Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I am getting a math minor

  1. Aug 3, 2005 #1
    I am getting a math minor....

    in addition to a physics degree. the core math requirements for the physics degree are calc 1-3, diffEQ, linear algebra, advanced engineering math, and prob and stats. I need 6 more math credits to get the minor. I am definitely taking partial differential equations in the fall, but what other class do you think is important? I think advanced engineering math is pretty similar the mathematical physics (I was told it is the equivalent by the chair of the natsci. department), so I think I have that covered. There is no "mathematical physics course offered at my uni. The course description of AEM is below...

    "Prerequisite: differential equations. Laplace transforms of continuous and piecewise continuous functions, inverse Laplace transforms, applications to ordinary differential equations. Complex variables, analytic functions, Laurent expansions, residue theory with applications, complex inversion integral and convolution integral. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit"

    Would differential geometry be a good thing to get a directed study for? There isn't an actual course in differential geometry, but the chair of the math department said it would be ok to do a directed study in it, since there are lots of students asking about it.

    I may also take a modern algebra course, since I was told it is an important one for physicists.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2005 #2
    oh, and I am also going to have a chem minor since I was originally a chem major before switching to physics. Unfortunately, most of the chem I've had is organic chem, which isn't too valuable to a physicist (organic 1 and 2, and the organic lab, in addition to uchem 1 and to plus the labs). I just need 1 more chem class, and I plan on doing physical chem 1...but I may also do physical chem 2, even though I don't NEED it.

    Will physical chem 1 and 2 cover all of the topics covered in a thermal physics course, since it isn't offered at my university very frequently and I might not be able to take it...it isn't required by my university for a physics degree, which is surprising...also, statistical mechanics isn't required, but I am going to do a directed study in statistical mechanics with a professor....hopefully.
  4. Aug 3, 2005 #3
    What about Vector Analysis? That class is required for physics majors here.
  5. Aug 3, 2005 #4
    Not offered here, but it sounds like a fancy name for vector calculus, and I had my fair share of that in calc 3.
  6. Aug 3, 2005 #5
    I'm thinking differential geometry and PDE are what I should take. Any comments?
  7. Aug 3, 2005 #6
    is there a second course in ordinary differential equations?

    at my school, there is the diff eq that engineers, physicists, and math majors all have to take. then there's a second ordinary diff eq class wherein we learn systems of diff eqs, series solutions, stability, and...think that's all. also, it's a prereq for PDEs now. :grumpy:

    a few months ago, when i was asking a math adviser about which course would be the most useful for a phys major, he recommended diff eq 2. (the other choices, to be thorough, were complex variables--which i ended up taking--and PDEs.)

    there are also classes like numerical linear algebra that might be useful...apparently. if you like the first stats class, maybe you can take another mathematical statistics class? or would that not count.

    lots of options!

    do you/will you have the prereqs for differential geometry? that class could be pretty fun, too.
  8. Aug 3, 2005 #7
    What about this advanced calculus course?

    Prerequisite: MCS2423. Line and surface integrals, Green’s Theorem, Stokes’ Theorem, Divergence Theorem. Topics from differential and integral calculus theory. Power series solutions of differential equations. Bessel functions, Legendre’s equation. Lect. 3 hrs. 3 hours credit

    My school only offers one course in ODE. We are normally supposed to cover series solutions, and systems of DEs, but I took it in the summer and the prof never covered either of these topics. The summer was crunched a little bit....normally the prof covered it.
  9. Aug 3, 2005 #8
    I am considering not taking PDE just because I hate the prof that teaches the course. She makes students go up and write their homework on the board. WTF??!!?!

    Woudl it be good to take advanced calculus instead?
  10. Aug 3, 2005 #9
    that seems like a cool class. i'd take it! :biggrin:

    and you covered that first sentence in that description in calc 3, right? if not, DEFINITELY check it out (especially before you take that EM course). if so.. that class might still be worth taking. after more people (if any) comment, talk to a math and physics adviser at your school about this course.

    oh, one more thing: i'd recommend setting up a tentative schedule of the courses that you'll be taking or might take during your undergrad years.

    this way, all of these courses that you've narrowed down are all at your fingertips so that you can ask the appropriate advisers about them, plan on when you will be taking them, and ask for help in making the planning as clever (and accurate!) as possible.

    all failing, write a list of all courses you're thinking of taking.

    i've had a (nearly constantly changing!) schedule since i found out i was going to UF. lol. and it really helped me out a lot. it's especially useful for keeping track of when certain courses are offered, which you would find out for sure after seeing an adviser, or if you're really lucky it's on the website.
  11. Aug 3, 2005 #10
    ...what's wrong with that (besides maybe taking up class time)? in high school, the math teacher had us do that in the beginning of class so that people who were stuck on the problem would be able to see how to do it.

    and if you go up to the board and can't do the problem...well, you'll probably see the solution before you sit back down.

    the class size wouldn't be that big, i bet, if that's what you're worried about.
  12. Aug 3, 2005 #11
    It just seems ridiculous that she would run a college course that way.
  13. Aug 3, 2005 #12
    Take Advanced Calculus, this is a definite prerequisite for taking Electrodynamics! You will need to know all about Stokes and Divergence Theorems and Greens Function Solutions to survive Electrodynamics, trust me on this one. It will also help when you take upper level Quantum Mechanics classes. That is my vote anyways

    ps- I have never taken a differential equations class and I have got through all my graduate level course work and passed the qualifier- sometimes you just learn the math along the way...
  14. Aug 3, 2005 #13
    THANKS! This is good advice. I may get rid of PDE and look into advanced calc then.edit: and how'd you manage to NOT take diffEQ in undergrad school? :bugeye:
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2005
  15. Aug 3, 2005 #14
    we covered line integrals in calc 2, and we were supposed to cover surface integrals in calc 3 but we didn't. :rolleyes:

    oh, and we didn't cover green's theorem, stokes theorem, or divergence theorem. wtf??? My calc 3 prof sucked. She was the worst calc 3 prof at the school, and I regret taking her for it.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2005
  16. Aug 3, 2005 #15
    ah, that makes sense to cover line integrals in calc 2! in my calc 2 class, we did work-related problems (lol--"yeah, we did work in calc 2"), with hooke's law and pumping fluids and stuff. but we couldn't get into the MOST general definition of work.

    and don't feel bad about missing out on the FUN stuff from calc 3! in my (supposedly "honors") course, the professor only gave line integrals a perfunctory lecture. decided to review the previous material instead teach new stuff. *eye roll*

    now you have your opportunity to learn that vector calc material, though! STRONGLY recommended. (and apparently i'm not the only one who thinks it's pretty much essential for EM!)

  17. Aug 3, 2005 #16
    she did cover gradients in calc 3 though, which is good.

    I am just having trouble deciding on whether I should do this second major in math or if I should just get a minor. I am sitting here pulling my hair out...
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook