• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Math and physics program

  • Thread starter Tom1992
  • Start date
  • #1
112
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

I would like to share with you my chosen courses for years 2 to 4. I've decided to specialize in both math and physics because I've gotten bored with studying only math:

2nd Year:
Calculus II
Linear Algebra II
Group Theory
Ring Theory
Ordinary Differential Equations
Real Analysis I
Thermal Physics
Oscillations and Waves
Introduction to Quantum Physics


3rd Year:
Partial Differential Equations
Complex Analysis I
Real Analysis II
Point-Set Topology
Differential Geometry I
Classical Mechanics
Electromagnetic Theory
Quantum Mechanics I
Nuclear and Particle Physics


4th Year:
Complex Analysis II
Differential Geometry II
Differential Topology
Algebraic Topology
Quantum Mechanics II
Relativity I
Relativity II
Introduction to String Theory
Introduction to Quantum Field Theory

has anyone taken a math/physics combination like this? many of these math courses i've already studied on my own, but these physics courses sure look like tons of fun!
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
98
0
I would imagine it would be fairly tough to find a uni that would allow you to take all those courses in that amount of time.
 
  • #3
Ambitious but realistic?

That is indeed an ambitious plan and I have nothing against your willingness and motivation to commit yourself to indulge in such courses but it does raise few questions...

1. Is it a realistic plan? Many of the courses you listed are quite advanced both in mathematics and physics and I wonder if you can handle such pressure. 9 courses in a year to me seems like not a good idea since I myself have experienced it and don't intend to do it again.

2. Quantity or Quality? Sure you can take as many papers as you like but I doubt if you will perform well in all those subjects. Important thing is, take only necessary papers and do well in them.

3. If I were you I would try drop as many unnecessary 'physics' papers as I can and keep math papers. Especially if you are willing to go into theoretical physics you will find your strong math background useful in later years.

4. I would take following courses:


2nd Year:
Calculus II
Linear Algebra II
Group Theory
Ring Theory
Ordinary Differential Equations
Real Analysis I
Thermal Physics
Introduction to Quantum Physics


3rd Year:
Partial Differential Equations
Complex Analysis I
Real Analysis II
Point-Set Topology
Differential Geometry I
Classical Mechanics
Electromagnetic Theory
Quantum Mechanics I



4th Year:
Complex Analysis II
Differential Geometry II
Differential Topology
Algebraic Topology
Quantum Mechanics II
Relativity I
Introduction to String Theory
Introduction to Quantum Field Theory



Out of curiosity which university do you attend?
 
  • #4
MathematicalPhysicist
Gold Member
4,220
172
what's exactly not good with 9 courses in a year?
he doesnt take 9 courses in one semester.
anyway which university offers: Introduction to String Theory
and Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
in bsc programme, arent those courses supposed to be taken in 2 or phd degree programmes?
 
  • #5
112
0
what's exactly not good with 9 courses in a year?
he doesnt take 9 courses in one semester.
anyway which university offers: Introduction to String Theory
and Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
in bsc programme, arent those courses supposed to be taken in 2 or phd degree programmes?
supervised reading courses.

I think 9 courses per year is not crazy at all. I remember reading a post somewhere (in the how many hours per day do you study poll) where some guy took even more and studied 16 hours per day. besides, my courseload is not a heavy as it looks, because many of the math courses I have self-studied already.
 
Last edited:
  • #6
68
0
I think 9 courses per year is not crazy at all.
You are at a school that's on quarter system right? If so, then you are right, it's not crazy at all. Actually even if you are on semester it might not be crazy because you have studied some of that before making it alot more manageable.

I remember reading a post somewhere (in the how many hours per day do you study poll) where some guy took even more and studied 16 hours per day.
]I could probably not take as many classes as I take if I was doing physics. I actually decided not to do math an physics because I was always took me much longer with physics than with math and I saw that there were just as many fun courses (I had to go for graduate courses though) I could take in the math department.
 
  • #7
According to Tom and from what I have extrapolated from previous posts, he is 14 (as his name would suggest) and is currently self-teaching himself some very complex, high-level mathematics (if I remember correctly, he was working through Mumford's Toplogy) and desires to complete his PhD by 18 (is that correct Tom?).

So, with that in mind, continue with the advice. I figured it would be beneficial to let you know that as far as I know, he is not yet at a university and is a freshman in high school, unless I am completely lost, which might be the case.
 
  • #8
112
0
According to Tom and from what I have extrapolated from previous posts, he is 14 (as his name would suggest) and is currently self-teaching himself some very complex, high-level mathematics (if I remember correctly, he was working through Mumford's Toplogy) and desires to complete his PhD by 18 (is that correct Tom?).

