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# Software Engineering - Math Courses

Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
edited July 2011
I will be starting at Auburn University this Fall with Software Engineering as my major. I just received my AP scores, however, and I did much better in Calculus than I expected, a 5. I understood all of the Cal I & II concepts in class, except for Taylor and McLaurin series. I can do the problems, but it feels formulaic and I don't feel like I grasped the concepts well in that section. Because of that, I decided to retake Cal II my first semester. However, having received a 5 on the AP exam, I am wondering if I should still re-take Cal II or continue to Cal III?

tl;dr Basically, does Software Engineering (or later, higher math in general) require a good basis and understanding in Geometric/Infinite/Taylor series or will I be able to get by without re-taking the course?
Post edited by kks87x on

## Replies to: Software Engineering - Math Courses

• Registered User Posts: 690 Member
take calc iii.
• Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
So much detail. Mind if I inquire as to why?
• Registered User Posts: 1,026 Senior Member
An understanding of series and sequences is going to be integral to passing any decent "Introduction to Algorithms" course. Taylor and Maclaurin series aren't so useful, per se, but you should have a fairly good handle on the basics of series (convergence, limits, sequences, comparison tests, etc.). This is required to do time-complexity analysis.

In other words, Cal II is infinitely more useful and important than Cal III for the study of CS/SwE, and if you are shaky, retake it.
• Registered User Posts: 1,026 Senior Member
Also, if you ever take any numerical analysis courses, Taylor and Maclaurin series become vitally important.
• Registered User Posts: 2,885 Senior Member
So much detail. Mind if I inquire as to why?

There are other higher math courses that would apply to computer science/software engineering like junior/senior-level courses in combinatorics or graph theory. At the University of Maryland, Calculus III is a prerequisite for this course.

Also, if you ever do any scientific programming/software development, not only will you need Calculus III but also Differential Equations.

Another area is cryptology which will have either number theory or abstract algebra as prerequisites.

Do not take my following statement as "cut and dry" but the amount of math you know will "kind of" determine if you work in the hard-core software engineering OR the more IT/IS-type of software engineering.
• Registered User Posts: 1,026 Senior Member
^ I think the question is more about whether to start in Cal II or Cal III. I agree he should take as much math as possible.
• Registered User Posts: 2,885 Senior Member
^ I think the question is more about whether to start in Cal II or Cal III. I agree he should take as much math as possible.

I stand corrected about the original question....

Personally, I would make SURE I had Calculus II down pat.
• Registered User Posts: 1,479 Senior Member
If you doubt your ability, retake Calculus II. You are at least one course ahead of the many people with 5 on AP BC (you mean BC, not AB, right?).
Double check with the math department and see if there's a placement test.

Also, ask for old final exams for Calculus II and Calculus I. Should you decide to go ahead with Calculus III you should score at least 80% on the final exam.
If Calculus II covers series, I think it is okay to go ahead to Calculus III. You can practice problems at home while taking Calculus III.
• Registered User Posts: 329 Junior Member
Please do yourself a favor and take calc 3. Don't take the weeder calc 2 class. When you need series again in the future, just learn it.
This discussion has been closed.