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Courses Which order to take math courses?

  • Thread starter jonq1987
  • Start date
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I just enrolled at the local college for electrical engineering and was wondering what order I should take my classes in? Should I take physics before calc or no? also differential equations, whats it like?
 
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I would leave differential at the end of the calculus sequence. I don't see the hurry for differential... it can confuse you if you take differential somewhere in the middle of your calculus sequence.
As far as first semester of calculus, you probably don't need anything other than the concepts of limits, derivative, and anti-derivative (integrals).
There's usually some pre-requisites. It is common that one takes physics 1 after completing calculus 1.
Look at the pre-requisites. It is too vague to tell you what to do....
 
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I would leave differential at the end of the calculus sequence. I don't see the hurry for differential... it can confuse you if you take differential somewhere in the middle of your calculus sequence.
As far as first semester of calculus, you probably don't need anything other than the concepts of limits, derivative, and anti-derivative (integrals).
There's usually some pre-requisites. It is common that one takes physics 1 after completing calculus 1.
Look at the pre-requisites. It is too vague to tell you what to do....
thanks for the quick answer! Ok that's cool , I was never a math wiz but I have most of my prereqs in algebra done just have to do college algebra and I can start with the rest. What about physics with calculus? why do I have to take calc, physics, AND physics WITH calc?
 
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You should probably talk to an advisor at your school. Generally only they will know which order/course combinations are recommended.

For example, at my school, it's assumed that you'll be taking Calc I concurrently with Phys I despite calculus not being an explicit co-requisite.
 
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You should probably talk to an advisor at your school. Generally only they will know which order/course combinations are recommended.

For example, at my school, it's assumed that you'll be taking Calc I concurrently with Phys I despite calculus not being an explicit co-requisite.
I tried but the administrative dept at this school sucks, the teachers rock but the people who help you get to them are terrible. None of them know what the hell they are talking about.
 
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physics (calculus based) + calculus I --> calculus II + linear algebra --> calculus III --> differential equations

You might not need that much of calculus III for diff eq. Does your school have a course listing that shows prerequisites needed for the courses? Maybe you should call them.
 
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As far as first semester of calculus, you probably don't need anything other than the concepts of limits, derivative, and anti-derivative (integrals).
I will correct myself. I meant "first semester of physics".
:]typo
 
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ok great thanks for all the advice guys! big help!
 
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If you post your school's name we can look at the catalog and give you accurate information.
 
At the schools I've been familiar with the calculus sequence has been corequisite with the physics sequence: aka. Calculus I (Differentiation) with Physics I (Mechanics), Calculus II (Integration) with Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism), Calculus III (Div, Grad, Curl etc.) with Physics III (Waves, Optics, and Modern)... but I was a semester ahead in calculus when I was a student, and I never regretted it (and in fact recommend it to my students now).

As others mention, your course catalogue will probably list pre-requisites or corequisites... or ask a faculty member or two who have recently taught the course... or ask friends/co-students who have taken the course.
 

zcd

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From experience I found that taking calc 3 before electromagnetism helps a lot more than taking calc 3 concurrently. There are a lot of volume and surface integrals that tended to surprise students who haven't taken calc 3. In addition if you understand how stoke's and divergence theorems work it helps more intuitively understanding some of the e/m material. While in theory this should be the case for concurrent as well, your math class might not cover what's needed before the physics requires it.
 
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Engineering programs are usually packed in with tons of classes so you really don't have much room to maneuver.

So take classes in the order that satisfy the prereqs and move up the chain that way.

Mathematically its smarter to take linear algebra before Diff Eq but Diff Eq. is important for circuit analysis so you might not have that option ( like me lol). I did Calc 1>Calc 2>Calc 3 + Diff EQ. Next semester I plan on taking linear algebra, prob/stat, and an intro to proofs course. Linear algebra and proofs are not required of me but I'm also a math minor.

Take the physics classes as early as you can too, usually Physics 1 concurrently with calc 2 and physics 2 concurrently with calc 3. Generally you don't need much math aside from basic calculus to do the intro physics courses. There is a bit of differential equations for circuit problems in physics 2 but most intro book I see just hand you the solutions and expect you to just use them. Its obviously a bit better if you're farther ahead in math than you are in physics but I wouldnt put off physics for a semester just to do that. EE programs are much to packed in to do that.
 

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