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Calc 3 difficulty

Fastfood15Fastfood15 Registered User Posts: 644 Member
edited August 2009 in Columbia University
So I need 6 points of math to get my poli sci degree. I got a 5 on the BC Ap test (somehow, i was shooting for a 3) so if i get a C or higher I get 6 points for taking Calc 3. Seems like a good use of time to me. I just took Calc 3/Diff Eq. my senior year of high school, but that was a blow off class. I would be surprised if I could get any questions right about Calc 3 on a placement test.

Anyways... how hard is calc 3? Any horror stories? I'm not afraid of doing the work this time around to actually learn the math, and I figure my previous exposure should help somewhat. I just want to be done with math.
Post edited by Fastfood15 on

Replies to: Calc 3 difficulty

  • kartrider360kartrider360 Registered User Posts: 349 Member
    isn't calc 3 multivariable?
  • demeterdemeter Registered User Posts: 1,367 Senior Member
    I always hear people say that calc 3 is much easier than calc 2. I've only taken calc 2 and not calc 3, but calc 2 was really not that bad. If you got a 5 on the BC exam, then I think you'll be fine in calc 3. The quality of the class will obviously depend on the professor. While CULPA gives you reviews of professors, you can also search for calc III to see what other students have to say about the difficulties of the class. But I think you'll be fine taking it.

    I'm not sure about this, but I think calc 4 is multivariable.
  • Fastfood15Fastfood15 Registered User Posts: 644 Member
    Thanks Demeter, I seem to recall off the bulletin that it is calc 4, or honors mathematics something like that, which covers multivariable stuff. I'll keep looking, but I'm glad to hear that calc 3 didn't immediately cause people to wince from a bad memory.
  • es foures four Registered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    In my experience, Calc III was far easier than Calc II-- although, I think that has more to do with the individual instructor than the material itself.

    Edit: Calc III is also the introduction to multi-variable.
  • thinkforyourselfthinkforyourself Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    are you going for a joint poli sci-econ or poli sci-stats degree? cause the regular p.s. major doesn't require math. . .
  • Fastfood15Fastfood15 Registered User Posts: 644 Member
    You're right, I must have misread the bulletin. I am considering double majoring in Economics. What is the difference between double majoring and majoring in Poli Sci-Econ?

    Also, if I get the 6 points for Calc 3, does that mean I get credit for Calc 1 and thus complete the prerequisite for Calc 1 in the econ dept?
  • AlgernonAlgernon Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    I went to a gathering in San Francisco where incoming students met with some advisers and such. The one I was assigned with mentioned that Calc 3 is far easier than calc 2, since Calc 3 is a continuation of Calc 1. Calc 2 is different material, while Calc 4 is a continuation of Calc 2.

    She pretty much advised us to take Calc 3 if we could...
  • ArakeshmArakeshm Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Columbia is somewhat strange with its four term calculus sequence; I think a lot of other schools do the same amount of material in less time. From my experiences and what I've heard from other people, Calculus 3 is generally not difficult, especially if you choose an easy professor (see CULPA reviews). There is a lot less ground covered than in the other classes in the sequence.
  • alpharoseanalpharosean Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
    Jorgensen comes to mind.
  • TDM323TDM323 Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    Calculus III is multivariable differential calculus. Calculus IV is multivariable integral calculus. Calc III is more interesting than previous calculus classes because you start to see how calculus applies to the real world. In my experience, Calc II was MUCH EASIER than Calc III. If you really want to learn the material and are not scared of the work than take Calc III with Aaron Lauda.
  • ShruggingSheepShruggingSheep Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    Wow, is Lauda really tough? He seems to have the best culpa reviews after Lipshiitz. Probably won't get either with my wonderful 2pm registration time.

    Also, any general observations about newly minted PhDs for math classes? There's one from Princeton (Josh Greene) teaching 2 sections of Calc III this fall.
  • TDM323TDM323 Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    Lauda is an excellent teacher. He is tough if you are trying to breeze through Calc III with minimal work, but if you are really interested in learning the material than I would definitely recommend him.
  • Fastfood15Fastfood15 Registered User Posts: 644 Member
    who is a good teacher for breezing through?
  • karotkarot Registered User Posts: 1,200 Senior Member

    Seriously, I did not learn Calculus in that class. Jorgensen has such an intuitive grasp of the material that he's able to skip 80% of the work in a problem and still get the right answer.

    I would get my homework (about 3 simple problems a week) and take it to my friends in Calc 3 who had other teachers. They would fill up two sides of a page just doing the math and then write a cleaner version on one side for their homework. I would do the same problem with Troels' method and it would be completely done in half a page.

    He tells you that if you're spending more than half an hour on your homework, then you're taking to long and to stop doing it. He also says that homework shouldn't run longer than a page (double sided).

    Of course, you don't really know what the hell you're doing so grading in the end can get a little arbitrary (a big part of it is whether you nice handwriting on the final).
  • Fastfood15Fastfood15 Registered User Posts: 644 Member
    CULPA says that Jorgensen doesn't give many A's. If I do well in the class (because I've already covered this material before) how can he not give me an A?
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