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

Liberal arts Vs Mathematics

  1. Nov 28, 2014 #1
    Hey everybody how ya doing? I am writing this because I just recently had a discussion with my older brother. He holds a Masters in Music and Administration. I am currently a senior undergraduate in Mathematics. He was saying that the Liberal Arts is a more difficult degree to obtain than a degree in science. He then began trying to explain to me, in very laymen terms, about general relativity and the uncertainty relation principle ("Heisenberg uncertainty principal") I felt like I had to give him basic information and let him know that these concepts and theories are not yet complete and, with time, will have better explanation. He said I was being dumb and didn't understand as an "undergraduate". I felt like I was just trying to inform. I was not trying to make it seem like I knew everything. Do you think I could have been wrong? What about Liberal Arts Vs. Science...I'm sure I am right on this point
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    One thing is being able to regurgitate popular descriptions of physical theories. Another is to understand at a deeper level and be able to make quantitativepredictions. In my opinion, it is as if you told him music is trivial because you listened to Beethoven and can hum the first few notes of the 5th symphony (anyone can do that).

    That being said, I do not know much about degrees in music and administration, but physics and engineering degrees are often considered to be among the most difficult ones.
  4. Nov 28, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

  5. Nov 28, 2014 #4
    I see a lot of kids at school who have a lot of time on their hands doing other things like being part of different clubs and playing sports. The joke in the physics department is those kids aren't physics students.
    Math and science require a lot of study time, but they don't have a monopoly on difficulty. I think writing a A+ quality essay is harder to do than getting an A+ on a math or science test. I've gotten 100's on math and science tests. I've never gotten a 100 on an essay.
  6. Nov 28, 2014 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    IMO the difficulty line is not 100% in one study subject or even field. To be the best in anything is difficult. (even something like stacking cups) The difficulty comes from the integration of many fields of competent study into a usable mental picture of interconnecting patterns that allows the generation of new ideas. It's being able to see that slight variation of noise in something that tells you 'go that way' when others can't even see the noise.

    I could type "Liberal arts Vs Mathematics" in
    http://eg.radioworldwide.org/essay.php [Broken]
    and get a new random essay. It's not an A+ grade but finding even poor new science this way is currently impossible.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook