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

Is it detrimental to take a weak calc 3 teacher?

  1. Nov 6, 2011 #1
    Hi all,

    Im an EE major and am getting ready to pick spring classes tomorrow. My only option for Calc 3 which will fit into my schedule seems to be the easiest professor possible (aka they give over 30% A's, which I found from the rating website, I have also heard from other students that it is definitely an easy A). I really want to have a good grasp on the material as I am sure I will probably need it in future EE classes. Would it be fine to self study with something like http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Classes/CalcIII/CalcIII.aspx?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2011 #2
    Not only did I have a weak Calc3 teacher but the whole class was a joke. We spent most of the time going over vectors (which we've all seen a million times in other classes) and studying 3D conics. We got into actual calculus pretty late in the game (my last hw was dealing with triple integrals) and never touched any vector calculus.

    The only real part I've used any of that material is Electromagnetic fields, which uses vector calculus intensively. I learned way more calc3 stuff there then in calc3 and I was fine. Though as a note we went over alot of vector calculus as part of the class since most people had no real class in it.

    What I'm trying to say is that you'll prolly be fine. If its between not taking it and taking it with a weak prof then that would be an easy choice. You can self-teach as deep as you want on the side.
  4. Nov 6, 2011 #3
    I had an easy-A calc II prof, and a hard calc III prof. I thank my lucky stars I had my calc III professor when I laugh at other students in my statics class struggling with 3d vector algebra, and I curse the calc II professor every time I try to solve a differential equation by series methods. Hardness = good.
  5. Nov 7, 2011 #4
    Thanks! It looks like I will be taking it, there is just no other way with my schedule. I will definitely be studying extra on the side though!
  6. Nov 7, 2011 #5
    Out of any first/second year math: I think Calc III is the one that is the most intuitive and the easier of the bunch to self-study. If you said you are going to have an 'easy' Calc II or DE instructor - I'd almost suggest to wait.

    But also - 'easy As' could mean that this instructor is extremely good too ;) perhaps their grading system doesn't line up with the mental challenge it presents.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook