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Proving Mathematical Maturity

  1. Apr 25, 2009 #1
    I am a transfer student who took a complete calculus sequence at another university. The school I transferred from is not well known for its standards. The school I transferred to wants me to retake half of my calculus classes. I would rather take the last Honors Calculus class rather than redoing the lower level ones. I have studied on my own parts of analysis. The department is not willing to cooperate on placement.

    What would you consider proof of this level of maturity?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2009 #2
    Usually there are 3 basic calculus classes. Calc. 1-3. So I'm not sure what you mean by half & I guess it also depends on what grades you got in those classes or how long ago you took those classes. But if you did fairly well & you recently took the classes I'd try to fight it. Not sure what to say, talk to your adviser, or head of the math department. If that doesn't work keep going up the chain & see if you can work something out.
  4. Apr 26, 2009 #3


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    Why not just start from the beginning of the honors calc seq? They recommend that for people who get credit for the standard calculus classes through AP exams.

    Assuming of course honors calc means from a book like Spivak. If it's just a harder course in Stewart, just take the reg calc class since it won't really matter.
  5. Apr 26, 2009 #4

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    Obviously you think you know more than your professors about what classes you should be taking. Presumably this is based on something. Have you explained this something to them?
  6. Apr 27, 2009 #5
    There is a test that is usually administered to incoming freshman to determine which calculus sequence they should take. There are 4 semester long calculus courses here. If one has prior calculus credit it is difficult to receive permission to even restart in the Honors sequence. I would restart from the beginning but I do not have enough time anymore. From speaking with others it is more proofs based and is from Stewart.

    I have taken a graduate Fluid Mechanics courses without issue. I have also done some self study in more advanced mathematics. Based on conversations with the professor who gives permission, he believes that no one who has studied outside of the Math Department's classrooms has learned anything applicable to placement. He enforces this standard by not allowing any sanctioned demonstrations to occur.

    I need to demonstrate ability to one unwilling to allow this to be done. My current plan involves dropping a stack of proofs on his desk.

    On the funny side I have taken Differential Equations from them without issue. I will probably sign up for PDE in the Fall.
  7. Apr 27, 2009 #6

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    That will surely demonstrate maturity.
  8. Apr 27, 2009 #7
    If the person is unwilling to be persuaded, there isn't much that can be done :( If you did drop a stack of proofs on his desk he would probably convince himself that you had copied them from a friend who is in the course or off the internet and that would bias him against you even more.

    If all you want to do is get onto the course you want, try and find a higher authority to appeal to. If you don't want this professor to hold a grudge against you that may reflect in more pressure and him going over your work with a fine-tooth comb and jumping on anything that even remotely could be considered plagiarism then you may need to just try and make the time to do the courses he wants :(

    A closed mind is never fun to work with.
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