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Multivariable Calculus or Diff EQ over the summer?

  1. Jan 4, 2014 #1
    Hi everyone, this is my first post and so I just want to say thank you in advance for any responses to my question. I recently applied for an internship which will take place over the summer of 2014 and it looks like I have a good chance at actually being accepted for the program. However, I have my academic career planned out for the next year and half. Within my academic plan I was prepared to take Mulitvariable Calculus over the summer. However, it looks like my internship might conflict with this course, but I still have the opportunity to take Differential equations. I have been told by other students within my program that multivariable calc would be ok to take over the summer but that it would be in my best interest to wait for diff eq until the fall because it is a more "important/integral" math class for physics majors. Do any of you find this to be true? I am assuming that they are taking into account that summer sessions are shorter and so there are certain topics which are left out so that only the most important concepts are covered. If this holds to be true then maybe I will just wait, I was hoping to get some insight from those of you who have already completed the math sequence.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2014 #2
    I don't think taking ODEs in the summer will hurt. In fact, I think ODEs would be better than multivar calc as a summer class. In my experience, some material from Calc III took a while to really sink in. My ODE class on the other hand was pretty straightforward; There is usually a recipe to follow to solve ODEs.

    My bigger worry would be whether you will be spending more time learning math than excelling in your summer internship. If it is research of some sort, I would suggest taking no classes and focusing only on research. If it is in industry, then a summer course might be a good idea.
  4. Jan 4, 2014 #3
    I took ODE over the summer and got an A. It is not a bad class. probably easier than calc 3 due to the fact that calc 3 is usually a 4 credit class which would be gruelling in summer term. You wont need calc 3 for diffyQ.
  5. Jan 5, 2014 #4
    Calc 3 has a lot more content than DE (in quarter system schools, multivariable calc is two classes) and I found it to be significantly harder. I think DE is the easiest of the lower division math courses to grasp since it focuses mainly on techniques as opposed to new concepts that might be more abstract than you are used to. I wouldn't worry about missing out on any content; likely, lower division DE will not be the last DE class you take.
  6. Jan 7, 2014 #5
    Thanks again guys for your responses, I will definitely heed your warnings and take everything into account before pulling the trigger.
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