# Courses Need Help Choosing a 3rd year Math Course

1. Aug 24, 2006

So here is the situation:

I'm starting my third year this September in Applied Math..and I have to decide between 2 different math courses...

1. Algebra 1
An introduction to group theory, including Sylow theorems and structure of finitely generated Abelian groups; applications of group theory.

2. STOCHASTIC PROCESSES
Random walk, Markov chains, discrete and continuous parameter Markov processes, branching processes, birth and death processes, queuing processes.

Which one would be more usefull when it comes to applying for Graduate School? Which one is easier? What are the applications of Algebra vs Stochastic processes?

Any ideas/help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

2. Aug 24, 2006

### daveb

Algebra is better because the math GRE would cover more from group theory than stochastic processes. Plus, Algebra is a standard undergraduate calss the graduate committees like to see (at least I would think that's the case).

3. Aug 24, 2006

### mathwonk

the algebra course material is brialliantly described in crystal clear fashion and undying prose, in my web notes, downloadable for free as we speak.

but i wouldn't know a stochastic process from a ricci curvature.

4. Aug 24, 2006

Thanks you guys

Mathwonk: i took a look at your notes, that's good stuff..

I still don't know which course too choose yet though..

5. Aug 24, 2006

### JasonJo

stochastic processes is a damn fun class, very very interesting stuff. i love applied math, ie, learning pure mathematics with all the rigor and then applying it to our world.

6. Aug 25, 2006

### joelperr

Algebra by far. Group theory is the foundation of so many interesting and beautiful parts of mathematics; plus, as mentioned before, it will help you more on the GREs.

7. Aug 30, 2006

So is STOCHASTIC PROCESSES generally an easy course?

8. Aug 30, 2006

### Daverz

For applied math, I'd go for the stochastics class, but isn't abstract algebra is a required course?

9. Aug 30, 2006

### neurocomp2003

depends on what you plan to do..if you plan to do anything related to simulations & modelling Stochastics would be the better course to take. All those things in that list esp. Markov Chains are useful.

But if you wanna take a course for the GREs(which i'm guessing is only american) than go with what others have said.

I would think abstract algebra would be the easier of teh two courses. But thats me personally because I don't understand Statistics that well.