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I got a C in Calc. 2

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I got a "C" in Calc. 2....

Well, it looks like I'm going to change my major from being a physicist to computer programming:frown:. I feel bad because I studied my a## off on the finals(last Tuesday I studied for the final and took it this Tuesday). I feel like a total failure and maybe being a physicist is a big mistake.

One question I have about computer programming is what math classes do I have to take?
Can anyone give me some guidance.
 

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  • #2
jbunniii
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I think you're being ridiculously overdramatic. One C isn't going to make or break your future prospects. It may have exposed some weak points; the most reasonable response to that would be to work out what they are and remedy them in a timely manner. E.g. if you're weak on infinite series, then go back and study it more carefully, do extra problems, etc., until you get it.

For some perspective, check out a post from this morning written by mathwonk, who went on to a career as a mathematics professor at a respectable university:

https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=3037258&postcount=2438

By the way, if by computer programming you mean computer science, calculus will certainly be required.
 
  • #3
fss
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One question I have about computer programming is what math classes do I have to take?
Can anyone give me some guidance.
It's probably best to look at the "Computer Programming" major or course of study at your institution and see what math courses are required either for the major/concentration or as prerequisites for the programming courses.
 
  • #4
jbunniii
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P.S. My bachelor's degree was in electrical engineering. If I remember correctly, I also got a C in Calculus II, because I was an apathetic student early on. I probably considered changing my major about 100 times my first two years, but ultimately soldiered on, got an MSEE and part of a mathematics Ph.D (during which I taught Calc II twice!). I have had quite a successful career as a software engineer for nearly 20 years and nobody has ever once asked me what grades I got in calculus (or any other course, for that matter). It just doesn't matter that much in the long run.
 
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P.S. My bachelor's degree was in electrical engineering. If I remember correctly, I also got a C in Calculus II, because I was an apathetic student early on. I probably considered changing my major about 100 times my first two years, but ultimately soldiered on, got an MSEE and part of a mathematics Ph.D (during which I taught Calc II twice!). I have had quite a successful career as a software engineer for nearly 20 years and nobody has ever once asked me what grades I got in calculus (or any other course, for that matter). It just doesn't matter that much in the long run.
Thanks, you're right about me being over dramatic. I just hate the fact that I push so hard in this class and then, BOOM! "C" is the grade I have for this course.
 
  • #6
symbolipoint
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If earning only a "C" in Calculus 2 bothers you, then find out honestly why. Did you just find Calculus 2 to be difficult, or do you have some weak spots in Calculus 1? Study what you need to understand!
 
  • #7


I got a C+ in first year chemistry, if that helps.
 
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I got a C in Calc 1 first time I took it. Before you decide to change majors seriously think about what you could have done differently, maybe talk to the professor about how you prepared and what you could have done differently. In my limited experience a lot of people have problems with calc 2.
 
  • #9
fluidistic
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This grade probably tells you you need to sharpen your math (which is a good thing), definitely not to change your major. You didn't even fail a physics course.
If you can't do something in your first attempt, does that mean you'll never make it or that you must never try again? Think about it. :smile:
My friend failed his calculus 2 course too and aced all his other courses. He'll start his 4th year next term. He's doing a double major physics/math.
 
  • #10


You're kidding, right? Calculus II is by far the hardest in the three calculus classes. I got an A in it, but I struggled with it a lot, and my prof was pretty easy. It is a HARD course. Sounds to me like you're fresh out of high school, expecting those A's to keep a'coming. One thing I've picked up from these boards is the realization that some classes exist for the sole purpose of getting engineers and physicists used to C's being an average grade, not synonymous with an F.

Pick yourself back up and give calc 3 a try. If you're still making consistent C's by the time you get into partial diff EQ's, maybe, maybe you can start considering dropping the major; but until then, like others have said, you're just being dramatic. If you want to give up that easily, then if not calc 2, it would've been some other tricky course, like E&M.
 
  • #11
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When you do badly, you don't give up, you get better.
 
