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Mathematical Base for a mechanical engineering undergraduate

  1. Dec 27, 2016 #1


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    Hello PF friends,

    My name is Visakhan,and i'm presently pursuing my BE in Mechanical Engineering in India. 3/4 way through the course now,But I feel unsatisfied with my grasp of mathematics and programming.

    I scored marks and passed the examinations,but i don't get that feeling of satisfaction from having tackled/understood a subject well. I feel I've got the resources to teach myself to code,But i'm a bit stuck with the math part.

    I'm planning to start right from the beginning of Single Variable Calculus and push myself through. My goal is that i want to understand the meaning and feel of the equations at greater depth, and i feel a proper crash course per say in Math during my break would do me good.

    Presnt plan is somewhat like this = (Single Variable calc-Multi Variable Calc-Linear Algebra-Diff Eq-Vector calc-Complex Analysis-Laplace and Fourier transforms-P.D.E)

    What path of action would you guys recommend?

    What are the recommended books or online videos or materials you'd suggest?

    Suggestions related to teaching yourself programming are welcome too :)
    I'm open to all you opinions and suggestions.

    Thank You.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2016 #2
    I'm wondering, aside from the general "feeling" that you don't understand the material, do you also feel you aren't prepared for other courses in your major that will require more math?
  4. Dec 28, 2016 #3
    Trust your professors assessment of your understanding more than your own.

    They have a better knowledge of what you need at a given point in your education to succeed down the road.

    If you are working hard and pleasing your profs, the light will go on soon enough in areas where it has not already.
  5. Dec 28, 2016 #4


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    Science Advisor
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    2017 Award

    That is an ambitious list of subjects. A comprehensive in-depth study of all those would take a lot of time. If they are new to you, a book on advanced math for Engineers may give you insight on all those topics. If you already know the basics and want more depth, then you might want to ask and investigate specific questions. You can ask them here, ask your professors, or review those specific issues in books.
  6. Dec 28, 2016 #5
    This is kind of what I was hoping to get about (in perhaps socratic fashion).

    I am not an engineer, but I would think an engineering major would be able to deepen their understanding of mathematics by applying it to engineering type problems.

    If it's over a winter break, it would also be an awesome time to do some sort of project that involves math and programming. Way more fun than slogging through textbooks.

    -Dave K
  7. Dec 28, 2016 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    So what math classes have you had so far? It's been a long time, but I'm pretty sure that by the end of my Junior year (year 3/4 of undergrad), I had most of the math classes that you mention above...
  8. Dec 29, 2016 #7


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    Yes,all the math courses have been taken by me.But I sort feel like I've just glanced through the material just for the Examination.Especially subjects like Vectoe calculus,Linear algebra,Partial differential equations,parts od complex analysis,I'd like to spend some time and understand it better.Perhaps use of better material might help.I plan to do an MS in the future, so I'd like my basics to be super strong by then.So,I'd like to start with my mathematical foundation.
    Yeah,it's over the winter break,Programming isn't gonna be a waste anyway,so that would be an added skill.
  9. Dec 29, 2016 #8


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    I feel I may not be well equipped in the future when I plan to do an MS.I passed the math classes,not too bad,not too good eitherI did pretty bad in subs like Linear algebra and Partial differential equations, and I'd like to learn them better.
    I'd like to be pretty strong in my basics by then,so ID figured I'd start with a proper math foundation,and then revise the rest of the basic subjects like FM,Thermo,HMT,SOM,TOM,MD etc.
  10. Dec 29, 2016 #9
    Do you tend to do better when you review material like that (foundationally), or do you do better when you can relate it to a practical situation, like in engineering?

    -Dave K
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