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Minor mathematics?

  1. Jan 14, 2005 #1
    I wonder if minoring mathematics helps career/physics.
    In my department, some math courses are offered to physics major to make sure that they can accquire enough math tools(since some are compulsory).
    So, why do some people take math courses in math department or even minor math?

    I have to declare minor in a few months later. I don't know whether I should spend more time in math or physics such as experiemtal skills. Would you please offer some suggestions?

    p.s. I am a year 1 student and I want to get PhD after graduate if I can. But I have not yet decided going "theoretical stream" or "experimental stream"
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2005 #2
    If you are planning to enter the field of theoretical physics, the moodois the more math the better! What a minute... I think in all of physics it really amounts to the more math skills you have the better!
  4. Jan 15, 2005 #3
    I suspect those who minor in math to complete a physics degree are mostly those who wish to be highschool teachers. In order to pursue graduate studies in physics, be it theoretical or experimental, a math minor isn't really a plus.
  5. Jan 15, 2005 #4

    hmm. at UF, a physics degree requires two or three fewer math courses than a math minor, so it makes sense just to do that bit of extra work.

    besides, it doesn't seem like knowing more math could ever be a bad thing, unless you have to do so at the expense of learning the physics.
  6. Jan 15, 2005 #5

    Dr Transport

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    If you do not know an immense amount of math, you'll never make it through a graduate program in physics. Theoretical Physicists are very good mathematically, a minor in mathematics is not a bad thing for a physics major.
  7. Jan 16, 2005 #6
    Thanks all of you! :rofl:
  8. Jan 16, 2005 #7
    At some places, you can get a Bachelor's doing a math minor at the expense of some physics courses. That is what I had in mind. Doing a math minor in addition to a complete Physics program certainly can't hurt.
  9. Jan 16, 2005 #8

    Dr Transport

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    I needed one extra math course to complete a math minor with a BS in Physics.
  10. Jan 16, 2005 #9
    Here if you get your BS in Physics you will automatically get a Minor in Math. You do not get to choose your minor, you are required to take 4 or 5 junior math classes. Also, you only get I think one real elective class that you can choose to do whatever you want with. I would say the more math the better, but if I was majoring in physics I would probably take more physics electives if I had a choice. However, if you are forced to choose a major, just pick math. For your first 2 years, maybe 3, you will be taking the same classes, because of the general math that is required for physics.
  11. Jan 17, 2005 #10
    People who get a math minor are those that want to be a teacher? :rofl:

    I am an EE major with a declared minor in math and physics. This is the way *I* see it....

    For my EE, I have had to take Calculus 1, 2, 3, and Differential Equations. Thats 18 hours of math right there. At UCF, to get a math minor, you have to have all of those I said above plus 6 more hours of junior/senior level courses. Thats 2 classes more!! Why would you not take 2 more classes to get a minor? Its easy!

    To top that off, there are two math classes highly recommended by the Engineering department.... Applications of Complex Variables and Elementary Matricies / Linear Algebra.

    I am taking Complex Variables right now and already see a huge impact it will have in my engineering studies. So, very good move on my part for taking it.

    My point is, a minor is really easy to get for a Physics or Engineering student because you have already had 90% of the courses you will need for the minor. You might as well take the few extra classes and get the minor. Not only will it look good on your record, but the more math you take, the better you will be at physics or engineering.

    Personally, I plan on taking more than just the two math classes just to strengthen the math I will learn in other courses in the future. Instead of learning the math I will need from Engineers... I will learn it right frrom the math department...
  12. Jan 17, 2005 #11
    That would be nice!!

    I am in a physics class right now that is nothing but pure math. UCF calls it Intro to Theoretical Methods. The whole class is based on how to mathematically solve problems.

    Due to its nature, I personally think you should get math credit for it...
  13. Jan 17, 2005 #12
    That is not what I said. Reread my two posts carefully. Congrates on your minor. If it helps you get what you want and do your work, that's all that counts.
  14. Jan 21, 2005 #13
    People where I go who are getting a Physics Major tend to just get a Math major along with it as a dual major, it really can't hurt to know extra math in the field of physics. Doing this is probably aided by the fact that we are on the quarters system, and thus have more time to take these classes, however, to get a graduate degree or Ph.D in physics anyway, you are going to have to know all the math you need to get a math major and more, might as well start now.

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