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Re-do First Year - Please Help

  1. Aug 27, 2007 #1
    Hi. I'm a second year student attending Universty of Toronto. In my first year, I took the very basic math courses and sciences. This includes PHY110Y and MAT135. The main reason for this is because I lacked any physics or algebra in highscool (I did have calculus) and was not permitted to take the mid or advanced stream levels.

    I got mostly mid 80s in these courses and really found an interest in them. I plan to continue my studies in the chemistry and physics arena but fear that my "junior" level background will not give me an adequate preperation. While the university accepts these junior levels as prereqs for my courses, I fear that I will not fully understand the material as well as I would with a stronger background.

    What I have proposed to myself is to re-do my first year curiculum, in which I would take all the advanced level courses such as MAT157 (Intro analysis) and PHY140Y. The downside to this is it puts me back a year and costs more money. The plus side is I would have a very theoretically strong background in theoretical maths and physics which would no doubt provide additional insight to higher level courses.

    What do you guys think? It should be stated clearly however that my main goal is chemistry. I am only taking physics and math to really understand how chemistry works. This is why I will eventually take quantum and advanced mechanics.

    The text's I used are Stewart's 5th ed Calculus and Cutnell's physics. After looking at lecture notes from the advanced courses I found I could not understand a lot of it with my junior knowledge. I am just wondering, will information from the first year be repeated in 2nd year anyways? Like in Waves Physics, will they redo the SHM at the level I missed out on and will multivariable calculus restate most of the theorems in general form? Or would I need to learn this going in.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2007 #2
    I would go ahead and take the upper division courses you want to take instead of re-doing your first year. A brief reason for this is, I knew of quite a few students at my university who ended up being very strong physics majors even through they didn't have the mid/advanced level first year. One had a very difficult time in one of this freshmen physics course, however, during his senior year he took a graduate level semi-conductor/nano-techinques course in which he preformed better than any of the graduate students.

    Intro level is just that, Intro level. Yes you will have a slightly harder time in your upper-division courses, but that happens to nearly everyone. If you have a decent grasp on calculus, diff. eqs, and (maybe) linear algebra, along with a familiarity with the core physics...you will do fine.

    Good luck!
  4. Aug 28, 2007 #3
    What I've found in my EE classes is that the important stuff keeps popping up over and over again and the more you use those techniques, the more details you pick up. I'm a senior now, and I probably know enough about the concepts taught in calculus I and II to ace it without hardly cracking a book even though I didn't do all that great in them the first time through.
  5. Aug 28, 2007 #4
    sounds like a good way to burn out

    move on, move on
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