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My best friend got an 'A' in partial differential equations, how do i get this?

  1. May 22, 2009 #1
    he said the class average was 57% with many fails then how did he ace it? i hear partial differential equations is very hard but does anyone sucessful know his secret to success?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2009 #2
    hard work
  4. May 22, 2009 #3
    I don't get these questions. People always come along saying "my professor said x equals y, but why?!", or "my friend said bla bla bla, why?". How about asking the actual person standing right in front of you instead of just pretending to understand what is said? It will make your life much easier if you just admit that there is a lot of stuff you don't understand and start asking questions.
  5. May 22, 2009 #4
    Remember not just hard work but smart work. Consult other resources, ASK QUESTIONS, actually go through the proofs, and make sure your able to make good on all your previous math knowledge.
    You will be required to work with: all of diff eq, linear algebra(vector spaces, orthogonality conditions),Implicit function theorem, fourier series/transforms, laplace transforms....Basically all you have learned in math so far.
  6. May 22, 2009 #5


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    How about asking him? Do you seriously expect an answer to this question on this forum?
    Besides, the class average being 57% doesn't mean everything; maybe most of them just didn't work hard, or aren't too bright, or...
  7. May 22, 2009 #6
    Yes, I know your friend's secret to success.
  8. May 22, 2009 #7


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    While I'm no expert on partial differential equations the only advice I can offer is the following:

    * Be curious but to an extent.
    What I mean by to an extent is that if you're too curious you will get sidetracked with your own curiosity and lose focus of the course but if you have no curiosity you will probably (I don't mean absolutely in this case) not understand it because math takes time to think about (even if only briefly it still is a thought).

    * Ask questions if you are unsure
    Like posters before me have said, don't be afraid to ask questions. If your ego gets in the way then get rid of it because we all need help at some point or another.

    From what I do know about PDE's, most of the concepts of PDE's revolve highly around that of waves. So remember that understanding wave mechanics, picturing wave phenomena and thinking about certain transforms that deal with these related phenomena is important. You could almost say that PDE's are simply all about waves and nothing else in a sense.

    When dealing with waves an important concept is that of orthogonality which is used to define the relationships in fourier transforms. But remember its all waves. Sums of waves, any decomposition of waves you can think of and that will help you become more adept with the subject.

    Anyway I hope that advice serves you.
  9. May 22, 2009 #8


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    PDEs are totally intuitive man, I don't think the class even tried.
  10. May 23, 2009 #9
    +1. Something isn't right here.
  11. May 23, 2009 #10


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    Homework Helper

    My sentiments exactly. He's your best friend, so what's wrong with asking him? Afraid you'll have to divulge in return your secret for acing a QM class? :wink:
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