Would appreciate any comments
Uhh, do you want to know things like personal qualities? If so I'd say it's the same things that makes most people good at their jobs, which is a thousand different things depending on who you ask.
Or do you want to know what specific academic courses or something similar?
hemingway was asked a similar q concerning what it takes to be a writer
and he responded something like
if you come from a bad family it helps
That's nice, but it doesn't really answer my question.
Mathematical aptitude is the most important skill in the toolbox for an astrophysicist. Programming skills are also desirable if you wish to expand your dating prospects beyond computer geeks.
what type of math? PDEs and vector calc mostly (assuming no general relativity)? or will there be higher math?
Vector calculus is good. In fact, becoming a math guru is about the best prep I can imagine for a budding astrophysicist. The astronomy stuff is a walk in the park by comparison. You could skip all that up until grad school. Would you rather be taking Introduction to Astrophysics or Vector Calculus in grad school?
making less observations, lesser conjectures, lots of predicitions and making a few more observations which can conclude in one hypothesis. i just made this up but this is a good attribute for an astrophysicist.
Is there any higher math in astrophysics? I keep hearing about topology, abstract algebra, differential geometry and all that applied to astrophysics, but I'm wondering if you can get by with just the standard math (calc, vector calc, basic linear algebra, ODEs, PDEs, integral transforms).
If you want to apply general relativity to astrophysics, then topology and differential geometry are important. I would say that vector calculus is very similar to differential geometry, at least when the space considered is Euclidean.
I don't think abstract algebra is that relevant to astrophysics, but linear algebra certainly would be.
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