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How to choose math electives for a physic student

  1. Oct 21, 2013 #1
    Physic is my major and there are some electives of math units
    now...I am in trouble with choosing one pair from these two options:
    【MATLAB】+【Advanced ordinary differential equations】
    【Algebra and number theory】+【Real analysis】

    can anyone tell me which one is better for me if I plain to do theoretical physics or particle physics(theoretical) and why

    I feel all math are important for theoretical physics but I have to choose one..

    thank for help...

    Topics covered include error analysis, the solution of algebraic equations; approximations of functions: curve fitting, least squares and interpolation; analysis of data by Fourier Transforms and FFTs; numerical differentiation and integration; ordinary differential equations.

    【Advanced ordinary differential equations】
    Boundary-value problems: Sturm-Liouville eigenvalues problems and orthogonal polynomials, shooting and direct matrix methods for the numerical investigation of boundary-value problems and iterative matrix methods.
    Dynamical systems: analytical and numerical methods for planar autonomous systems, classification of critical points using eigenvalues and eigenvectors and perturbation methods for periodic and nearly periodic motion.

    【Algebra and number theory】
    Groups in geometry, linear algebra, and number theory; cyclic and abelian groups; permutation groups; subgroups, cosets and normal subgroups; homomorphisms, isomorphisms and the fundamental homomorphism theorem. The Euclidean algorithm, prime factorisation, congruences, the Euler totient function; the theorems of Fermat, Euler and Wilson, and the RSA public key cryptosystem; Chinese remainder theorem; rings, fields and abelian groups in number theory.

    【Real analysis】
    Real numbers, countable and uncountable sets, paradoxes of the infinite, the Cantor set; compactness and convergence; sequences and series; continuous and differentiable functions; fixed points and contractions; applications to Markov chains, branching processes and integral equations.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It's basically applied vs pure math.
    I ended up needing a lot of DEs and computer modelling ... but I'm an experimentalist.
    I hear theorists do some of that other stuff.

    Do what lights you up.
    If they are about equal, then:

    Which do you value more: grades or skills?
    If grades - do the easier one, otherwise do the hard one.
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