So, with that in mind, continue with the advice. I figured it would be beneficial to let you know that as far as I know, he is not yet at a university and is a freshman in high school, unless I am completely lost, which might be the case.
I'm taking by force the full-year calculus I, linear algebra I, physics I, and physics lab, and introduction to special relativity courses
 
  • #9
I'm taking by force the full-year calculus I, linear algebra I, physics I, and physics lab, and introduction to special relativity courses
When you say 'I am taking by force' do you mean you are going to storm the university with books in-hand, overthrow the classrooms and demand instruction or do you mean you are being forced to take these classes at university? The former would provide me with an amazing visualization and a hell of a lot of laughter!

I am confused, are you still in highschool or did you graduate and you are now preparing for university? How does a prodigy such as yourself, go about completing the highschool cirriculum in such a quick period of time? I have always been curious about that.
 
  • #10
121
0
what's exactly not good with 9 courses in a year?
he doesnt take 9 courses in one semester.
anyway which university offers: Introduction to String Theory
and Introduction to Quantum Field Theory
in bsc programme, arent those courses supposed to be taken in 2 or phd degree programmes?
The quality of your learning is decreased with the more papers you take. taking nine is a big workload. I find taking 8 a semester decreases my quality of learning by a noticable margin
 
  • #11
112
0
When you say 'I am taking by force' do you mean you are going to storm the university with books in-hand, overthrow the classrooms and demand instruction or do you mean you are being forced to take these classes at university? The former would provide me with an amazing visualization and a hell of a lot of laughter!

I am confused, are you still in highschool or did you graduate and you are now preparing for university? How does a prodigy such as yourself, go about completing the highschool cirriculum in such a quick period of time? I have always been curious about that.
those are my first year university courses. it's only first year. many people at age 14 are well ahead of me. A phd student at age 14:

http://www.drexel.edu/univrel/drexelink/story.asp?ID=1594&vol=10&num=2 [Broken]

i've seen her picture--she's not bad looking. i wish i could meet her.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #12
Well, my friend, enjoy skipping your teen years. I wish you luck, however, in all that you do!
 
  • #13
112
0
so no one here has done graduate studies this thorough in both math and physics?
 
  • #14
121
0
I have completed a BSc in math and physics , but not so many pure math papers

this is my one hundreth post ooooooo yea feel the love
 
Last edited:
  • #15
350
0
many people at age 14 are well ahead of me. A phd student at age 14:
Many people are ahead of you? Well there are many people who get their BS in physics by age 40 too.
 
  • #16
morphism
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2,015
4
What's the rush?
 
  • #17
112
0
what rush? it's a 4-year programme.
 
  • #18
morphism
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2,015
4
But you claim you're 14.
 
  • #19
235
0
Discussing only the plan you have listed out, I would make the following cuts from the course load (thus giving you more time to concentrate on the more advanced subjects, and to allow you to take some electives from outside of the math and physics departments (which I would believe the university you attend most certainly has)). And note that I am only a student, and this is being done through my own personal biasis.

So Cut the following:

Calc II, linear algebra II (unless you feel it is absolutly necessary, because you will pick this up pretty fast when you need it), Quantum Field Theory or Superstrings (just pick one for now), Nuclear and Particle physics (unless you intend on focusing your research on it), and pick either Algebraic or Differential Topology, don't take both.

That should trim your program down to something that seems a little more reasonable...at least in my humble opinion.

Oh and move your differential geometery I course to your 2nd year, if you can.
 
  • #20
441
0
hmm what about gen eds? unless your school doesn't require them for a student such as yourself.

I am also a bit curious as to how you completed highschool so fast, were you homeschooled? or did your school just bump you up really fast?
 
  • #21
My primary concern with allowing someone to compress the time it takes for them complete a high school eduation, is that they miss out on the social development and exposure to your peers. I also can't imagine he has mastered the subjects of geography, chemistry, english, biology, history, government, and whatever other subjects/electives they have.

Are you ready for university level philosophy, chemistry, biology, psychology, etc.? Granted, these subjects are generally very easy for most freshman and sophomores, I would contend that spending four years in highschool really helps build a foundation to understand it, not to mention, I really do feel as though my brain matured drastically from 14-19 and I finally feel like I am actually ready for university.

I played sports in high school and other chilled out activities, something I hope he isn't missing. I also had the opportunity to have fun, goof off and grow-up.

