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Is mathematical methods hard?

  1. Sep 7, 2015 #1
    I am transfer student and this going to be my first year in university. My major is electrical engineering and one of my requirements is to take an upper level physics course. I chose mathematical methods however the title of the class is intro to mathematical physics and i am worried that because its an upper level course it means that its going to be very difficult. I have take engineering physics 1 and 2 and passed both classes with A's and have taken differential equations and passed it with an A. If any of you guys have taken this class can you please tell me your experience with this course with regards to workload,exam difficulty,final grade and its comparison with engineering physics 1&2. I am just worried that taking this class with circuits will take a toll on me and i really do not want to mess up my first year. lastly the book i am given for this class is mathematical methods in the physical sciences by Mary L. Boas 3rd edition.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2015 #2
    We really can't tell. This is very university specific. Even the contents is university specific.
    It is also person specific, some people will have an easier time with math courses as others; But if you passed your previous math courses with an A, I wouldn't be excessively worried.

    That's a very good book. Can't go wrong with that one.
  4. Sep 7, 2015 #3


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    A mathematical physics course is a course in mathematics, with specific applications to physics. The text that you will use will present mathematics, and use examples from physics and engineering where such mathematics are applied to. If it is any consolation, Mary Boas wrote the text with the intention that students in their 2nd year will be able to pick up the early chapters with only calculus foundation. Many of the physics involved in the text would have been set up, and often, your task is to solve the math, with the exception of the chapter on Calculus of Variation. So the level of physics required is not much beyond undergrad intro physics.

    But as micromass has stated, the coverage and the level depends on the school and even the instructor. Look for the course syllabus, or find someone who had taken that specific course at your school. You might also want to pick up the text. You'd be surprised how "friendly" and "readable" it is.

  5. Sep 7, 2015 #4
    Because a upper level course in physics is required, you have to take something. Math methods is probably the one that will be most useful to you. Communication theory uses Fourier series which you will see in math methods. There is no reason to think that Classical Mech, Stat Mech, Or Quantum Mech will be any easier. I think I would have chosen Mth Methods, but I have not taken the course since 1978. We dealt only with calculus of complex variables in that course, and did not use Boas. I have a copy of Boas and I like it
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