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What math class should I take next?

  1. Apr 22, 2014 #1
    My school is on a quarter system so the calc series is divided into 4 quarters. I'm currently in my 3rd quarter of calculus which covers:

    This may sound like a dumb question but, should I take the 4th quarter of calculus next called "Vector Analysis"? Is this Calc III? It covers:

    Or should I take a linear algebra course that covers:

    When should I take elementary differential equations?

    Finally after what course should I take Advanced Calculus? It covers:

    Which courses are good to take concurrently, and which ones are good to take before one another? I am a first year math/statistics major and could really use your help. Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2014 #2
    What is usually "calc 3", is split between the second half of the third quarter and the fourth quarter of calculus at your school, according to what you posted.
    calculus 3 = multivariable = partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and vector analysis.

    Since you're a math major you'll have to eventually take all of the courses you mentioned; physics students could probably skip advanced calc as it seems pretty rigorous.

    Linear algebra and multivariable are closely related (from personal experience, multivariable makes a whole lot of more sense when you know linear algebra) I suggest you take both next quarter.
  4. Apr 22, 2014 #3


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    Homework Helper

    Are you at UC Davis?
    Vector Analysis
    Advanced Calculus
    linear algebra
    can be taken in any order.
    elementary differential equations should be after linear algebra
    Math students should take the other better linear algebra, the one you mention is for other majors
    two things to keep in mind
    1)Advanced Calculus and linear algebra are transition classes they are a bit different than earlier courses and may or may not require adjustment
    2)the biggest issue is scheduling, courses are not offered every term so you need a plan ahead so future classes are neither delayed nor bunched up
  5. Apr 22, 2014 #4
    This looks a lot like UCD math sequence. If so, then what lurflurf says is right. You can take that LA course, but when you take the one for majors it will only count for one unit and will be very similar with more theory it appears.
  6. Apr 22, 2014 #5
    Yes, I do attend UC Davis :smile:

    The other linear algebra class is called Modern Linear Algebra, and I understand it's proof-based. It covers:

    I have never taken a proof based math class before, so should I take Advanced Calculus before taking this class?

    Should I take the elementary differential equation class before modern linear algebra?

    So then I'll probably take multivariable calculus with the elementary differential equations class, if offered in the same quarter, and then take advanced calculus. Then I should probably take modern linear algebra, right?
  7. Apr 22, 2014 #6


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    You say you're a math major. If you haven't taken a proof based math course yet then you've never seen math, meaning math as a mathematician thinks of it. What you've seen is math as a tool, as a scientist or engineer thinks of it.

    So if you are actually thinking of yourself as a math major, you should take a proof based math class as soon as possible. You should self study something that's mathy and rigorous as soon as you can: maybe number theory or logic and set theory. Figure out if you like it, if you're good at it. Do it over the summer.
  8. Apr 22, 2014 #7


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    Homework Helper

    If proofs worry you
    Advanced Calculus
    Modern Linear Algebra
    Introduction to Abstract Mathematics (a really bad class)
    Convex Geometry
    Number Theory
    Euclidean Geometry
    are the transitions classes. These involve proofs, but are a (hopefully) gentle introduction. Modern linear algebra is probably good to take first, but it varies from person to person. You could take linear algebra and modern linear algebra, but it is probably not worth the trouble. Elementary differential equations uses linear algebra so unless you know some from somewhere take either linear algebra class first. So again take
    Vector Analysis
    Advanced Calculus
    modern linear algebra
    in any order
    elementary differential equations after some linear algebra

    I take it you are talking about fall?
    I do not know where you are at in statistics and general ed, but you want something like

    other math class
    other math class
    other math class

    It would be fine also to push 125 to third year (some people find it hard), but it might jam you up or limit your options. Some people like to not take 125 and 150 at the same time.
  9. Apr 24, 2014 #8
    Thank you for your input!
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
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