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Courses Scheduling and Pre-Requisites, Advice on what courses to take please.

  1. Apr 26, 2010 #1
    So I am a freshman that is done his first year, I took the Cal 1 and 2 sequence along with the calculus based physics course at my university. I only earned a C in calculus 2 but I do not think it will be a problem as I am quite sure I will be able to get the necessary waivers signed.As the summer passes I am confident I will be prepared for my math courses as I plan to work through a textbook on calculus .

    Now that I am signing up for my second year I have a lot of courses available that I would like to take, and that I need to take.
    Those courses being ( Underlined I NEED 100%, italics I might need or are recommended)
    Calculus 3
    Numerical Analysis
    Calculus 4
    Modern Physics
    Mathematical Physics
    Electricity and Magnetism
    Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations

    Stellar/Galactic Astrophysics
    Applied Linear Algebra
    Linear Algebra 2
    Set Theory and Logic

    Now the thing is the Differential Equations course requires Calculus 3 , but it is offered in the same semester. Would it be possible to do both concurrently ? Assuming I get permission of course. If I am able to take the course is there anything I should to to prepare myself beforehand ?

    Since there are two linear algebra courses , and they are offered in the same slot for some odd reason, I have to choose one.
    Here are the descriptions:
    Linear Algebra 2
    Topics covered will include: Fields, abstract vector spaces, bases and dimension, linear mappings and operators, similarity and diagonalization, inner products and Gram-Schmidt orthonormalization.

    Applied Linear Algebra
    Topics covered may include: the geometry of n-space, linear and affine discrete dynamic systems, Markov processes, linear programming and linear differential equations.

    Which of those two courses, judging by the topics, is better for a physics major ?

    Now the set theory and logic I am thinking about just for the sake of curiosity,and if I decide to take any upper year math courses it is a prerequisite for many of them ( such as modern algebra and analysis). Would it be very useful for a physics student or would it be more important just as a prerequisite to the higher mathematics courses ?

    If you managed to read through most of this thank you and if you have any comments or advise I would greatly appreciate it
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2010 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    That depends on which topics are covered in your university's Calculus 3, and which of those are necessary or useful for Differential Equations. In the USA, most universities have a three-semester calculus sequence, and I think most of them require only Calculus 2 as prerequisite for the first course in Differential Equations.
  4. Apr 26, 2010 #3
    The only recommended course I'd say you 100% ought to take is linear algebra 2. All of those topics are used extensively in quantum mechanics, and you will be able to concentrate on the physics if you aren't busy worrying what the hell it means to diagonalize a Hamiltonian like your classmates. The applied linear algebra class sounds much more specialized and not as useful.
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