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Relative Difficulty of Math classes

  1. Sep 17, 2006 #1
    What is the "organic chemistry" class in math? Is real analysis considered by many to be this type of class? In your opinion, what have been your easiest/most difficult math classes (in ascending order)?

    Any feedback is appreciated

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2006 #2
    It totally depends on the person. For me: it's combinatorics / graph theory.
  4. Sep 17, 2006 #3


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    they are all hard. calculus is the hardest. if it isn't hard you are being cheated.
  5. Sep 17, 2006 #4
    i thought linear algebra class was hard. I understood the concepts well, probably better than most people in the class, but I tended to make too many stupid computation mistakes. When you're given a 4x4 complex matrix on the exam and are asked to find the inverse as well as jordan canonical form, it's really easy to make a simple sign error like i*i = 1 instead of i*i=-1 and of course if you do it early enough in a long and involved thing like diagonalization it can really screw you up bad.

    Most people I know would probably say calc 3 integrals, especially surface integrals, for some reason. But I don't think they're that bad, they're almost algorithmic to solve if you know a couple tricks.
  6. Sep 17, 2006 #5
    I think algebraic topology is the hardest...so abstract.
  7. Sep 18, 2006 #6


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    Nah - at the time - complex function analysis.
  8. Sep 18, 2006 #7
    Why the heck would anyone do that by hand? That's not mathematics, that's a computational problem. :grumpy:
  9. Sep 18, 2006 #8
    lol, you can tell that to my prof :)

    honestly, I think I learned a lot in that class. The tests weren't...umm...yeah, but the lectures were great. It was advanced applied linear algebra and he covered everything from intro to vector spaces, some hilbert space+infinite dimensional vector spaces, fourier series, complex linear algebra, jordan canonical form, finite-field linear algebra, boolean, gray, and error correcting codes, and elementary operators+quantum theory(spin and stern-gerlach)

    couldn't really get more comprehensive than that :)
  10. Sep 18, 2006 #9
    Depends on the teacher too. Generally the linear algebra class here is considered easy, but last spring one of the teachers got in an experimental mood. There was no text book, he didn't teach, and you weren't supposed to use outside help. You were supposed to derive everything yourself. I didn't take this class, but I've never seen so many stressed people.
  11. Sep 18, 2006 #10
    At my school, the "organic chemistry" of the math department is the junior level Intro to Real Analysis. As one of my favorite math profs said, "This is the class that turns math majors into engineers," which I thought was pretty funny.

    P.S. All you engineers please don't take this as an insult, I think my prof's comment was to illustrate that this course has very little pragmatic application, not that all engineers are failed math majors.
  12. Sep 18, 2006 #11
    At my school I have heard that Linear Algebra is also supposed to be farily easy, the classes more like Org Chem would have to be Diff Eq, or one of Real or Complex Analysis. As for somoene who mentioned earlier that Calc 3 integrals can be rather tough, that scares me as I am in Calc 3 currently, So far it has been not too bad but we are ust getting into Partial Deriviatives, we are currently working through Kepler's Laws.
  13. Sep 18, 2006 #12


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    math is hard :(
  14. Sep 18, 2006 #13
    It's ok, I could easily say thermodynamics is the class that turns engineers into math majors. :tongue2:
  15. Sep 18, 2006 #14
    Abstract algebra and Advanced Calculus are the most difficult from my experience.

    I'm lucky that I minored in math (linear algebra) because it's very useful for quantum chemistry.
  16. Sep 18, 2006 #15
    Sometimes I feel like I'm a math major (as I look at my field and wave electromagnetics book)
  17. Sep 18, 2006 #16
    Intro Real Analysis, and depending on the proffesor, Complex Variables.
  18. Sep 18, 2006 #17
    devolopmental maths, and quantam information were the hardest for me
  19. Sep 18, 2006 #18

    I vote for topology too. I think calc is easy. Very concrete. Linear Algrebra is easy too. Topology takes the cake. It is STRANGE!!!! Maybe abstract algebra. That is odd too.
  20. Sep 18, 2006 #19
    Yeah, I always found calculus to be a very logical and clear subject....not that abstract at all, even in multivariable calc.
  21. Sep 19, 2006 #20
    Take calculus to the manifolds and you will see some more abstract ideas...
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