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Well, I'm stuck.

  1. May 4, 2005 #1
    So in order to get my AS in physics (so I can transfer to a 4-year school) I need only 3 physics classes, and some other base requirements. So my plan was to get a physics AS and either an AS in Computer Science or Engineering (because the base requirements for both of those happen to be the requirements for an AS in physics. Go figure.), but the times are so screwed up for CS next year that I don't want to spend 6 hours in school for 3 classes, and the only EE class offered is the intro to EE one, and it's only 4 credits, so I'll have to take another class to make up for it. So... I figure I'll just take some math and totally unrelated classes like writing. But which classes exactly?

    Well, the ones offered in my level are Linear Algebra, Calculus IV, and Differential Equations. Diff EQ's is a must, but it's not offered next fall, and Calc IV I heard has maybe 5 people register for it per quarter, so it never gets started up, so I was thinking Linear Algebra. But will it benefit me as a physics major? Besides math just being "fun" :rolleyes: ? Oh, and statistics is offered. What about that?

    So now we move on to other electives. What area totally unrelated to math or science do physicists need? Writing? Group speaking? I'm totally lost. My advisor just said "whatever" basically, so I don't know. :(

  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2005 #2
    Have you done any statistics yet? I am of the impression that it's a subject that can be very helpful.

    There's a question.. lol. Your advisor says 'whatever' and actually that's quite possibly the best answer, there is no limit to what you'll find helpful in the long term.

    I have studied a bit of copyright law and some business, as electives, it was a recommended elective stream. It goes to reason in my location that these things will be useful to me in the future as enterprise is taking a gigantic leap forward where I live. So like I said there is no end to what you'll find helpful it depends what you factor into it for yourself.
  4. May 12, 2005 #3
    Linear Algebra is a MUST. Most of the 4 year colleges have it as a requirement for all science or engineering majors. You will be dealing with a lot of math in physics and Linear Algebra is a gateway to higher math.

    Usually, in 2 year colleges it's crammed into calculus classes. But, if you have time for math classes, you should take Linear Algebra. Also, it will help you in your differential equation class when you do eigen vectors or gauss jordan eliminations.

    Talking about general education classes, take classes on subjects you are interested in or feel you are weak in.
  5. May 12, 2005 #4


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    linear algebra and calculus are the two most important, fundamental, and useful math subjects in the world. and it is impossible to understand several variable calculus well without linear algebra.
  6. May 13, 2005 #5
    Alright, I'll just take all the math the school has to offer then. :p

    Except for Stats. I talked to some people, and apparently it isn't taught very well. I'll take that one after I transfer over.

    Thanks everyone.

  7. May 13, 2005 #6
    Stas is the only math subject that i did not like in college. Go for as much linear algebra and calculus as you can. It will serve you well in the future, believe me

  8. May 13, 2005 #7
    Statistics is extremely important if you plan on being an experimentalist. Not to mention that it's probably more useful for the average citizen to know.
  9. May 13, 2005 #8
    I know, I know. But I asked a friend who is taking the class, and he says the stuff is incredibly easy and horribly taught. Therefore, I will wait until I transfer before taking that class.

  10. May 14, 2005 #9
    A Technical Writing class would be good no matter what you choose to study. I took one last semester. I learned more in my technical writing course than I ever did in all my English courses combined. I highly recommend it. At my school, it is required for mathematics majors to take a technical writing course.
  11. May 14, 2005 #10
    Again, my friend told me it was so stupidly easy. Like, how to write a memo or something. I'll take it sooner or later, though.

  12. May 16, 2005 #11
    Ahh that is no good then. Actually everyone I know who took the course also said the same thing. I was fortunate enough to have someone who worked as a technical writer for many years as my teacher. It was incredibly hard and time consuming for me, but I got an A and learned alot.
  13. May 16, 2005 #12


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    Writing is a good idea. I do not write too well, but I write a lot better than I did before attending a school where written work was a priority.

    Many many science and math papers are horribly written, and hence much harder to understand. Good writing skills help you communicate with your peers, thus not only sharing your ideas more effectively in the interest of science, but also persuading them of the value of giving you a grant.

    I think you might be glad later if you take any such course, even one in English. You do not need to study "technical writing" to improve your writing. You could take a fun, well taught course on the novel.
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