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Engineering Is Engineering Viable For Me?

  1. Feb 3, 2009 #1
    Hey PF. I'm looking for advice. I want to go into engineering. I'm not sure what area specifically yet. Either Mechanical, Computer, or Electrical engineering, either at UBC or head through Kwantlen for first year then transfer. The only thing is that Math isn't my strongest area, well I suck at it. I don't totally fail but I'm not a wizard either. I'm taking calculus this semester for grade 12. Marks in my sciences are pretty good.

    How heavily do these fields draw on math?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2009 #2
    The one thing you should never do is peg yourself to some mold by saying "I stink at math".

    I got C's in highschool Calculus and Algebra, yet by my senior year of college I was tutoring students in courses on the level of differential equations. I'm now a grad student in Physics, which is a heavily mathematical ordeal!

    Don't ever limit yourself by saying "well this is my weakness so I shouldn't do it, while I'm strong in this so I should do it". You should follow your values, explore your interests, and see where they take you. If they take you in a direction that is difficult and you happen to be weak in, then that means you simply will have to learn or strengthen those skills.
  4. Feb 3, 2009 #3
    At your age especially you should never limit your options simply because of your current level of knowledge.

    As you grow older and your mind matures you will be able to learn more in one month of college than what you could in a year of high school.

    Follow your interests, dreams, etc, and study hard! Math is never easy for anyone ;)
  5. Feb 4, 2009 #4
    Yeah, but the thing is that I can't pick it up very quickly, and from what I hear it goes much faster in college/university.
  6. Feb 4, 2009 #5
    I got D's in most of my math classes in high school and we didn't even cover basic calculus. I'm not going to sugar coat it, math at the college level is extremely challenging and if your not great at it, you will probably fail some classes. I know I have and about 95% of the other engineer majors around here have also. What you will quickly find out while learning engineering is that the math they teach you in math classes is not the same as what you use in your engineering classes. In practice, mathematical modeling and solving engineering problems becomes quiet intuitive and in time second nature. It is not remembering asinine theorems and proofs.

    Not to long ago I was working on a problem where I needed to linearize a portion of a very non-linear system. I went to some of my math friends to help me out and they had no clue what to do and couldn't even make an attempt. Long story short, I did it the next day using my super-duper engineering sense.
  7. Feb 8, 2009 #6


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    As a side note: that's amazing topher.

    However, to the OP, I agree with what everyone here is saying. When I was in middle school I sucked so bad at math it wasn't funny. Then when I went to college back at home (before I transferred), I was employed to tutor students in my class at my level in math. The heart of the matter is, if you seriously enjoy something you will learn it regardless of what it takes. But if you like Engineering and dislike math, simply don't do it. You'll be doing yourself more bad than good.

    Good luck!
  8. Feb 9, 2009 #7
    Thanks for the insight everyone. It's really motivated me. Look out Math 12 Online! Here I come!
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