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Seeking advice for mathematics progression

  1. Sep 11, 2009 #1

    I'm currently fulfilling prereq's for an engineering program and just finished Calculus III over the summer.

    I need to take some Chemistry and Engineering Physics to finish up my prereq's, and so I'm kind of placing emphasis here on what I need to get admitted to the program.

    However, once I enter the program I will need to take Calc IV, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra.

    Should I make every effort possible to get into those math classes ASAP after the prereq's? Or, should I maybe even put off the focus on prereq's and get these additional math classes taken care of?

    I'm just worried about losing the edge with my knowledge of mathematics. I guess I'd have to just keep reviewing material.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2009 #2
    You should definitely take Differential equations and linear algebra. You will run into them alot in engineering and the sciences.

  4. Sep 11, 2009 #3
    Thanks for the reply, Matt.

    Yeah, I know I need Diff Eq and Linear Alg. I guess to clarify I was just wondering if I should really try to take them ASAP as I just finished Calc 3 this summer. I'm starting to think that maybe this is a dumb question and a no-brainer.

  5. Sep 11, 2009 #4


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    You have two choices:

    Take the courses as soon as possible so you do not loose your current abilities and understandings,
    Restudy so that you stay in shape for a few weeks before enrolling in the D.E. and L.A. courses that you need.
  6. Sep 11, 2009 #5
    one thing i wish i had done was taken prerequisites over summer. You could easily squeeze in 2 courses in summer which means you would be able to do your major/minor required courses over regular thyme. Plus, since you would start early (semester wise) on your major/minor you might graduate quicker, if not, you'll at least have spare time to take extra courses on your subject of interest.

    what Chem and Physics courses are you required to do anyway? Physics I (mechanics) is doable over summer, So is General Chemistry I and II...i would do Physics II (electricity and magnetism) over regular time though.

    since you did calc III over summer (which imo was a good choice) i think you should carry on with at least DE. If you want you can do Linear Algebra as well. Bunch do DE and Linear Algebra together so that's doable too. What exactly is Calc IV btw?

    I'm not a engineer but doing Math/CS/Physics i run into them time to time. Most i know prefer to get Mathematics requirement asap.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  7. Sep 11, 2009 #6
    I'll add that you should do everything you can to not be taking math prereqs concurrently with engineering courses that require them. Knowing the math ahead of time will make the engineering much less of a struggle and will almost certainly improve your grades.
  8. Sep 11, 2009 #7
    As far as prereq's, I need Gen Chem I and Eng Physics I & II (mechanics and electromagnetism/oscillation). I will still need to take Eng. Phys. III (waves) later on.

    Calc IV is just a 5-credit Advanced Multivariable Calculus.

    I've heard from some people that they didn't think it was a good idea to take a physics class along with a calculus class--that it was too difficult to allow enough time for both. I suppose that just depends on the individual. I do tend to spend a lot of time studying, probably more time than most.

    I've been comparing two different community colleges. One will allow me to take the Calc IV right away and along with Chem and Eng Phys I. With the other, I can take Chem and Eng Phys I, but will have to wait until Spring to take Calc IV.

    I like the idea of taking Chem I/Phys I/Calc 4 together, but wonder if I can physically devote the time I should to them.

    Thanks for the feedback,
  9. Sep 11, 2009 #8
    That makes a lot of sense.

    Even if I have to put the math on the backburner, I should still be able to get back into it by the Spring quarter at the latest. So, I should be done before I would start the official engineering courses in the major.

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  10. Sep 12, 2009 #9

    Have any of you guys used or heard of Schaum's Outline of Calculus/Outline of Advanced Calculus?

    In case I just need to put the math on the backburner and review for taking it later, I've heard that these are good review books.
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