New Math Major scheduling help!

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  • Thread starter Totalderiv
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  • #1
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Hey I'm currently headed off to University at Buffalo this fall for math and I'm stuck on scheduling. So far I know I'm talking Calculus II, but I'm not sure what else to take. What classes should I take as a freshman math major?
 

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  • #2
What classes have you taken so far? It's hard to recommend anything if we have no idea where you're coming from. Typically, universities have a recommended schedule section, check that out. For example, I'm freshman but I'm starting with Advanced Calculus 1 (Green, stoke's, triple integrals), matrix algebra, discrete math and proofs, modern math. Nobody could have guessed that I needed those classes.
 
  • #3
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Take a look at your degree requirements (it has to be posted somewhere on your universities website), see which classes are considered first year, second year, etc. etc. take a look at prerequisite requirements for the second year courses, take a look at requirements for any other courses that aren't in your degree but that you're interested. If you really want you can plan out your 4 year degree and see what must be taken first before you can take the upper year courses.
 
  • #4
jtbell
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Also look up the general-education requirements for your degree: English, foreign language, social science, whatever. Most students try to get those out of the way as soon as possible.
 
  • #5
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Math majors at my school only take 2 math based courses in first year: Calc I & II

Physics majors take 4: Calc I & II, Phys I & II

Engineering majors take 6: Calc I & II, Phys I & II, Statics & Dynamics, Intro to Linear Algebra


My point: As a freshman math major, get your breadth requirements taken care of in first year because you're not really expected to be taking many math courses.
 
  • #6
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If your school offers a course to the effect of Intro to Discrete Mathematics or Logic and Proof in Mathematics, that would be a good one. Some people recommend holding off on such a course until second year (and in fairness, it tends to be difficult), but if you're exposed to that sort of material earlier on, you have more time to adjust to it and then, even if it doesn't go well in your first semester, you'll have plenty of chances to try again before it becomes a major issue.

Also, if you take such a class and it goes well, then in your Spring, you can take some combination of Calc III, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra (a lot of schools offer a computation-based introductory course). This will give you a very good exposure to foundational math and will be great preparation for your later years.

Other courses I'd recommend would be Physics I and II, assuming your school requires them of math majors as does mine. My school also requires two semesters of computer science classes. If yours does, those would be good first-year classes.

A word of warning, though: don't get all of your gen-ed classes out of the way early. Math is a tough major and as you progress, you'll need to devote more time to your math classes. Try to save some of your easy classes for your last couple years when the math will really get challenging. That way, you lessen the chance of being completely overwhelmed.
 
  • #7
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Indeed, take some proof/logic/discrete math classes early on. You'll benifit a lot from doing that!

Maybe some linear algebra won't hurt too...

For reference, my first semester consisted of the courses:


Analysis I
Linear algebra I
Discrete mathematics
Logic
Programming I

Something like that would give a nice preperation for the next semesters...
 
  • #8
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I really dont think theres much to do until you finish Calc 2, so now would be the time to take care of those non-math subjects. For instance aside from Gen. Eds. the math majors at my school also have to take a programming class,
 
  • #9
I'm currently a math/physics joint major at UB, just finishing my second year. I have to agree with the above post, you can't really take more math courses since they almost all require calc II as a pre-req unless you have instructor's recommendation (except discrete math MTH 191, I don't believe that has pre-reqs). If you feel really comfortable with calc I, UB offers calc II in the 3rd six week summer session starting July 5, that would open a lot of math courses up for your fall semester (Calc 3, Linear Algebra, Diff. Eq., probability theory). Getting a lot of the gen-eds out of the way early would be beneficial if you take calc II in the fall, it will open a lot of space for math classes in the following years.
 

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