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Needs maths guidance for Physics Bachelor

  1. Feb 7, 2012 #1
    Where shall I begin, I am 19 years old now and I have this very strong desire to study physics, ever since I was introduced to Feynman and Carl Sagan and other famous physicists.
    After reading a bit more about the field I was amazed by the sheer variety of interesting fields physics had to offer so that I made up my mind: I want to study physics.

    So now here is my conundrum: I have only had this insight very recently, so I am thinking that I missed out on taking advanced courses in both physics and maths. While my satisfaction from doing maths has skyrocketed due to my ambition, I am not entirely sure if it will suffice.
    I had struggled with physics earlier but when I finally got around to actually do maths properly it was a great deal of fun and I ended up going from an almost F to a B.

    This is why I have two choices now, I could either wait a year, and thoroughly go over every math skill that I might need to fresh up on, or, I could also just take a sort of "pre-course" of maths that my university offers (for free!) for people who are in kind of the situation that I am right now, to make sure that they have the maths skills required to study physics.

    I actually started wanting to study cognitive science but was persuaded by a friend to study physics instead, because it was a way better introduction to the scientific method and science in general and that I could change into neuroscience later on.

    I hope this is somewhat intelligible, since English is not my native language, so I am sorry if I made any grave mistakes and I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

    PS: I forgot to mention that my university gave out a .pdf with a summary of everything maths related that I should know. It's in German but maybe it's helpful
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2012 #2
    There is no need to worry.

    There is no need to wait a year either.
    You will have a bumpy first semester whether you spend one year preparing or not, every student has to go through this experience :biggrin:

    Regarding the missing physics courses, its not that important as any school level courses are really introductory, and you will be going through those topics with more depth during your degree.

    The pdf document you linked to seems like a compact bridging course, and its very short.
    The details are here:

    In terms of topics, it should be sufficient.
    This bridging course is actually a non-official must for every student.
  4. Feb 8, 2012 #3
    Well that alleviated me from a lot of worries that I had, thank you very much.
  5. Feb 9, 2012 #4
    What were his grounds for suggesting that?
  6. Feb 9, 2012 #5
    Well I can only quote what he wrote to me:

  7. Feb 9, 2012 #6


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    If you want to study cognitive science, you should study cognitive science. Your friend's advice is misguided.
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