Whats your hardest math course
Dec 14, 2005 at 9:03 AM Post #17 of 84

mjg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fante7
The hardest math course I've had to date was Commutative Algebra... and I loved every minute of it.

Note - commutative algebra is the study of commutative rings with identity, and my course was intended to prepare one for study in algebraic geometry - we dabbled in sheaves on the last week of class.

Edit - in the case that anyone is remotely interested, we used the classic text by Atiyah and MacDonald, which is an absolutely *fantastic* mathematics book - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/020...books&v=glance



though the toughest to grasp abstract albgebra/ number theory is my favorite and most difficult math study i've done thus far.
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 9:15 AM Post #18 of 84

mr_baseball_08

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150
3rd semester calc and differential EQs... by far for me. I got through them but man it was tough. It wasn't till my acoustics / vibrations class when diff EQs really started to click... It was like WOW... now I understand what its all for.

college was a very humbling experience for me.

Garrett



Seeing how you're a mechanical engineer I figured you would have had some harder ones than those 2 down the road.. But I guess I'm wrong?

JD
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 9:30 AM Post #19 of 84

RockFan

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Uhhh, thus far... Calculus in HS, but I'm going for a Manufacturing Engineering major, so, we will see how it goes, looks like I have a lot of fun ahead of me in the next few years.
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 9:32 AM Post #20 of 84

BANGPOD

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Never had problems with either... 1430 4.0
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 10:08 AM Post #21 of 84

guzzler

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Can’t believe no one has mentioned Vector Calculus, truly horrendous stuff... The ”university” maths book is by Riley, Hobson, and Bence, and is great... if you have a maths degree already. VC was even a problem for the mathematicians, ask them and they’d just shake their head.

Anyone looking for a science or engineering maths textbook, I can strongly recommend ”Advanced Engineering Mathematics” by Erwin Kreyszig. Covers all the bits you’ll ever need, and actually tells you where you might come across it, and also gives REAL examples, as opposed to the usual contrived ones in most books
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 10:56 AM Post #22 of 84

saint.panda

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Right now, differential geometry is really tough but I need it for general relativity. First year analysis was a real pain because it was such a big difficulty increase from high school, especially towards the end of the year with the manifolds and sub-manifolds.
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 11:08 AM Post #23 of 84

Jose Perez

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Hardest math class I had was a Calculus course I took when I first went to college back in '91. Looking back now, the coursework was not especially difficult, just a freshman level differential equations course for math and engineering majors, but it was being taught by a tenured professor who was in the mid-stages of senility and dimentia. She would spend 40 minutes of a 50 minute class period rambling on about how someone's socks were colorful and cute and would go on these long drawn out tangents about the most random crap, then come back to reality for the last 10 minutes with just enough time to confuse everyone and assign another four hours worth of HW. Not being one to quit on a class (and not having any options to take another section due to scheduling conflicts as I recall) I endured four weeks of that class before I had to just say no more. To this date, it is the only class I have ever dropped while in college.
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 11:30 AM Post #24 of 84

l_simon_l

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Discrete mathematics at Luleå Univerity of Technology, Sweden... I was the only one I know of that passed that exam, I think there was a 95% failiure rate at that particular exam. And I was only 2 points from failing it.
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 12:43 PM Post #25 of 84

shiggins

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Numerical Linear Algebra. Sounded easy but was nigh on impossible. You either "get it" or you don't. My lecturer sucked - The whole lecture he spent writing sprawling formulae on blackboards with little explanation and his hand writing was terrible. It was a good lecture if I managed to copy everything down he actually wrote. The exam results were very polarised; half got over 80%, half got less than 20. Me, I got 4%! Still, I got a degree out of it and have successfully managed to block almost all maths out of my mind (friends won't even let me score for darts because I can't add).

My favourite course was Music and DSP.
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 2:06 PM Post #27 of 84

nph134

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Well I'm doing a PhD in physics now and have done 2 degrees already in maths/physics. Maths being difficult is often what people say without ever really trying hard at it. Maths is like anything else you get better with practice. When you start out at anything complex it always seems difficult compared to when you're into it.

I'd say there's two different sides to "difficulty" as you mean it in maths. Conceptual difficulty: ie abstract maths were many find it difficult to understand the underlying concept. Then there is technical difficulty where many find it difficult to learn the actual methodology to solutions.

Technical difficulty is easily over come by study. Conceptual difficulty often stems from the fact people try to apply their understanding of the world based on their experience to situations that bear little similarity to everyday events such as in quantum mechanics and relativistic problems.

At my level difficulty lies in the development of proofs/solutions/theories that encompass many branches of maths rather than any in particular.

When studying for my first degree however I remember finding advance mutivariable calculus technically tricky as for complex multiple integrals for example you have to memorise many techniques and integrals to use in solutions. On the conceptual side that's a difficult one as it's where my strengths lie. Perhaps relativistic maths though seemed hard to grasp at first, ie the idea of space itself being "curved" and lengths and times being variable rather than constant.
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 2:12 PM Post #28 of 84

jbloudg20

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ATAT
pne - eh. Ever heard of Fourier transforms? might be important =)


I found Fourier to be much easier than Z-transforms.

Quote:

Calculus 3 for me.. Dunno why it seemed harder than 4.. But I've got Differential Equations coming up next semester and I'm gonna go ahead and guess it's going to be harder.


Diff Equ was much easier than MultiVariable Calc, IMO
 
Dec 14, 2005 at 2:55 PM Post #30 of 84

Ayreonaut

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I went back to college after a couple of years off and took Calc III. I was really scared, but it turned out not to be that bad.

I took DiffEQ in four weeks over the summer. 3 hours/day for 4 days/week. Absolutely muderous.

(I didn't learn my lesson, and the next summer I subjected myself to Quantitative Analysis [Chemistry]. It ruined my whole summer.)
 

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