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Post your Fall 2009 Schedule!

  1. Jul 30, 2009 #1
    Hi, thought this might be an interesting an kind of fun idea, post your 2009 schedule if your a student currently taking classes, also if you have some questions to ask the physics forums peanut gallery we can put them all in one space. I'll start

    Linear Algebra- Using professors own text(with will certainly be supplemented with MIT video lectures.
    Discrete Math- Using Rosen's Discrete Math and Applications
    Calc III- Using Stewart
    Physics 2 E&M Using Wolfson's University Physics
    Dumb English Course

    1.Is this too many courses to succeed in? I'm hoping to sweep the board with A/A- and perhaps 1 or 2 B+'s at the worst?

    2. Anyone have any experiences with Rosen's Discrete Math? I've found very mixed reviews online.

    3. Any other tips for success from anyone with regards to any of the specific classes?

    Thanks PF!
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2009 #2


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    University Physics...by Wolfram?? Maybe you meant by Wolfson, or by Young and Freedman??

    Your schedule looks pretty normal. The texts look like the regular texts used as well.
  4. Jul 30, 2009 #3
    lol Yeah, I mean Wolfson, got those confused! Thanks for the correction.
  5. Jul 30, 2009 #4
    I like this idea!

    • Quantum Mechanics - Griffiths, which I think I'll try and supplement with Mendl
    • E & M II - Intro to Electrodynamics, Griffiths again
    • Partial Differential Equations - Applied PDE, Haberman
    • Astrophysics (emphasis on stars) - Intro to Modern Astrophysics, Carroll and Ostile (the BOB - big orange book)
    • Intro to aikido...!

    My questions:

    1. Does anyone have any recommendations for someone just getting starting to scratch the surface of QM? Texts, materials, videos, anything that would help me immerse myself a bit? Same with E&M II?

    2. Anyone else taking astrophysics?

    Answers to lubuntu's questions:

    1 & 2. Depending on how well you manage your time, it doesn't sound like too stressful of a course load to me - I think it could be handled quite successfully. In my experience, introductory linear algebra was quite straightforward, and calc III was just plain fun - not to mention a bit easier than calc II. I haven't yet taken discrete (waiting to take it from a particularly good prof) but it doesn't seem extremely difficult; unfortunately I haven't heard anything about the Rosen text, so I can't give my two cents there.

    I'm not familiar with the Physics 2 text you're referring to, however... Physics 2 was, in my experience, a little abstract - I didn't have any experience beforehand with it, and so it was completely new and different. Definitely interesting, though, and there are a lot of good resources online. It may be a little more work to grasp all of the essentials, particularly if it's new to you.

    I think you'll just have to manage the balancing act of having math homework from three classes, physics assignments, and English essays to write. If you really stay on top of things, and get all those assignments done on time - or even early! - you'll be saving yourself a world of hurt when exams and finals roll around. As long as you're doing your homework and reading up on things, none of the classes should be particularly horrifically challenging... Good luck!

    3. Look into Div, Grad, Curl and All That by H. M. Schey for Calc III - it's an absolutely fantastic resource, clear and easy-to-read, and will come in handy for future courses requiring any sort of vector calculus.
  6. Jul 30, 2009 #5
    I actually have the same Astrophysics book as I was intending to self study it at some point, my school unfortunately offers nothing like that. I think computation astrophysics is pretty much the coolest possible subject in the world!:)
  7. Jul 31, 2009 #6
    - Formal Languages & Theory of Computation
    - Computer Networks
    - Computer Architecture
    - Software Process
    - Independent study/thesis (climate modeling)
    - Senior project (software design for satellite)

    - This Fall is going to suck.
  8. Jul 31, 2009 #7
    1. Graduate electrodynamics (Jackson...)
    2. Fundamentals of nuclear engineering (Nuclear physics)
    3. Introduction to plasmas
    4. Advanced Calculus II -OR- Methods of Computational Math I

