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Should I be so concerned about which math courses I take?

  1. Mar 20, 2013 #1
    Hi. I will be a math major starting nex semester as a junior.
    I transferred from a CC, so the only math courses I have taken are linear algebra and calc III.

    I only have 2 years left at the college I've transferred into and there are just so many courses I want to take.

    Should I be so concerned about which courses I take? For example, I'm debating whether to take algebra, computational algebra, or applied algebra. Should I take a statistics course or a stochastic processes course? Of course, it's wise to think seriously about my courseload and the knowledge I'll gain from the courses, but if I am motivated and study a lot, it shouldn't matter very much, right?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2013 #2
    I think discrete mathematics, introduction to statistics and/or introduction to probability are good courses to start your major with.
  4. Mar 20, 2013 #3
    First of all, what are you goals/end-goal? What do you want to be able to do ... I ask because, if you are studying applied math, there's usually some goal you have even if it's just "They're used everywhere"

    I'd definitely recommend a hardcore computation linear algebra/numerical methods course course if you want to get into applied math... Everything is a matrix equation upper level applied math... (i.e., it's the model the PhD's are using ... ) This would be useful.

    Statistics and stochastic processes are also used everywhere, although I wouldn't take stoch. procs until you've had a good firm basis in probability.

    Above all, it sounds like your mostly missing differential equations. Differential Equations are maybe the only math I'd say is more prevalent than statistics/stochastic processes.
  5. Mar 20, 2013 #4


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    Why not ask for this advice from an academic advisor at your institution? They will be much better placed to help you than random strangers on the internet
  6. Mar 20, 2013 #5


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Start by completing the math requirements for the math major. By the time you're done, you may already be graduating. If not, then the experience of taking those upper-division courses will help you to decide what else you're interested in doing.

    Don't load up on too many math courses. You can always learn more math later, but after you graduate it will be too late to do anything more about getting a well-rounded education.

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