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Old 01-06-06, 03:22 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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What math do i take next year?

WEll recommendations for next years classes come on monday, what i have not decided upon is math.
Me and math class have always had a bizzare relationship..
Outside of class, i use mathematical formulas extensively...but in the class i dont know what happens. In the class i seem to stop, i zone out, I never get whats going on until after. Yet i use some of the same stuff in other applications without problem.

I've not been able to figure out why either. Some say I overthink the subject and thats why, i think its a possibility.

WEll for my senior year i know all what i am taking except theres a debate with myself between two courses:

PreCalc
Probability & Statistics


What are your opinions on the two classes?
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Old 01-06-06, 03:26 PM   #2
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My personal opinion is that pre-calc would be more interesting and would probably help you out alot in the electronics stuff you do. Probability and stats would probably be boring. Plus, if you go into anything technical afterwards, pre calc is pretty much mandatory.
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Old 01-06-06, 03:29 PM   #3
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Take the pre-calc. Math is pretty useless until you get to calculus anyway.

As for zoning out in math classes, I find it's due to the boring abstract way math is taught in this country. It's so sterile that it turns people off and makes learning it difficult. I find what's really, really helpful is applying it. Think of ways you can use whatever it is that's being presented. I always have this sick and twisted obssession with nukular weapons, so I try to relate any mathematical concept to weapons design and deployment. Artillery calculations are always kinda fun, combines math with physics.
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Old 01-06-06, 03:31 PM   #4
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Pre-Calc includes a fair bit of Trig if memory serves me. I'd do Pre-Cal only if you plan on doing Calc next semester (if thats also required for you). Stat-Prob is a completely different realm of math and you may find yourself going back to brush up on the Pre-Cal stuff later if you go into Calc.
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Old 01-06-06, 03:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2

PreCalc
Probability & Statistics


What are your opinions on the two classes?
ive taken 4 calc classes and 2 stats classes in my degree, and i hated them all! Especially stats.
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Old 01-06-06, 03:44 PM   #6
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I am certainly going into something technical in college...
Well, maybe precalc is what i should do then.

As for zoning out, im prety much cluelesss. Ive been doing this for 5 years with no reason why. If i have a person sit and explain the math right to me, i get it and frankly its very simple. BUt in class its like it hurts my eyes to keep them open. I find myself having to fight to stay awake
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Old 01-06-06, 05:00 PM   #7
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Another for pre-calc. If you are going into a technical degree, you'll be seeing both in the future, but pre-calc will help you in the 'here and now" more than stats will.
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Old 01-06-06, 05:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
I am certainly going into something technical in college...
Well, maybe precalc is what i should do then.

As for zoning out, im prety much cluelesss. Ive been doing this for 5 years with no reason why. If i have a person sit and explain the math right to me, i get it and frankly its very simple. BUt in class its like it hurts my eyes to keep them open. I find myself having to fight to stay awake
Where do you usually sit? I found it easier to pay attention at the front of the class (which is where I would subsequently end up at the end of the semester ).
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Old 01-06-06, 05:38 PM   #9
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pre-calc, definitely. Probability and stats is important to learn at some point, too, but your technical background courses in college will require a solid grasp of trig and calc. You can pick up probability and stats later.

Don't skip pre-calc and jump into calc unless you already have a solid grasp of trig. Not as in you can get the right answer on a test, but as in you actually understand what's going on. This is true in general for skipping courses. It's not so much that you might not do so well in the next course. The problem is that you might not understand something that you should understand. If it's in a subject area you're taking for fun, that's not necessarily a big deal, and you might as well enjoy the most advanced and sophisticated course you're willing to stomach the work for. But if it's in your field of study (or closely related), you'd better make sure you fully understand anything you're skipping.
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Old 01-06-06, 06:16 PM   #10
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I will take precal like planned then. Not going to skip it
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Old 01-06-06, 06:31 PM   #11
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I think you are making the right choice.
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Old 01-06-06, 07:19 PM   #12
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I have that same decision for next year (Junior year) either take AP Stats or Math Analysis (pre calc). I'm gonna take Math Analysis so my senior year I can take AP Calc. If I take AP Stats, my senior year I will have nothing to take.
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Old 01-06-06, 09:29 PM   #13
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I'm too late, but I would recommend stats. Knowing stats has far more practical everyday applications unless you're going into engineering. Lots of reporters/companies/government officials try to BS the public by misrepresenting/misinterpreting stats. Seeing through the haze lets me dismiss the baloney I see with a David Spade sort of attitude. That's a lot more fun than trying to remember what the point of a co-secant is.
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Old 01-06-06, 09:53 PM   #14
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Pre Calc. Stats is useful too, but the math concepts are fairly rudimentary. You can come back to it. From what you've said in the past about your ambitions, you'll probably be taking a calculus class at some point in the future, and it will be a big help to you to continuously build on the geometry/trigonometry you've already taken. I seriously doubt you'll forget the math you need to be able to do to handle stats, but some of that trig and algebra skill that calc will require can start to fade if you take too long of a break from it.
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Old 01-06-06, 10:16 PM   #15
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I took Pre-Calc a year ago. I had taken Colleg Algebra and Trig already. I was going to take Calc I, but the only class I could get into was with the world's worst prof. So I took the pre-calc instead. It turned out to be one of the best classes I ever had. The prof was a Chinese gentleman (PhD) who had been a student of Stephen Hawking (the wheel chair guy ~[Simpson's reference]), and he now translates Hawkings books into Chinese. Pretty neat, huh? This is at a small state college.

Anyway, Dr. Wu was a little hard to understand and had a very dry sense of humor, but he really knew his stuff. He didn't give us a ton of homework and tests were brief, so I really enjoyed the class and was not under a lot of pressure, like most math classes. I learned a lot!

I am taking a year off math classes to do my Chem I & II classes. Next year I am doing Calc I & II. I still have to take stats someday....

My major is geology.
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Old 01-06-06, 10:52 PM   #16
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Yea im pretty sure i want to go into the mechanical engineering field for college, so it sounds like precal is the way to go. I hope people are right when they say this is when math actually gets useful and meaningfull, etc.
Because i dont enjoy algebra
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Old 01-07-06, 11:41 PM   #17
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Definitely go with precalc. You need to get through Calc B/3 (different colleges call it different things), so it'll be better if you take precalc now. Besides, there's nothing fun about stat (plus, I'm not sure if the engineers at my college have to take stat).
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Old 01-07-06, 11:47 PM   #18
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I'm in Precalc right now, and it's the first time I've not gotten all As and Bs in a Math class in four years. In fact, I'm failing. Just took the class of my schedule for next semester.

Precalc is a bummer and a half. But since you appear to need it for your career of choice, go for it. As a history teacher, I'll never use it.
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Old 01-08-06, 05:39 AM   #19
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I'd say you have a 50% chance of taking Pre-Calc.
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