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Well, I'm switching my major and minor

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  • Thread starter Shackleford
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I was definitely decided on the physics major/math minor. Then, recently, I thought I wanted the B.S. Physics with Geophysics Specialization.

Well, I'm now going, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to major in math and get a physics minor (University Physics I, II, Modern Physics I, II, Thermal, and Mechanics). I'll start next semester. One of the required courses I'm not familiar with is Abstract Algebra. I don't really know a lot about Intermediate Analysis and Survey of Undergraduate Math. I'm required to take a senior-level sequence, and that will probably be Advanced Linear Algebra I and II. Next semester, I'll be taking Thermal Physics and Probability - not sure I can fit a third class in there.

Generally speaking, what kinds of career opportunities would be available for me?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
fss
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Generally speaking, what kinds of career opportunities would be available for me?
Generally speaking, math graduates have lots of career options. Anything that requires math (but does not require licensure, like the engineering fields) will be open to you.
 
  • #3
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Generally speaking, math graduates have lots of career options. Anything that requires math (but does not require licensure, like the engineering fields) will be open to you.
Good. And maybe the physics minor will open a few more opportunities for me? After I graduate, I'll probably go back and finish what I consider the two or three core physics courses, i.e. EM I and II and maybe Solid State and Particle.
 
  • #4
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Any insight into some of my new required coursework?

Probability
Advanced Linear Algebra I, Advanced Linear Algebra II
Abstract Algebra
Intermediate Analysis
Survey of Undergraduate Math

And I'll have two additional math electives. I may take Statistics for the Sciences, maybe Introduction to Higher Geometry.

http://www.uh.edu/academics/catalog/colleges/nsm/courses/math/index.php [Broken]
 
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  • #5
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Any insight into some of my new required coursework?

Probability
Advanced Linear Algebra I, Advanced Linear Algebra II
Abstract Algebra
Intermediate Analysis
Survey of Undergraduate Math

And I'll have two additional math electives. I may take Statistics for the Sciences, maybe Introduction to Higher Geometry.

http://www.uh.edu/academics/catalog/colleges/nsm/courses/math/index.php [Broken]

What kind of "insight" are you looking for?
 
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  • #6
1,654
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What kind of "insight" are you looking for?
What the classes will be like, material, relative difficulty, etc. So far, I've only taken up to Differential Equations and Vector Analysis. For electives, I'm kind of leaning to classes that would supplement my physics minor.
 
  • #7
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What the classes will be like, material, relative difficulty, etc. So far, I've only taken up to Differential Equations and Vector Analysis. For electives, I'm kind of leaning to classes that would supplement my physics minor.

Well if you're taking math classes to supplement a physics minor...why not major in physics? If you major in math, you should do it because you want to study math. But I suppose that's a slightly different topic.

As for the classes, it's hard to say without knowing your own strengths/weakness, the professors who teach the courses etc. but in general modern algebra courses and real analysis courses are difficult at first, especially if you're not yet comfortable with proofs. Also advanced linear algebra can be tough but it's one of my favorite subjects personally. Of course, "advanced" means different things to different people but I interpret this as the meat of the book "Advanced Linear Algebra" by Roman.
 
  • #8
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2
Well if you're taking math classes to supplement a physics minor...why not major in physics? If you major in math, you should do it because you want to study math. But I suppose that's a slightly different topic.

As for the classes, it's hard to say without knowing your own strengths/weakness, the professors who teach the courses etc. but in general modern algebra courses and real analysis courses are difficult at first, especially if you're not yet comfortable with proofs. Also advanced linear algebra can be tough but it's one of my favorite subjects personally. Of course, "advanced" means different things to different people but I interpret this as the meat of the book "Advanced Linear Algebra" by Roman.
I like both math and physics. What I'm saying is, since I switched major and minor, I'm going to take math electives that complement physics. For example, Mathematical Introduction to Options is not a relevant course to physics. Classes like Statistics for the Sciences, Mathematics of Signal Representation, etc., would be.

I also enjoy linear algebra. It's very useful across the board, too. I'm not comfortable with proofs. I'll probably be taking Abstract Algebra and Intermediate Analysis next Fall. My Vector Analysis professor called that class a "baby analysis class." I bought this book a while back but haven't had the time to read it.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0486462978/?tag=pfamazon01-20
 
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  • #9
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I like both math and physics. What I'm saying is, since I switched major and minor, I'm going to take math electives that complement physics. For example, Mathematical Introduction to Options is not a relevant course to physics. Classes like Statistics for the Sciences, Mathematics of Signal Representation, etc., would be.

I also enjoy linear algebra. It's very useful across the board, too. I'm not comfortable with proofs. I'll probably be taking Abstract Algebra and Intermediate Analysis next Fall. My Vector Analysis professor called that class a "baby analysis class." I bought this book a while back but haven't had the time to read it.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0486462978/?tag=pfamazon01-20
So my guess is the intermediate analysis course is a rigorous calculus course. It's a great way to become familiar with rigorous mathematics and taking algebra at the same time will complement those proof techniques nicely. This is pretty standard and if you put in the work you should be fine.
 
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  • #10
1,654
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So my guess is the intermediate analysis course is a rigorous calculus course. It's a great way to become familiar with rigorous mathematics and taking algebra at the same time will complement those proof techniques nicely. This is pretty standard and if you put in the work you should be fine.
Interesting. I vaguely remember the vector professor saying the intermediate analysis course is like Cal 3.5 with epsilon-delta, or something along those lines.
 

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