  • #12


I had this guy/professor out a daytona beach community college named antonio rodrigez (sp) get tired/ fed up or something, and hand out this bullet through a pendulum problem (out of Cuba, teacher), (sp) problem -to everyone-

I don't remember picking up a math book ever again, at least through calc 3, diff, eq

Calc 3 is nothing anyway. deq it comes in strong, cal2 will be a breeze
 
  • #13
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You're kidding, right? Calculus II is by far the hardest in the three calculus classes. I got an A in it, but I struggled with it a lot, and my prof was pretty easy. It is a HARD course. Sounds to me like you're fresh out of high school, expecting those A's to keep a'coming. One thing I've picked up from these boards is the realization that some classes exist for the sole purpose of getting engineers and physicists used to C's being an average grade, not synonymous with an F.

Pick yourself back up and give calc 3 a try. If you're still making consistent C's by the time you get into partial diff EQ's, maybe, maybe you can start considering dropping the major; but until then, like others have said, you're just being dramatic. If you want to give up that easily, then if not calc 2, it would've been some other tricky course, like E&M.
I used to hear this all the time before I actually took the 3 calculus course sequence, and I would have to disagree, at least in my experience/opinion. We all know that the course difficulty really can lie within the professors choice of homework/test questions. I used to hear people talk about how "easy" calc 3 was, when I can assure you they did not have my professor.

Besides just professor to professor differences, I think in calc 3 you really learn a whole lot more concepts than in calc 2. I also took calc 3 in a regular semester and calc 2 in the summer, so even at a faster pace than 3 I still felt the concepts in 2 were easier to digest and visualize...except maybe for series.

To the OP, I would not worry about it. Calc 2 can be a very difficult class, but it IS important to know the material well for calc 3 and your physics courses. If you love physics and try hard, you will succeed.
 
  • #14
mathwonk
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It is hard to know what to conclude from this data. But sometimes there is a rhythm to college studies. The first course for a well prepared student can seem easy based on previous knowledge. Then the second can be very hard, as it is the first course in which one is forced to learn really new material. Then after settling down and becoming more serious, the third can be, not easier, but more successful based on better work habits. Se if this is your case.
 
  • #15
Dembadon
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The red flag in this situation, from my perspective, is not your C, but rather your response. :smile:

If failing obtaining a personal goal of yours is going to rock your boat so badly, it's going to be very difficult to fulfill your dream. Getting a C is not the end of the world!
 
  • #16
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It is hard to know what to conclude from this data. But sometimes there is a rhythm to college studies. The first course for a well prepared student can seem easy based on previous knowledge. Then the second can be very hard, as it is the first course in which one is forced to learn really new material. Then after settling down and becoming more serious, the third can be, not easier, but more successful based on better work habits. Se if this is your case.
That seems to be my case. I did so well in previous math classes and then this course was really tough. New material like sequence and series was a real brain buster for me. It was challenging and fun to see this type of material, however; it was stressful at times. I need to find a better study method or advance the study method.
 
  • #17
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Thanks everyone for cheering me up. What I learned from this experience was gaining a better study method and learning more about myself. I'll continue my path as a physicist and prepare for the challenge ahead.:smile:
 
  • #18
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Well, it looks like I'm going to change my major from being a physicist to computer programming:frown:. I feel bad because I studied my a## off on the finals(last Tuesday I studied for the final and took it this Tuesday). I feel like a total failure and maybe being a physicist is a big mistake.

One question I have about computer programming is what math classes do I have to take?
Can anyone give me some guidance.
I know how you feel. My prof e-mailed me my grade for calc I and I really started to doubt myself and whether or not I should continue in the majors I selected. Don't give up! You are definitely not a failure.
Thanks everyone for cheering me up. What I learned from this experience was gaining a better study method and learning more about myself. I'll continue my path as a physicist and prepare for the challenge ahead.:smile:
oops i just saw this! Happy to know you are feeling better about things. :)
 

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