    Advanced calculus II covers chapters 9 and 10 of Rudin's PMA ("baby Rudin"), which I think would be really useful and interesting (rigorous calculus of several variables, linear transformations, intro to differential forms, etc.). The computational math class is like a graduate intro to numerical analysis class. This might be useful for my future research in using simulations, but it seems like the material is probably much more dry.
  9. Jul 31, 2009 #8


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    My tip: Don't be so blase about your English class. The ability to write well is an incredibly important skill that many science students completely overlook.
  10. Jul 31, 2009 #9
    Came here to post that as well! I have definitely noticed a decline in my ability to write, at least in the technical and grammatical sense, since not being in an English, literature, or composition course since high school, and it is bothersome. You need practice at it just like anything else.

    However, I will say that I agree that it is dumb, because it is probably a core course, and the overall course will be very strict about minor things and non-inspiring similar to most core courses. I knew a guy who wrote beautifully, but made a B in one of his college composition courses because his margins were a little off on his final paper.
  11. Jul 31, 2009 #10

    I apologize for ever asking if my schedule was too much!
  12. Jul 31, 2009 #11


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    I'll be 'student assistent' (TA?) for a first-year math class (foundations: naive set theory, proofs, primes, relations, functions, cardinality, ...)

    I also wanted to take the class Differentiable Manifolds (at the level of Lee), but since it's known as our hardest course in the bachelor's it'll probably take too much time to combine with the above. Too bad. Unfortunately General Relativity (at the level of Carrol) also doesn't fit in my schedule. I wish I could buy time! :tongue2:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Jul 31, 2009 #12
    Great post idea!

    1) French I (took this in high school so should be cake)

    2) Elementary Differential Equations (ODE) -Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems, 2nd edition, Polking, Boggess, and Arnold

    3) Advanced Calculus I (Real Analysis) -Fundamental Ideas of Analysis by Michael Reed

    4) Optics and Modern Physics (lot of stuff, basic second year course) - no idea what book, last semester we just used our prof's ebook in the works.

    5) Cybernetworks and the Global Village (sociology class, should be cake and also fun)

    6) Intermediate Tennis (half credit course)

    And no, I don't know why our math department names things so strangely. I tell a friend from that community college down the tobacco road I'm taking "Advanced Calculus I" and he goes "didn't you take that sophomore year...in high school?" -_-

    1) Am I going to die?

    2) I'm taking Real Analysis for my math major, and ODE because I want to understand the differential form of Maxwell's equations and actually be able to solve the differential equations in physics, because I had to fudge them last semester. I am a physics/maths double major but I want to go to physics grad school (so far) and I've been thinking about dropping the math major if it hurts my gpa too much...so...if it turns out I'm dying, which class should I drop of the two?n ODE or Real Analysis?

    3) I've taken linear algebra, but I doubt anyone in the cybernetworks class has. Are there any good pdf's floating around on basic network theory? I read an article in some bigshot science magazine that was on my research advisor's desk on it, seemed really fun actually.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  14. Jul 31, 2009 #13
    I would think Real Analysis is less applicable to Physics than ODE's, I think they are pretty much indispensable.
  15. Jul 31, 2009 #14
    Cristo has you are a UK national I'm guessing you've never never had the pleasure of taking a course in the US system? Little can you understand the inanity of some of the classes we are forced to take to get a Bachelors of SCIENCE. English classes here tend to be less about the mechanics of writing and more about serving as a platform for the Professors( and this term is used lightly) political and social views. Hilariously, they also try to sneak in the idea that the class will serve in developing your "critical thinking" skills. At my school this is particularly amplified as it is, in general, more gear to these liberal artsy, "Critical Analysis of Late 18th Century Northern New England Literary Women and their impact on the Industrial Revolution" type garbage.

    I just really can't muster a lot of respect for that world and really kind of wish that the STEM education system was completely cut off from the Liberal Arts/Business/Soft Majors, as they are two completely different worlds. I enjoyed someone else's post awhile back as they mentioned in nearly all those area you can more or less fudge your knowledge and get by, usually by writing Postmodern-esque paper as the example titled above.

    But I'm off on a rant now so, please continue the regularly scheduled thread....
  16. Jul 31, 2009 #15
    -Computational Heat Transfer
    -Thermal Energy Transport

    The majority of my time wont be spent on classes, it will be spent on TA responsibilities and my thesis.
  17. Jul 31, 2009 #16

    1. Political Science (annoying core class...)
    2. Linear Algebra I - using Strang's book
    3. Analysis I/Advanced Calculus I - using Rudin and Wade
    4. Modern Algebra I - using Fraleigh and I'll supplement with the giant Dover book by Warner
    5. The Putnam Challenge - prep class for the exam; very excited about this one
    6. E&M - standard intro class to E&M using University Physics by Young and Freedman


    Are you guys as excited about this Fall as I am?
  18. Jul 31, 2009 #17
    Oh, you math nerds. :tongue:
  19. Jul 31, 2009 #18
    Indeed I am very excited as this semester will bridge the gap for me between Intro Level courses and upper level. I'm also taking on more a load than I have in the past.
  20. Jul 31, 2009 #19


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    For QM I like Zettili, which is particularly good if you prefer a more mathematically rigorous approach. In terms of EM, my reference text is Grant & Philips, not sure how good it would be as a course text though.
  21. Jul 31, 2009 #20
    That's what she said :blushing:

    sry couldnt pass that up

    Yeah I'm pretty excited too, mainly because my house is way too chill for my tastes. Its nice at first but it gets boring. Ready to get back to work hard play hard...cant wait to outdrink all the freshies at orientation.
  22. Jul 31, 2009 #21


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    Man, I wish I can be a college student already :cry:
  23. Jul 31, 2009 #22
    Hah, you'll get there. I remember being in your position and I'll just tell you that your first time you're in your school's library to study for an extended period of time, you'll look up from one of your texts and just think "this is so damn cool," and the wait will have been totally worth it. Or at least, that's what happened to me. I love being able to learn as much as I want with next to zero real obligations other than that. Geez I can't wait to get back to school...
  24. Jul 31, 2009 #23

    Math Is Hard

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    I wish I could be a college student again. :cry:
  25. Jul 31, 2009 #24

    Speaking as a US college student at a moderately-sized public university, I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Cristo here - although I see where you're coming from as well, Lubuntu.

    As a freshman, I took an orientation course taught by various physics faculty in my department, and the one aspect stood out to me. A particularly well-published and distinguished professor asked the class how many students loved physics, and all raised their hands. He then asked how many loved math; most, but not all hands went up. He then asked how many enjoyed writing, and only two students raised their hands again. He stated that the students who raised their hands for all three would likely be successful in the sciences, because the loves of science and math, and the ability to write well, are indispensable traits for those desiring to go into research (think grad applications, grant proposals, papers, etc.)

    Now, it is not necessarily true that "Critical Analysis of Late 18th Century Northern New England Literary Women and their impact on the Industrial Revolution" is going to help you pass Calc III, neither will it necessarily help you get some fellowship. Yet, it never hurt to be well-read in various disciplines; the more you read, the better your writing becomes. Select an English course that sounds at least somewhat interesting to you, and plan to succeed and improve your skills in it. Avoid the professors who are pushing their political platforms or ideologies; by talking with a few English majors or browsing professor ratings online, you may get a better idea of who to avoid and who to actually learn from. I won't deny that English classes can range from respectable to completely bogus (probably an experience you've previously suffered through) - but the good ones are worth their while.

    Having multiple English major roommates in the past, I can safely say that those who work diligently and passionately in their fields are just as respectable and intelligent as those in the sciences. There is a distinction between the extraneous fluff (postmodern fudging), and honest-to-goodness writing prowess/critical reading ability, and the latter really does prove to be an incredibly useful and admirable skill.

    Also! If no English classes whatsoever interest you, you may want to consider a scientific/technical writing course, if your university offers it. Speaking to an adviser about substituting such a course may spare you some undue pain and tedious fluff.
  26. Jul 31, 2009 #25
    Wow, both of those recommendations sound fantastic - thank you!
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