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Studying Thinking of studying Physics

  1. Nov 15, 2009 #1
    I am an Electrical Engineer. I have a MS degree. Soon after graduation, I started working for physicists. At work, I found I was lacking some fundamental concepts. Nobody said I was a bad engineer. Everything I designed worked. But the way physicists think is much different. Much more fundamental and one idea builds on the other and there is continuation.
    I want to pursue a degree in Electromagnetics/Quantum physics or Particle physics. But I know my weakness. Its math. At undergrad level, I used to solve problems fine when I took math courses. Never really cared what they meant. But now, I find myself at a loss when I see math equations being used(like in research papers etc).
    I need to build up my math fundamentals. Do you guys have any suggestions/thoughts?
    Go for a math degree?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2009 #2
    Get better in maths then...
  4. Nov 15, 2009 #3
    Would you be able to use classes you took for your EE degree towards this new physics degree?

    Also, if you're not able to use those classes, you have to take a plethora of math classes for the physics major, almost enough to get a math minor. Those refresher courses for you might be enough.
  5. Nov 15, 2009 #4
    I don't think I will be able to use my EE degree towards physics. My undergrad was not in the US. My grad EE courses are not directly related to physics. I'll have to double check with my school.
    Come to think of it, I really don't mind doing a Math certificate course online.
    Does any school offer math course online for an affordable fee (like under 1k per course).
    I checked some, they are all around 3k.
  6. Nov 16, 2009 #5
    Why not just study on your own and save the money?
  7. Nov 16, 2009 #6
    I agree completely. You've already gotten a degree so you should be able to re-teach yourself the math you need to learn. I would just pick up an old text book and start going over what you think you need to learn. If you need more help I would try to hire a tutor if one is available rather than spending hundreds on a college course. However, if you are going to go back to college for a physics degree then you may need to retake those math courses anyway if your old ones won't transfer in. If thats the case than I would look into taking them at a community college near you but make sure the credits will transfer to wherever you want to go for your physics degree.
  8. Nov 16, 2009 #7
    University of Washington has an Applied Math masters online.


    I haven't looked to see how expensive they are, though. It can't be as crazy as Columbia...
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