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Thread: for the love of math

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array shoshana's Avatar
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    Jul 2011

    Default for the love of math

    I'd like to ask the mathematically inclined a question...

    I havent met many hydrologists but the ones I have come across in university all have engineering or physics undergraduate backgrounds. i'm in my last year getting my BS and I took calc I & II my freshman year. my schedule is so tight i will not be able to take calc III or differential equations this year.

    do you know anyone who has taken those courses at the graduate level?... also would it be very hard to get re-acquainted with calculus after being somewhat out of practice?

  2. #2


    Don't know anyone from the graduate side.

    I don't think calculus 3 is particularly hard. I would go as far to say that calc 3 is easier than calc 2 or calc 1. For the beginning of calc 3, you don't really learn any new concepts. All you are doing is applying differentials and integrals to multiple dimensions. So in essence its a big review period. This is, I think, much easier than learning what a derivative or integral is in the first place. Towards the end of the course, you'll start to be challenged and if you don't have a decent handling of calc 1 and 2 content, then you'll start falling apart. This becomes much more apparent when problems start requiring change in coordinates as well as the introduction to various vector manipulation theorems.

    I would say go for it and judge your progress up to the midterm. I don't think you'll learn anything shockingly new before the midterm so if you feel come midterm you haven't remembered your calc 1 and 2 stuff, you have a decent reason to drop the course.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array jimrckhnd's Avatar
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    Jul 2011


    I know a fist full of hydrologists and many of them start with a geology background. As long as you have your core BS science (Physics, Chem) and Math (Calc I&II) you should not have a problem getting into most grad hydrogeology programs. You can pick up "diffeq" as a grad student (suggest first summer) or, if you are decent at math, train yourself on the equations you'll need and get the formal course work later if you feel the need.

    Going back to Calc after you have had a long lay off is never much fun. It's like going back to jogging after not running for awhile... first few times are going to hurt. However, most hydro profs don't give a rats arse HOW you get an answer - so you can use some of the new calculators once you are into applied course. I'd suggest the Ti-89 - very powerful tool.
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

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