Seeking your suggestions on my current course workload

In summary: It's not abnormal to take three mathematics classes. However, it is important to note that it is not necessary to take all of the mathematics classes that are listed on your degree plan - you can choose to specialize in a certain area of mathematics.
  • #1
bacte2013
398
47
Dear Physics Forum advisers,

I am a college sophomore in US with a major in mathematics and an aspiring mathematician in the fields of computation theory and cryptography. I recently revised my course workload with my adviser, and he suggested some variations in the workload for me to choose. Ultimately, the choice is mine but I would like to discuss the matter with you. I was originally planned to take the Abstract Algebra I (text: Dummit/Foote), Linear Algebra with Proofs (text: Friedberg et al.), and Computational Multivariable Calculus (text: university course packet, around a level of Thomas' Calculus). Although the LA with Proofs is a prerequisite of AAI, I got a special enrollment permission from the instructor since I have been self-studying Artin's Algebra and Hoffman/Kunze's Linear Algebra, and my upcoming undergraduate research in the computation theory-computer security will involve a lot of abstract algebra.

I discussed the matter with my adviser, and he told me to postpone taking either AAI or Multivariable Calculus to Spring 2016. I agree with him since I was hesitant about taking all of those courses at one semester. My research adviser favored taking AAI on Fall, while my academic adviser actually advised me to postpone taking the AAI to next Spring. Naturally, I am inclined to take AAI on the Fall since it will be heavily used in my upcoming research, but I fear that lack of knowledge in the vector calculus might hurt me the full understanding of abstract algebra and abstract linear algebra, and my preparation for Putnam competition (although it seems that the contest is more focused on algebra and number theory). What is your recommendation? Should I perhaps taking all of them at one semester?

My adviser told me that my upcoming research will involve bits of measure theory and approximation theory, and he told me to study one of following real analysis books (he said they are introductory books): Apostol's Mathematical Analysis, Rudin's PMA, Pugh's Real Mathematical Analysis, or Folland/Royden's Real Analysis. What should I get? I only took computational 1-variable calculus course using Lang's A First Course in Calculus, but I do have good proof skills. Will my lack of knowledge in the multivariable calculus be a problem? Should I start with transition books of Spivak, Courant, or Apostol (Calculus)?

Thank you very much for your time, and I look forward to hear back from you!
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
bacte2013 said:
I fear that lack of knowledge in the vector calculus might hurt me the full understanding of abstract algebra and abstract linear algebra, and my preparation for Putnam competition (although it seems that the contest is more focused on algebra and number theory).

Vector calculus will not be used at all in abstract algebra or linear algebra, so you're not missing out on anything.
 
  • #3
Then should I proceed to Abstract Algebra I and Linear Algebra with Proof? I am thinking of taking the discrete mathematics too since a lot of CS courses require the DS. Is taking three mathematics classes quite normal for the math majors?
 
  • #4
bacte2013 said:
Is taking three mathematics classes quite normal for the math majors?

Yes.
 

1. What is the best way to approach managing my current course workload?

The first step in managing your course workload is to create a schedule or plan that outlines all of your assignments, deadlines, and class meetings. This will help you visualize and prioritize your tasks. Additionally, make sure to communicate with your professors if you feel overwhelmed and ask for extensions if needed.

2. How can I determine if my current course workload is too much for me to handle?

If you find yourself constantly stressed, exhausted, and unable to keep up with your assignments, it may be a sign that your course workload is too heavy. It's important to listen to your mind and body and take breaks when needed. You can also speak with your academic advisor or a counselor for additional support and guidance.

3. What should I do if I am struggling in one or more of my courses?

If you are struggling in a particular course, don't be afraid to seek help from your professor or a tutor. They can provide extra clarification and support to help you better understand the material. Additionally, make sure to attend all class sessions and stay on top of your assignments.

4. How can I balance my current course workload with other responsibilities?

Balancing your course workload with other responsibilities can be challenging, but it's important to prioritize your tasks and manage your time effectively. Set aside specific blocks of time for studying and completing assignments, and make sure to also schedule in breaks and time for self-care.

5. Is it okay to drop one of my courses if I feel overwhelmed?

It is completely okay to drop a course if you feel overwhelmed and unable to manage your workload. However, make sure to speak with your academic advisor first to discuss the potential consequences and consider alternative options, such as taking the course at a later time or seeking tutoring assistance.

Similar threads

  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
5
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
6
Views
143
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
11
Views
622
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
11
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
14
Views
653
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
16
Views
361
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
21
Views
2K
Back
Top