Needing serious advice on what to add to my Math major.

In summary, the conversation discusses a math major's interest in pursuing a second degree to increase their chances of getting into a graduate engineering program. They are considering adding a degree in chemistry or physics, and are seeking advice on which would be more practical and useful for their goals. The conversation also touches on the importance of chemistry in material engineering and the focus of physics on understanding the universe. The suggestion is made to take physical chemistry courses to best prepare for graduate studies.
  • #1
ryanj123
24
0
In need of some serious advising.

I'm a math major at the UI-Chicago. I have been trying to decide what I could add as a second degree to help improve my chances of getting into a decent graduate engineering program. You say it depends on the field? I figured. The thing is, I'm interested in these fields of engineering in order of importance: chemical, materials, and environmental. I'm sure adding a second degree in chem. would help but is it enough? Would physics be the more practical path while taking a few chem courses on the side?

Theoretically I want the second degree to be versatile enough to help me into engineering, or possibly other related geo-studies. Taking into account my math background many people may say physics, but truly I want whatever is going to give me the better edge. One thing I can say is that I have great interest in both (which makes this hard), pushing me to draw more logical conclusions on how far one will get me, over the other.

I'm in need of suggestions.
What's more practical? Is chemistry more useful in understanding the natural world, or would you say physics? What will help me get ahead of the curve when I apply to graduate studies? Major/minor/specific courses that one could suggest?

Also, how math intensive are the upper level chemistry courses? What would be a good few courses in mathematics to help prepare me for graduate engineering/physical sciences... questions questions questions.

I appreciate whatever anyone can offer.
 
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  • #2
Well, I don't know the other. But for material engineer, although there are different branches in material science, but all in all chemistry is the most important subject to the it (yes, there are some branches that are physics type. But in general it is not that helpful).
Physics? Well, unless you are really interested in the why, or sometimes the how things work in a particular way, otherwise physics is not really a good choice (that is to say, time efficient wise). Yes, it explains many things (yet many more things to explain!), for instance, the Pauli principle. I think it is like a given statement in chemistry, but it is in physics, QM to be specific, that the principle is fully explained.
However, personally I think that physics is focus more on understanding how, or why the universe work in this particular way. That is to say, and it is not quite the right focus for engineer, IMO.
 
  • #3
Aside from first year calc-based physics, most modern physics is not useful in terms of application. Your best bet, based on your interest, is taking a lot of physical chemistry courses.
 

1. What courses should I add to my math major?

Your choice of additional courses will depend on your career goals and interests. Some common courses to consider are statistics, computer science, economics, physics, and engineering. It's also helpful to take courses in a variety of math areas, such as analysis, algebra, and discrete math, to gain a well-rounded understanding of the subject.

2. How many courses should I add to my math major?

This also depends on your career goals and interests, as well as your school's requirements. It's important to not overload yourself with too many courses, as it can negatively impact your grades and overall experience. Consider talking to your academic advisor for personalized advice on how many courses to add.

3. Should I add a minor or double major in addition to my math major?

Adding a minor or double major can be a great way to supplement your math degree and make yourself more marketable to potential employers. However, it's important to consider the workload and time commitment, as well as how it aligns with your career goals. Talk to your academic advisor and do some research on potential minors or double majors to make an informed decision.

4. What skills will I gain from adding courses to my math major?

The skills you will gain will depend on the specific courses you add. However, some common skills that are developed through math courses include problem-solving, critical thinking, data analysis, and logical reasoning. These skills are highly valued in a variety of industries and can make you a competitive candidate for jobs.

5. How can I balance my course load with added courses to my math major?

Balance is key when adding courses to your math major. It's important to prioritize your workload and manage your time effectively. Consider creating a schedule or utilizing time management techniques to ensure you can handle the added workload. Additionally, don't be afraid to seek help from your professors or academic support services if needed.

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