1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Courses What courses youv'e enjoyed the most?

  1. Apr 3, 2007 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Im still at my first year, but in this semester im learning mathematical logic, which is kind of more advanced than the other courses, ill be covering goedel's theorems which is already an exciting thing.
    perhaps in summer ill be learning calculus 3 and algebra b1, which is essentially an UG course on group theory, if my school will offer these courses in the summer.

    another course which is interesting is 'introduction to modern physics' which is mainly a course on special relativity and a little bit introduction to quantum theory.

    anyway, what about you?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 3, 2007 #2
    Classical mechanics in the first and second year, and twenty years later.
    Strength of materials because I found that incredibly easy in practice (you know from time to time this impression is funny).
    Quantum mechanics, third year.

    But most of all I hated thermodynamics, and that's why I studied statistical physics more than requested. Now thermodynamics is my strongest point and I am working with it very often professionally.
  4. Apr 3, 2007 #3
    One of the most worthwhile (and I also enjoyed..) was a pre-calc course I took when I first began college. We went into more depth than what I did in high school of course. We also learned what all of the different functions looked like when graphed, and what would happen to the plot when you do something like x - 2, etc. Anyway, it was a good preparation for future math courses.

    My favorite physics course was probably an optics course with lab. Lasers are fun.

    I also think I hate thermodynamics the most. I'm not a fan of the Kittel book.
  5. Apr 3, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Topology, Analysis, Abstract Linear Algebra, Ethics (Philosophy), and the PoliSci Seminars. All because the professors were awesome.

    I have other awesome professors, but they ended up teaching lame subjects, so no points on that.
  6. Apr 3, 2007 #5


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    My favourite courses were Statics I & II, and every math course I took. Fluid mechanics was interesting, too.
  7. Apr 3, 2007 #6
    CS/MATH: Theory of Computation(Computability theory), Graphics(rendering), Dynamical Systems, ODEs, Graph Theory

    PHYS: Astrophysics(Stellar & Cosmo) & Analytical Mech

    PSYCH: Vision, Reading Course in NeuralNets, Project course in Neural Nets
    (missed out on the childdev and Audition/music theory)
  8. Apr 3, 2007 #7
    oh yeah... I'm loving Classical Mechanics... though the professor could've skiped some tedious algebra and give us more theories...
  9. Apr 3, 2007 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    My favorite class was Special relativity. Partly due to the fact that it's an interesting subject anyway, but also because the professor who was teaching it was brilliant. He taught us the history behind the theory, which helped bring the topic more to life. He had the class enthralled for most of the lectures to an extent I've never seen before.
  10. Apr 3, 2007 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    1st year calc from john tate, maybe advanced calc from lynn loomis, and diff eq from hermann gluck, a course on foundations of analysis from george mackey, and 1st year grad algebra from maurice auslander, and algebraic geometry from alan mayer, some algebraic topology from ed brown junior, raoul bott and ron stern, several complex variables from hugo rossi, and riemann surfaces from herb clemens, then some post grad courses from phillip griffiths on hodge theory and david mumford on moduli, some beuatiful lectures by rob lazarsfeld on vector bundles, ......, and many wonderful conference lectures.

    i guess i liked a lot of them.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2007
  11. Apr 3, 2007 #10
    Physics III and Thermal Physics so far. I've not had E&M, Optics, or QM yet.
  12. Apr 3, 2007 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Mathwise, I liked complex analysis the most and Physicswise E&M III (waves in matter + covariant formulation + intro to classical field theory)
  13. Apr 4, 2007 #12
    humanities, speech, complex analysis, algebra, human nutrition, topology, differential equations, pre-algebra, technical writing
  14. Apr 4, 2007 #13
    Physics-Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics
    Engineering-Signal Processing, Biomedical Imaging
    Math-Complex Analysis, Statistics
  15. Apr 4, 2007 #14
    Digital design course using VHDL to implement digital circuits on FPGA's, very cool stuff :cool: .
  16. Apr 4, 2007 #15
    easy on the name dropping dude
  17. Apr 4, 2007 #16
    Physics: As an undergraduate, I enjoyed freshman mechanics. As a graduate student, I have enjoyed solid-state physics.
    Engineering: As an undergraduate, I enjoyed Fourier optics. As a graduate student, I have enjoyed holography & optical information processing (taught by Emmett Leith, a pioneer in the field) and image processing.
    Mathematics: As a graduate student, I enjoyed advanced calculus (at the level of baby Rudin).
  18. Apr 4, 2007 #17


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    stud, im sorry if it offends you to know who the good teachers were, but i thought that was the question.

    i see other responders are just naming the topic they liked, but in my opinion, they are missing the point, that it is not the subject, but the prof that makes the course good.

    there are many courses i thought i disliked until i learned that a good prof makes a course good.

    i disliked physics until i got a good prof, but then it was almost too late for me.

    i would enjoy a little more name dropping of good profs from others here. this would serve as a sort of antidote to the anonymous "rate the professor" site, if some of us would praise our own good profs.

    when i was in college, some students liked calc or physics and others did not, but apparently everyone liked any course they took from bott, or gluck, or tate, or joseph kitchen (I never had him).

    loomis was not my favorite prof, and he had some unpleasant qualities as a teacher, but i still learned some basic useful advanced calc from him, so i somewhat grudgingly listed him.

    i did not list birkhoff whose algebra course was unstimulating, but I listed the less famous auslander whose algebra course was wonderful, nor did i list loomis for his measure theory and real analysis course which was not particularly useful, but i listed the perhaps less famous hugo rossi whose analysis course was superb.

    Joseph Kitchen was a teaching legend in college. i still remember roughly the review i read of his advanced calc course in 1960: "A large minority of the students in Kitchen's course thought that he was God."

    He was the author of a great (introductory) calculus book, now long out of print, but still worth searching out. unfortunately he did not receive tenure, and the advanced calc course was never again taught with the same flair, as long as i was there.

    I should perhaps admit I was not a very good student in most of these wonderful courses, and hence did not deserve to be in them, but I did enjoy and appreciate their excellence.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2007
  19. Apr 4, 2007 #18
    As an undergraduate, the physics courses I most enjoyed were analytical mechanics, electromagnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and the experimental course in which I got to perform my own research project (which was probably my most favorite class). I also really liked space plasma physics.

    As for math...well, I don't really enjoy math in general; seems more like a necessary evil than something that anyone would do for fun (no offense to the mathematicians, just personal preference). Having said that, I liked multivariable calc, complex analysis, and algebraic geometry. I remember being overly fascinated with Groebner bases.
  20. Apr 4, 2007 #19


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    do you mind sharing the names of those teachers who made it interesting? e.g. in algebraic geometry? or perhaps what books they used that were enjoyable?

    i am considering teaching algorithmic algebriac geometry and am assuming the book of cox little and oshea would serve well.
  21. Apr 4, 2007 #20

    No problem...sadly I don't remember either my professor's name or the book we used (which is pretty sad, since it was only last Fall). I'll look that up and get back to you.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook