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Math classes for EE

  1. Aug 4, 2012 #1
    After the basic calc I-III, diff eq, and linear algebra what math classes are most important for Electrical Engineering? I have to take one math elective from this list. Which one will be most useful EE?

    3034 - Introduction to Proofs (Limited availability due to course restrictions.)

    3214 - Calculus of Several Variables

    3224 - Advanced Calculus

    3414 - Numerical Methods

    4225 - Elementary Real Analysis

    4445 - Introduction to Numerical Analysis

    4446 - Introdution to Numerical Analysis

    4514 - Applied Algebra

    4525 - Principles of Advanced Calculus

    4554 - Numerical Methods for Engineers

    4564 - Operational Methods for Engineers

    4574 - Vector and Complex Analysis for Engineers
     
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  3. Aug 4, 2012 #2

    cepheid

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    Different people will have different opinions, and the answer will also probably depend on what you want to focus on after you graduate. That having been said, Complex Analysis (the last course listed), which involves learning how to define functions on the complex plane and then to differentiate and integrate them, has direct relevance to electrical engineering. Not only are methods involving the complex plane routinely used in EE, but in order to do something like, say, compute an inverse Laplace transformation directly, you need to know how to compute an integral on the complex plane.

    Those are my two cents. Numerical methods are also generically useful in engineering.
     
  4. Aug 4, 2012 #3
    thanks. if that class is full what are the next 2 best choices? Also i will soon have to decide what area of focus i want specialize in. I have my final three choices. They are RF/electromagnetics, communications, and electronics/semiconductors. Which of these 3 specializations has the best job outlook and which one has the highest salary. I know that i should choose my specialization based on my interests but i am genuinely interested in all of these.
     
  5. Aug 4, 2012 #4

    cepheid

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    Again, all I can do is offer my opinion. Things like proofs and real analysis seem of less direct relevance to an engineer, and I would only take them if you have an interest in getting a taste for what real math is like. For a course that would impart useful skills, I would go with something like numerical methods for engineers, or operational methods for engineers.


    I have *no idea* which of those has the highest job outlook or salary. Any answer to the question would be 1) highly time-dependent and 2) highly dependent on where you live or where you are willing to go. For salary, at least you can get a sense of things by comparing job postings from companies in each of these fields. If I had to guess which one might be more lucrative, I might say communications, but I really have no idea. I'm not basing that on much of anything other than the notion that there are more companies doing that, and I could be totally wrong.
     
  6. Aug 4, 2012 #5
    Fourier or numerical analysis would be useful. That and complex analysis, but usually you have to take real analysis which is a pain.
     
  7. Aug 5, 2012 #6
    Complex analysis is probably your best bet. Also, courses on things like Sturm-Liouville problems, partial differential equations, and Green's functions would be useful if you're interested in electromagnetics. (I don't know if any of the courses you listed cover that). Otherwise, numerical methods is probably a safe bet. I would avoid things like proofs and real analysis unless you're planning to get into the more applied math side of EE, in which case you'd probably want to take more than one extra math course anyway.
     
  8. Aug 6, 2012 #7

    joshmccraney

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    multivariable calculus hasnt been completed yet???
     
  9. Aug 6, 2012 #8

    cepheid

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    Hmm, when did the OP ever say that? He (I am using the general "he" :tongue2:) said he completed calc I-III. I'm sure naming conventions vary by place, but in my university, the first two calculus courses I took covered single-variable calculus, differential and integral respectively. In my case, the third covered both multivariable and vector calculus (vector calculus being crammed into the last few weeks of the semester, lol). I'm sure that for most cases, calc III would be at least multivariable calculus. If not that, then what else would it possibly be about?
     
  10. Aug 6, 2012 #9

    joshmccraney

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    he hasnt taken multi yet, as he listed it as a possible course, thus ill assume it hasnt been taken. you are on semester, so calc 1/2/3 might cover multi and vector. however, i am on quarters (as are many universities) and calc 1/2/3 are single variable calc 4 is multi and calc 5 is vector.

    it seems odd, if the OP is on quarter, which i assume from the courses not taken (multi) that vector/multi have not yet been taken. if so, those are quite "integral" to applied physics/engineering
     
  11. Aug 6, 2012 #10

    cepheid

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    Sorry, I didn't notice that, because it said "calculus of several variables" rather than multivariable calculus, and I overlooked it.

    Multivariable calculus has got to be part of the core curriculum in any engineering program --- hasn't it? Surely it wouldn't be left as optional.

    It's also unclear what year the OP is in.
     
  12. Aug 6, 2012 #11

    joshmccraney

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    i totally agree. some confusion here. should be in the core, but it's unclear...
     
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