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Courses The pace of upper level math courses

  1. Nov 27, 2004 #1
    I'm currently taking calculus II and I'm finding the pace to be a real challenge. Calc I seemed to allow much more time to study a new concept and understand how and why it works, followed by a chapter on applications of that concept. With calc II, I've had to settle for just memorizing how to do the problems. I'm doing ok in the class, no real danger of failing at this point unless I stop showing up for tests, but I'm not doing nearly as well as I would have expected considering the time I'm putting into this course.

    Are the other math courses I have to take for engineering going to be more like calc I or calc II? I've heard that calc II is so challenging because of the volume of new theorems and concepts. This leaves little time left over to show how they can be applied.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2004 #2


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    linear algebra will make you beg for more time, differential equations will eat you alive and multivariable calculus will put you in coma

    get ready. its coming to get ya.
  4. Nov 28, 2004 #3
    I think the biggest difference you'll see in other math classes is that in calc 1 and 2 you became very comfortable with the idea of integal and differential calculus. This is the toughest part of the class, in my opinion. From there, you learned how to calculate and apply calculus ideas. Now when you hit diffy Q and multivariable you're already comfortable with the idea of calculus and methods of calculation so you only have to worry about the applications. So while it may sound intimidating, it's nothing that you can't handle. The toughest part is over.

    In summary, while the other math classes you have to take are "upper level" the pace might not strike you as so fierce because nothing is being thrown at you from out of left field.
  5. Nov 28, 2004 #4
    It also has alot to do with your Prof/Teacher and your idea of how the class will go even before you get there.

    Also, like future said, looking 2 steps ahead to get an idea of what it will be like is kinda hard to do, because math is a tool that is built upon it self. It would be incrediblly difficult to go from algebra 1 to Diff Eq's, but if you take all the classes before Diff Eq's you will have no problems, becase you have all previous classes as experiance and knowlege. Don't sweat it, and relize your not the only one freaking out about it.

    If your looking to learn application of math FROM the math class (i like to think of math as more of a tool than a subject in itself), you'll probablly have to strech your interpritation of application. You metioned engineering as a major, and (as far as im concrened) engineering means applied phys/math, so you'll get plenty of that in your ENG classes, like statics circuits and heat transfers ( :yuck: ).

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2004
  6. Nov 28, 2004 #5


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    Linear Algebra made me cry, solely because it was too boring. I learned everything the nights before the tests, with ease.

    However, Multi and diffeq will do *bad* things to you. :tongue2:
  7. Nov 28, 2004 #6
    :eek: I just transferred and the counciler gave me both multivar and diff eq next semester!

    :cry: :cry:
  8. Nov 29, 2004 #7
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I guess the root of my concern is the amount of new math coming at me, I am really struggling with infinite series right now. This is partly because my algebra skills are so rusty from taking 4 years off school :smile:, but mostly because there isn't a chance to apply this stuff and see how it works.

    In calc I we did a decent amount of applying derivatives after learning about them, same thing with integrals. In calc II all I seem to be getting from the book and my prof is, "applications of this is beyond the scoop of this book/class", very frustrating. It's like memorizing that 5*5=25 and then being told that any use of this fact or learning why 5*5 is 25 so you can go on to solve things like 5*6 is beyond the scoop of this course.
  9. Dec 2, 2004 #8


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    cAm, I beg to differ: you did not learn diddly the ngith before the test. that's not how elarning works. what you m,ean is your tests were too easy.

    you are wasting yopur time and your money with that app[roach. I'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut your prof knows a ;lot about lineat algebra that you would find interesting.

    but if you doze off and give zero effort he ahs no idea that eh could offer you more challenging material. you are dragging your feet and stealing your own tuition money.

    wise up for your own good.
  10. Dec 3, 2004 #9
    Actually i don't see how its possible to make linear algebra itself interesting... some of the fields where its used are, but linear algebra itself seems about as dry as it gets.
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