# Taking PDE or abstract algebra

• quasar987

#### quasar987

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In my uni I am forced to make a painful choice btw taking PDE or abstract algebra. I will take algebra, but I'd like to know what I will be missing?

What is being taught in this class exactly? (BESIDES HOW TO SOLVE A PDE BY SEPARATION OF VARIABLES )

what is pde

I think it depends on what your academic/career goals are. In a Partial Differential Equations class, you'll probably cover Laplace Transforms and Fourier Series in addition to separation of variables. At least that's what I remember from that class.

Isn't abstract algebra something you could self-study?

I think Jamesrc is right. We covered both Laplace and Fourier and separation of variables. We concentrated on a lot of applications in my PDE class (wave equation, heat equation, membrane vibrations etc...).

"Equation of the first order and secod order, caracteristic and classification, elliptic equations : laplace & poisson. wave equation, heat equation. Introduction to distributions and Green functions."

How important are Green functions and distributions and what is an elliptic equation?

Overall this looks like easily self-studiable stuff (contrary to the dense and fundamental group theory! I tried to self-study it last summer bu it was rough without the guidance of a prof.)

P.S. PDE=Partial Differential Equations

A course in PDE's is more important to the education of a physicist than a course in abstract algebra. Almost every equation you solve as a physicist can be solved using those techniques. Unless you are going to be a mathematical physicist, you shouldn't need abstract algebra.

FredGarvin said:
I think Jamesrc is right. We covered both Laplace and Fourier and separation of variables. We concentrated on a lot of applications in my PDE class (wave equation, heat equation, membrane vibrations etc...).

You had to take PDE at LTU? It is not required anymore.

Fourier analysis is usually a big part of a PDE course. I'm suprised a PDE course isn't required for the Physics degree, or at least strongly recommended.

god that's all it takes to get a physics near you? i am required to take both those courses, plus another course dealing with method of characterisics and more advanced DE's... ugh

Daverz said:
Fourier analysis is usually a big part of a PDE course. I'm suprised a PDE course isn't required for the Physics degree, or at least strongly recommended.

We we have a course called "Applied analysis" instead, where we see Fourier series, Fourier integrals, Sturm-Liouville theory and special functions at the level of a real analysis class.