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Proofs or no proofs

  1. Aug 28, 2010 #1
    Im thinking about taking a course in complex analysis. Furthermore, a course in proofs is recommended, but not required, as an intro into advanced math. I was wondering if anyone has the same recommendaton at their school or has anyone had it in the past. The main thing im interested in is if i should take the proof class or not. Thanks everyone in advance for the replies; I appreciate it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2010 #2
    I'm starting a class similar to this in a week or so. It's not explicitly a course in proofs, but it's similar in design. I spoke with the professor and he said its basically a course for students who are going to study advanced mathematics, but because he is a number theorist, it will have a heavy emphasis on number theory.

    I'm assuming I'll enjoy the class very much and learning how to construct proper proofs and theorems and even how to write mathematics can never hurt. According to the professor there is no better way to learn these things than through some elementary number theory.
  4. Aug 28, 2010 #3
    Hey thanks for the reply sEsposito. Im sure it is a good class and everything, but I wanna thake complex analysis b4 i take E&M. If i take the proof class ill end up takin it at the same time, so thats why I was wonderin if I should actually take it. If anyone else has advice please jump in!
  5. Aug 28, 2010 #4
    What book is used in the complex analysis course? The choice of book might be an indicator as to how theoretical the course will be.

    Also, you could always ask the instructor if s/he feels the recommended intro to proofs course is really necessary.

    For what it's worth, when I took complex analysis, the course had no formal prerequisites (beyond the standard calculus series) although it was quite theoretical. I would have been totally lost had I not already taken real analysis.

    Lastly, you don't really need complex analysis before undergraduate E&M. Just make sure you are very comfortable with vector calculus and have at least a nodding acquaintance with the method of separation of variables for solving PDEs.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
  6. Aug 29, 2010 #5
    No problem. As an after thought: I'm a math major, not a physics major; the course is probably much more valuable and necessary to someone like myself.
  7. Aug 29, 2010 #6
    Do u plan (or have a need) to know abstract mathematics? If you do, do u know how to do abstract rigorous proof? Knowing how to define things rigorously, and prove theorems based on axioms rather than intuition? If you have exposure to abstract mathematics before and is used to it, then you won't need a class like that.

    As for complex analysis, there are courses for math major and courses for physicists/engineers. Needless to say, the math major version would be rigorous. The engineer version would be half rigorous and half intuition (there is no way to teach complex analysis with no proof at all). So it is always good to know how proof works.
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