b01ca?storyID=21256

    However, I am doing a TAG GE agreement which, if I follow, guarantees entrance into revelle. This is the contract outline:

    http://www.sdcity.edu/transfer/to_delete/TAG GE 03-04.pdf

    I have no option other than finishing all of these courses at CC if I want to transfer into Revelle. I will be at CC for a year or two longer than usual because of work and the amount of classes they require.

    I am not necessarily in a rush to get to UCSD because I have had only 6 months worth of mathematics exposure. I know I have said this before, but 7 months ago, I could barely do algebraic arithmetic let alone Calculus (I never took higher than Algebra II in highschool because I was convinced I would never do math again because I hated it), so I think taking my time to get more acquainted with math will be better for me anyways. Everyday I feel more and more connected to math and physics and I find that I am developing much better pattern recognition and I notice more mathematical objects (ways to factor or simplify) in the problems that I never used to see. The most interesting thing about studying is when you solve something and subsequently after realize that you weren't consciously working through half of the steps and merely transcribed them to paper.

    I figure if I take my time to get there, learn as much as I can and catch up to all of you math people, I will do better at UCSD.

    Does this sound like a reasonable idea or is there a flaw in my logic?

    I really appreciate everyone's help. The people at my college don't even know what a mathematics major does, let alone help me decide what to do. You guys have been my advisors fer sure!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2007
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