Had I started university even just two years ago, I would have done terrible in comparison to how I am doing now, simply because I matured. Although, perhaps some people are naturally developed and matured and are better suited at a university.

Either way, I think it's awesome that you are that gifted, my friend. I always laughed at the prospect of seeing some 14 year old in one of my classes, there is no way I could take him serious, even if he could do some abstract mathematics.

I still can't imagine you'd have the life experiences and broad understanding to relate to anyone that is not 14, then again, you probably can't relate to a typical 14 year old either.

Either way, no disrespect, good luck homie!
 
Last edited:
  • #22
Stingray
Science Advisor
671
1
This thread reminds me of myself when I started college. I was also much younger than normal, wanted to double major in math and physics, and wrote down a long list of courses to take every quarter. That list didn't last very long. I realized that I didn't really like pure math and that my physics interests changed over time. Some courses can also be very difficult, and you might want a break at times, or perhaps some extra sleep and a bit of a social life.

I did end up taking many more elective courses than usual, including several graduate-level physics and astro courses. Some of these were excellent, and I'm very glad I took them. Others just confused me, and I never really learned the material properly. I would have been better served slowing down and understanding the standard courses more thoroughly. I ended up filling in the gaps in grad school.

On average, I tried to do too much at once. When you start off, you tend to try to stick everything possible into those 4 years. Looking back, most things could've waited. I'm not saying to follow a standard curriculum (and I doubt you'd listen anyway). Just be willing to adapt your plans over time. The main things you should plan for are upper-level courses that you really "have to" take. Put a couple of courses into this category, and make sure you'll meet the prerequisites by the time you want to take them. Also check that they aren't offered every other year. If you want to do research in a particular topic before the start of your senior year (which I highly recommend), make sure you'll have the appropriate courses for the field you want to work in by that time.

Of course, everyone is different. I don't know you. I don't know your preparation or intelligence. I also don't know your university, so it's hard to give generic advice.
 
  • #23
441
0
yeah I agree complexphilosophy, but people do grow up faster than others, some of my friends here at uni still go home on weekends to have their mothers do their laundry.


I personally left highschool a year early and never had a prom or any of the stuff that comes with your senior year of highschool, essentially I was failing out so I decided to get a GED and the go on to college instead of finishing my senior year and quite possibly my super senior year. By the time I left highschool I had accomplished everything that I wanted to do in that portion of my life and I was ready to move on. Im sure that some people experience this at an even younger age.

Tom1992 I could believe that you are one of the few people who can finish their highschool education early, however I have a hard time believing that you'll be able to relate to other people who are college aged and you may suffer because of that. I am guessing that you haven't yet enrolled in your college or that you haven't yet progressed very far in your education there.

I would like to give you a link to Simon's Rock college

http://www.simons-rock.edu/


This is a path that I considered a while ago however I only heard about it after I had made up my mind on what I was going to do, and I decided I didn't have the transcript to get in anyway. However it may be well suited for you. It is a college that was founded on the principal that the final two years of highschool merely serve as a buffer to ensure that studnets enter college when they are 18, and so was setup to provide college level work to gifted highschooler's who have completed at least their sophmore year of highschool.

It is not a fancy private school that merely provides a highschool education, it starts students out with courses that you would start taking your freshman year of college.

I remember when I checked it out it had a decent math/physics department and looked like a good school. It might help for you to be around kids who are closer to your age in order to still have some of those good ol' life experiences.
 
  • #24
Stingray
Science Advisor
671
1
Tom1992 I could believe that you are one of the few people who can finish their highschool education early, however I have a hard time believing that you'll be able to relate to other people who are college aged and you may suffer because of that. I am guessing that you haven't yet enrolled in your college or that you haven't yet progressed very far in your education there.
I actually never went to high school at all. I didn't have any trouble relating to the regular college-aged students. I probably had more issues with people my own age at the time. This is a very personal thing, though. From what I understand, it was not that uncommon for students my age to attempt suicide or otherwise develop serious problems at the university I attended. They had therefore become very apprehensive about admitting them. I was a perfect fit though. I loved being there, would certainly do it again if given the chance.
 
  • #25
441
0
how young were you though? the OP is 14. I think anybody above the age of 16 wouldn't have trouble relating to college kids provided they have the necesssary "maturity level" but I think that most people younger than that would have a very difficult time finding commonalities with people beyond the general interest topics such as politics/physics/ <insert subject here>.
 

Related Threads on Math and physics program

Replies
2
Views
5K
Replies
2
Views
981
Replies
1
Views
691
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
627
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
13
Views
8K
Replies
13
Views
2K
Replies
0
Views
1K
Top