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Pick my class for me!

  1. Mar 8, 2010 #1
    While I'm not so indecisive as to completely let others pick my class for me, I would like your 2 cents on the matter of what I should take. So I have to take one lab science outside of my major (physics), and I have narrowed it down to three: programming for scientists/engineers, chemistry (the basic science student one), and astronomy. I'm leaning toward the programming class, since I took one in high school, and enjoyed it. But what would you recommend the most for a physics major? Here they are (and their descriptions):


    Diurnal motion, motion of solar system objects on the background of stars, light rays and spectra, the planets, Kepler's laws, space travel, coordinates and time, the moon and eclipses, meteors, comets and the sun, stars, stellar distances and stellar evolution, galactic structure, galaxies, quasars, and the big bang universe.

    The lab accompanying it:

    Lab to accompany AST 180. Astronomical observations and experiments. Use of telescope is stressed. 3 hrs. evening lab. Letter grade only. Course fee required. Prerequisite or Corequisite: AST 180 or AST 180H LAB


    Fundamental chemistry principles presented at a level appropriate for preprofessional, science, and engineering majors, including students proceeding to CHM 235 and 238. Prerequisites: high school chemistry or CHM 100 plus intermediate algebra; recommended: CHM 151L. Letter grade only.

    The lab accompanying it:

    Introduces important lab practices, stoichiometry, and the analysis of chemical unknowns. 2 hrs. lab including lecture time when appropriate. Letter grade only. Course fee required. Prerequisite or Corequisite: CHM 130 or CHM 151 LAB


    Introduces computer programming for engineers, scientists, and math majors. Emphasizes problem solving, algorithms, and structured programming. Letter grade only. Course fee required.

    The lab accompanying it:

    Provides guided practical experience with applied engineering and science-oriented programming problems.

    What do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2010 #2
    What's useful: programming.

    What's more interesting (to me): astronomy.

    Take your pick.
  4. Mar 8, 2010 #3


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    I agree with Newtime that programming will serve you well.

    However, once you're out of school, it's amazing how much people will rely on you (once they learn you majored in physics) to be their general science source of information. A bit of chemistry knowledge will come in handy for those times. Probably not too important, though...just my $0.02.
  5. Mar 8, 2010 #4
    In all fairness, unless you plan on studying astronomy later on, the programming course will have the most utility. Chemistry is a decent subject to learn, interesting in and of itself and may be of use to you if you plan on specializing in AMO or nuclear physics later on.

    I guess it all depends on what you plan on studying in the future, but in general, programming will be best.
  6. Mar 8, 2010 #5
    In the physics major at my school, both general chemistry and a programming class (LabVIEW programming, specifically) are required parts of the major, not electives, so I'd take one of those if I were you.
  7. Mar 9, 2010 #6
    I suppose it's programming for me! If I can somehow make time for it I'll try to fit the Chemistry and Astronomy courses in, but the programming class will take priority. Thanks!
  8. Mar 9, 2010 #7
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