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Shouldn't engineering majors have as strong of a background in math

  1. Dec 8, 2013 #1
    mathematics (on the subjects of calculus, linear algebra, differential equation) as math majors? It seems like my electrical engineering curriculum doesn't give calculus proper treatment. It basically had me learn how to do computation but never led me on to study calculus rigorously (as one would do in a "Real Analysis" course). Would you agree that any good engineer is a mathematician?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2013 #2
    No...calculus is just the baby steps of a mathematics major's undergraduate experience. In fact some come into college with calculus already behind them...
  4. Dec 8, 2013 #3
    I also do not agree. I will be able to do more advanced math than plenty of non-engineers, but I won't have or need a strong background in number theory, analysis, and proofs that a mathematician must have to succeed. My job will be to create devices, not theorems.
  5. Dec 8, 2013 #4
    No. The vast majority of electrical engineers really don't need anything near the level of rigor that a mathematician would see. A lot of them don't even need all the math they learned throughout their degree. Personally, I think the rigorous approach to EE math is interesting can help to provide a deeper understanding, and it's probably useful in some areas of engineering research (maybe like random noise/signal processing?) but I certainly wouldn't say that a rigorous approach to mathematics is necessary for being a good engineer. The amount of benefit most engineers would get from a rigorous approach to math is very small, I think, when compared to the amount of extra work required.
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