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More than three calculus classes?

  1. Oct 23, 2008 #1

    I am currently attending a community college, but I will transferring next fall. One of the universities I am looking at offers calc 1,2,3&4 as well as advanced calculus of one variable and advanced calculus of several variables both of which have calc 4 and linear algebra as prerequisites. The descriptions are as follows,

    Calculus 1
    Elementary functions, derivatives and their application, introduction to definite integrals

    Calculus 2
    Methods for evaluating definite integrals, applications of integration, improper integrals, infinite series, and introduction to differential equations

    calculus 3
    Functions of two or more variables, vectors in two and three dimensions, partial derivatives,
    optimization, double and triple, integrals, and their applications

    calculus 4
    Parametric curves and surfaces, vector fields, line and surface integrals; Green's theorem, Divergence theorem, Stoke's theorem and applications, Fourier series and its applications.

    advanced calculus of one variable
    Topology of the real line; continuity, uniform continuity, differentiability, integration, sequences and series functions

    advanced calculus of several variables
    continuity and differentiability of functions of several variables, inverse and implicit function theorems, integration, Fubini's theorem, change of variables, teh classical integral theorems of Gauss, Green and Stokes and their generalizations.

    Most of the well known universities I have looked at have looked at only have calculus of one variable, calculus of several variables, and vector calculus. So my question is since this university offers so many can that mean that they have a less rigorous program? Would it mean that it's not a good college (it's UNCC if anyone wants to know)? I know its not a highly rated university but is it bad enough to hinder my chances of getting in to a top graduate program? I would prefer to attend Duke or Reed. My grades are good I have a 3.8 GPA and I should have a 4.0 this semester. The reason I am not placing any bets on getting into Duke or Reed is because I had to take remedial classes in both English and math (I was home schooled and my parents were not concerned about my education). I had to start with introductory algebra then I did intermediate algebra and college algebra in one semester followed by Precalculus over the summer as an independent study. Now I am in calculus one but they are not offering calculus two next semester so I can either take it as an independent study or take it somewhere else I would prefer the latter. So sorry that was so long but I am really worried about all of this. My final goal would be to get my Ph.D in pure mathematics. One more down side to UNCC is that they only have a general math degree and a degree in statistics.

    Please someone I really need some advice.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2008 #2
    At my school (UMass), engineering and physics majors take Calculus I, Calculus II, Multivariable Calculus (Calculus III), and Differential Equations.

    For us, Calculus III incorporates what you guys cover in both Calculus III and IV. I'm not sure about the "Advanced" Calculus classes you have listed, as I'm in Calculus III right now.

    A separate Linear Algebra class is available, which I took and recommend.
  4. Oct 23, 2008 #3
    thanks, yeah I plan on taking linear algebra next semester then taking differential equations over the summer.
  5. Oct 23, 2008 #4


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    Yuo should also check whether these are "semester", "quarter" or "trimester" courses.
  6. Oct 23, 2008 #5
    they are semester
  7. Oct 23, 2008 #6
    Does anyone think it would be possible for me to get into Duke or Reed?
  8. Oct 23, 2008 #7


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    What you call "calculus 4" is what is generally called vector calculus. I don't know about your other questions, since you don't give a description of the courses: "calculus of one variable" could contain anything. One way to tell would be to look at the actual descriptions of content covered in the courses at these other universities.

    That's a rather impossible question to answer: no-one here can gauge the level of your education from what you've posted.
  9. Oct 23, 2008 #8


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Gold Member

    That's how my undergraduate math courses were organized as well (though I didn't continue on to Diff Eqs).

    I'm not sure what to make of having Calc III (multivariable) spread over two terms. It could be that it's a slower pace than at other schools, or it could be that it goes into more depth than other schools. I wouldn't judge the quality of a program by the names of their courses.
  10. Oct 23, 2008 #9

    George Jones

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    It's hard to say with complete certainty, but it looks like calculus 3 and 4 cover material in a bit more depth than often is the case in a single calculus III course. Advanced calculus looks like a bit of real analysis in one and three dimensions. Roughly, real analysis is calculus done more rigourously. I took real analysis courses.
  11. Oct 23, 2008 #10
    well here is my prior informations (since I would really like to know about my odds of getting into duke or reed)

    I was home schooled since first grade in the middle of 8th grade my mom starting her own business and neglected my studies by ninth grade was no longer being taught anything. I thought this was cool at first but then when my friends started talking about things I knew nothing about and looking at me like I was an idiot when I mentioned this I began wanting to go to public school but my parents wouldn't let me. They didn't even encourage me to go to college quite the contrary I had to fight with my dad so he would lend me the money to start at the local community college which I have enjoyed so far although I have been under stimulated. I did have to take a few remedial courses since I had no high school education. My math was really bad and so was my English, but I caught onto to it really quickly (since it had nothing to do with my not understanding it only with not ever learning it) I can post the classes I have taken so far if that would be helpful but I will sum it up to say I have taken thirteen classes so far and have gotten A's in everything except international business (I had tonsillitis and mono during finals) so I got a B and I got a B in precalculus which I took as an independent study this summer. It wasn't hard but I had a LOT of family issues. This semester I am only taking four classes because I am working three part time jobs. One of the classes I am taking is calculus 1 in which we have studied limits, derivatives, integrals and I have been going over sigma notation and Riemann sum since I am taking honors calculus. (my teacher doesn't normally cover this but I told her I was interested) even with the additional honors work I am still not challenged in this class.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  12. Oct 23, 2008 #11


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    Are the courses listed as three or four semester hours each?

    Most places have a three-semester calculus sequence with four hours per course. We have a four-semester sequence with three hours per course, which is supposed to be equivalent to other colleges' three-semester sequence.
  13. Oct 23, 2008 #12
    oh, they are 3 credits.
  14. Oct 23, 2008 #13
    If you're considering Reed as an example of a good program bear in mind that they also have four calculus classes. Calc I, Calc II, Mulitvariable Calc I, and Multivariable Calc II. I feel like a fourth calculus class is a sign of more in-depth study, not of the first three classes being weaker. Calculus is, after all, an extremely large subject.
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