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June 11th, 2017, 07:04 PM  #1 
Newbie Joined: May 2017 From: California Posts: 15 Thanks: 1  What class should I choose?
For the fall I am currently enrolled in: Vector calculus an intro to Java(Data structures) Linear Optimization I have to add 1 more class. I am choosing between Advance Calc. and Intro to Abstract math and proofs. These are the course descriptions of each. Advance Calc: Calculus of several variables; Jacobian, inverse and implicit function theorems, contracting mapping theorem, change of variables in integration and applications. Intro to abstract math/proofs: The purpose of this course is to develop students' mathematical maturity and skill with proofs. Material covered will include logic; set theory including functions, relations, and cardinality; the real number system, including the completeness axiom; and selected topics. I really want to take the intro to proofs course, but it seems like a lot to manage AND Advance Calc. is being taught by a teacher who I know is an easy grader. So what do you think I should do? If I were to take the intro to proof course, what can I expect in terms of hours/week? Last edited by skipjack; June 11th, 2017 at 10:21 PM. 
June 11th, 2017, 07:17 PM  #2  
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 1,643 Thanks: 571 Math Focus: Yet to find out.  Quote:
You need to assess your strengths and weaknesses out of the subjects you have already chosen, and determine which ones you think will consume the most time. Some programming subjects can be relatively easy conceptually, but often have a large work load due to the amount of coding you need to do and spend time on, so that is something to think about also.  
June 11th, 2017, 07:30 PM  #3 
Senior Member Joined: Aug 2012 Posts: 2,010 Thanks: 574 
Isn't vector calculus the same as calc of several variables? You'd be duplicating most of the material. Is Java your first programming course? Programming is VERY timeintensive. It's a heavy load to add abstract algebra to all that. Frankly if it were me I'd take something easy, fulfill one of your liberal arts prereqs or something. ps  Sorry I read that wrong. It's intro to proofs, not abstract algebra. If you have any "mathematical maturity" as they say, this course will be easy for you. Maybe take that one. 
June 11th, 2017, 08:11 PM  #4 
Newbie Joined: May 2017 From: California Posts: 15 Thanks: 1 
Thank you for the responses. Unfortunately, I finished all my gen ed. requirements.. I don't expect the programming course to be hard conceptually, because the school provides tutoring workshops which are designed to help you get a good grade, but I get where you are coming from. I expect it to take at least 6 hours per week maybe more. I think linear optimization will not be too bad, I did ok in linear algebra 1, probably 810 hours. At my school, vector calculus picks up where calc 3 left off..I think it will be my hardest class given how I struggled in calc 3. In addition, I've heard the teacher is hard. If I were to take the intro to proof class, past syllabi have recommended 10 hours a week. Total: around 3540 hours a week of studying I have more than enough time to fit in these hours. But how do I manage it? What I mean is, if I spend 3 hours on Vector Calculus, I'm going to be kind of mentally tired to go and do 3 hours of programming and then 3 hours of proofs, etc. Do you have any advice on how to space out these hours? EDIT: I guess what I mean is, How do I avoid burn out during this upcoming semester? Also, do you think it would be strange/unusual to email the teacher of the proof course to get her opinion? Thank you for your insights. Last edited by skipjack; June 11th, 2017 at 10:29 PM. 
June 11th, 2017, 08:29 PM  #5  
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 1,643 Thanks: 571 Math Focus: Yet to find out.  Quote:
I'm sure the teacher would get all sorts of emails. Probably you could ask for a document that outlines the unit in more detail, then from there you could ask more specific questions.  
June 11th, 2017, 08:41 PM  #6 
Newbie Joined: May 2017 From: California Posts: 15 Thanks: 1 
Awesome; I'll aim to be ahead a couple of chapters before the semester starts, Thanks. Last edited by skipjack; June 11th, 2017 at 10:23 PM. 
June 11th, 2017, 10:36 PM  #7 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 19,534 Thanks: 1750 
It might also be useful to see some past examination papers. Where are you heading with these classes?

June 12th, 2017, 10:09 AM  #8 
Newbie Joined: May 2017 From: California Posts: 15 Thanks: 1 
@skipjack, I'm in the applied computational math major.. The java class is my last required cs course, linear optimization and vector calculus are required... and the proof course is not required, but it is a prereq to abstract algebra and intro to number theory. So I hope to pass this proof course then take abstract algebra I in the spring and intro to number theory next fall, as long as my advisor approves of it. I was able to find some past homework/exams for this course; I think it will be doable if I can get a head start during the summer. Last edited by skipjack; June 12th, 2017 at 10:57 PM. 

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