Greetings PF! I am in good mood, and I wish you were as well. Everything has been going well since the beginning of the semester: I've been doing well in the three core courses so far, and I am also about to get into research soon hopefully; but not in my initial interest of particle, but in materials. After having few unsuccessful attempts to get into research in particle/nuclear, I decided that I'd explore more, so I attended seminars in materials physics-- took only two to have me fully devoted. The professor have invited me to his lab's meeting next Tuesday, and whatever he asks me to do, I wish to be well prepared at it. Of course I expect him not to expect too much of me, but I'd like to be as much resourceful as I can. I am currently learning matlab through my differential equations class (I'd like to say Python as well, but I haven't made progress since learning how to make a tip calculator). Would there be any other useful skills I can develop on my own time? And digressing from the former topic, some occurrence had me convinced to take abstract algebra next semester. But at a second thought, I don't think it'd be much useful in the field of condensed matter. I have one free math class I can take next semester, so I'd like to know if there is a higher math course that will become useful in condensed matter (not computation or numerical analysis). The background in math I'll have by then is: calc 1, 2, 3, ordinary differential equations, and a course in intro to proofs/higher math.