Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Spring Schedule Question

  1. Nov 17, 2006 #1
    I'm a freshman math and physics double major. Next semester, I'll be taking these classes: Real Analysis I, Introduction to Statistical Physics, Number Theory, and second semester of Linear Algebra. However, these are only 12 credits which is just enough to be considerd a full time student. My schedule looks pretty difficult, but many people have said that taking 12 credits is far too few.

    This current semester, I'm taking (ignoring my non math and physics classes) Modern Physics, Linear Algebra, and an introductory class in Quantum Computation. I have A's in all of them currently, and so I have faith that I'll be able to do well next semester. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to take another math class next semester; I could probably take an independent study for a second semester in Quantum Computation with my current QC professor.

    Also, what is a good textbook for a continuation of linear algebra? I currently have and will be using Shilov's Linear Algebra for my Linear Algebra 2 class. My first semester covered systems of equations, determinants, vector spaces, subspaces,linear transformations, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, diagonalizability.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    If I were you I'd take strategic math courses that will make the physics class less difficult. That means real analysis, differential equations, and I assume you have some sort of calculus classes. Take the one that talks about Stoke's thm, Green's them, Gauss/divergence thm and line integrals.

    What is the syllabus of this second linear algebra class? And what do you leanr in QC?
  4. Nov 17, 2006 #3
    Thanks for the advice. I ,so far, have the basic calculus sequence (I-III) and an Ordinary Differential Equations class. My second linear algebra class will cover Canonical forms of a matrix, bilinear and quadratic forms, unitary spaces, and finite dimensional algebras. I'll be using Shilov's Linear Algebra, and probably covering (if time permits) from chapter 6 to 11.


    My introduction to quantum computation class covered only the first 3 chapters of

    which was some introduction to algorithms, some classical computation, and introduction to linear algebra and postulates of quantum mechanics.

    Would it be a good idea to take an introduction to Partial Differential Equations class, which I suppose would be helpful for physics, or do I need more math classes before I am prepared for that subject?

    Thanks for the advice!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  5. Nov 17, 2006 #4
    I think if you've had decent ordinary differential equations and linear algebra courses you should be pretty well prepared for a partial differential equations course, I'm taking one currently and the only thing I think would have been beneficial for me would be to have taken a linear algebra class beforehand.
  6. Nov 17, 2006 #5
    Since you are planning on double-majoring, you may want to make a spreadsheet of what required classes you need and the terms that these are offered, and then you should form a master schedule for the duration of your undergraduate. It doesn't sound like you'll have a problem getting the credits you need, but it never hurts to be sure. Then -- you have a master plan of classes -- and you can figure out where all the extra classes you want can go. Since you are only in your first year -- you have plenty of time. Glad things are going so well!

    As an aside... I took PDE after ODE... and liked the DPE class much more! I'm "partial to partial diff eq." :biggrin:
  7. Nov 17, 2006 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Why don't you just make that your signature? :biggrin:
  8. Nov 17, 2006 #7
    That seems like a lot to pack into a freshman semester. Usually juniors and seniors have situations like this where they have to take 4-5 difficult classes per semester all together in order to graduate on time, but I can't really believe that in your freshman year you're under that kind of constraint/pressure.

    Is it really necessary to take all 4 this semester, or is there 1 or 2 you can put off and put easier classes in their places?
  9. Nov 17, 2006 #8
    Thanks for all the replies!

    Although I'd like to take a PDE course, no PDE class is being offered this semester. In truth, I probably don't have to take this many classes, but my professors have seen that I'm prety willing to do a lot of studying and work, and seemed to indicate that taking this many classes would be manageable as long as I work hard.

    I suppose it's best just to cap out at 4 hard classes, even though it's only 12 credits and hold out on a second class on quantum computation or PDE class.

    Another question though: has anyone used Shilov's Linear algebra text? Would it be good for a second linear algebra class?

  10. Nov 22, 2006 #9
    hmmm, I know you dont have to say, but what school is this? I am only asking because it seems like such a strange schedule for a freshman. I am guessing you took the calc and gen phys in highschool?

    What about core classes? Does you school require you to take English or Geography or Sociology or.. Phys Ed?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook