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Math or physics class recommendation?

  1. Nov 29, 2009 #1


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    This is sort of a two part question, so bear with me.

    I just recently graduated with a BS in chemistry, and I applied to a couple PhD programs for next fall (I deliberately waited until after graduating to apply to graduate school for a number of reasons!). I'm working a part time job right now (chemistry related) which I very much enjoy, but I'm not entirely sure how long it will last.

    Anyways, this spring I was thinking of seeing if I could sit in or audit some kind of upper level math or physics class, just so I could pick up a few things before I start graduate school (assuming I get in somewhere!!!). I was wondering if any of you have suggestions as to what kind of class I should take. I'm probably going to do physical chemistry in graduate school. Also, I graduated with a math minor, so I have 3 semesters of calculus, discrete math, and linear algebra under my belt. I'm thinking of maybe looking into a class where I could learn some things about say, for example, differential equations, or Fourier analysis.

    Any suggestions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2009 #2


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    Your math is probably OK for the time being. For a physics class, I would recommend a good "Modern (20th century) Physics" class if you haven't had one already. If you have had such a class, then I would recommend an intro to quantum mechanics course.
  4. Nov 29, 2009 #3
    I guess you should have learned DE and Fourier Analysis during your BS degree. Personnally I won't advise you to waste your money if you want to learn just DE and Fourier Analysis. Why not just buy Mathematical Methods for Sicentists and Engineers? It may help.
  5. Nov 29, 2009 #4


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    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind! I think I might also check out the advanced electricity and magnetism class that my school offers. I might be able to just ask the professor if i could sit in on a few lectures every now and then - I've done that in the past without any problems.

    Yeah, I kind of thought it was a little odd that I never had to take a DE class. I'll check out that book. Who is/are the author(s)?
  6. Nov 30, 2009 #5
    I have mathematical methods for scientists and Engineers( assumed knowledge here and there though) by McQuarie, Which I like. My brother has Mathematical methods in Physical Sciences by Mary Boa...it's quite good as well. You may find it useful to go to your school library/or nearby lib and borrow one or both of those books and go through them and decide if they offer the mathematical tecniques rigor you need.
    I also have Chemistry maths book by Erich Steiner on the shelf here (..no assumed knowledge and quite good for undergraduates).It covers DEs, Fourier Analysis,Orthoganal matrices, symmetry(Group theory) etc. You may check it out as well.
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