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# multivariable calculus compared to other calcs

Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited January 2008
how hard is multivariable calc compared to calc 2. I found calc 2 to be some what difficult because all the information was fairly new but after completing the course i realized the material was not all that complex. If i had applied myself more i think i would have done better. How does the material in multivariable calc compare to calc 2? Is it the same material just more in depth? Is there more stuff with integrals and approximations and sums?
Post edited by Roboman on
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## Replies to: multivariable calculus compared to other calcs

• Registered User Posts: 4,706 Senior Member
I heard calc 2 is the hardest math in the calc sequence and that multivariable is so much easier.
• Registered User Posts: 618 Member
I've heard Cal 2 was the hardest as well. I took it last semester. I think the thing that makes is more difficult is the fact that the material is somewhat unrelated. Things don't build on each other as much. You just jump around a bunch of different topics. I'm enjoying Cal 3 so far. Maybe that's because I'm using the same book I had for Cal 1. It's a much, much better book than the one I had for Cal 2. The homework sets are very good.
• Registered User Posts: 1,025 Member
wow.. I'm currently in Calc 2 and so far its been good since i've already done basic integration. At my school ( Northeastern University ), however, calc 3 sounds really hard with lotsa vectors and drawing 3d shapes,etc. I've talked to a few Calc 3 students and they think that Calc 2 was easier than Calc 3 because there is more visualization involved in Calc 3.
• Registered User Posts: 882 Member
I'm taking Calc 2 right now after having taken AP Calc in High School. As far as my experience goes, most of the Calc 2 material seems to be easier than some of the problem solving concepts in Calc 1 (optimization, related rates), so I might guess that Calc 2 is actually easier than Calc 1. I had a B in the 1st semester dealing with Calc I material and an A in the 2nd semester dealing with Calc 2 material.

I hear that Calc 3 deals with three dimensions, and we're dealing with 3-dimensions in Phys I, which is a bit challenging. By the time I finish Phys 2/Calc 3, I might be in the minority who think that Calc 2 and Phys 2 are the easiest.

I'm debating on whether to major in Civil or Electrical and am wondering which math class is the most important in each major.
• Registered User Posts: 139 Junior Member
At my school calc 3 was pretty much calc 1 and 2 in 3 dimensions. Of course there are some new things introduced like vectors, but the majority of it will be stuff you already know with an added variable: slope of a curve, Volume, area. The hardest part for me was visualizing what the graphs would look like. As I side note I would recommend taking Mechanics and Calc 3 simultaneously; it will make you really good with vectors ;) .
• Registered User Posts: 308 Member
cal 3 is like cal one but with z dimension
• Registered User Posts: 994 Member
Is calc II the first time some people are exposed to integration? Do you guys not do applications of integration in Calc I ? IE calculating the areas of weird shapes and volumes generated by rotating some function around an axis?
• Registered User Posts: 1,025 Member
Nope.. Volumes of Revolution is done in Calc II. They only introduce integration at the end of Calc 1.
• Registered User Posts: 994 Member
Ahh gotcha we did volumes of revolutions in calc I. Calc II started with integration by parts and then went into series and sequences and then did a brief introduction to basic ord. differential equations, if I recall correctly.
• Registered User Posts: 3,328 Senior Member
I thought multi-variable (this "Calc 3" thing always confuses me; there was no such thing as "Calc 3" in my world, just single and multi-variable) was easier than single-variable. Some people I knew thought the reverse. I guess it's a personal preference thing.
• Registered User Posts: 4,706 Senior Member
In my school, volumes by revolution is done in Calc I. Calc II starts with inverse functions and their derivatives. I guess it really depends on how strong the math department is at each school. I know other schools who end Calc I with calculating critical numbers, inflection points, increasing/decreasing, and concave up/down without doing any graphing yet.
• Registered User Posts: 1,038 Senior Member
What you guys are calling Calc I, II, and III are usually all together in a 1 year University calculus course. After that there is Differential calculus and Vector calculus... by your numbering probably that would be Calc IX or something. Let's define our terms, what is covered under your numbering?
• Registered User Posts: 882 Member
Calculus I
5 hours. Differentiation, curve sketching, maximum-minimum problems, related rates, mean-value theorem, antiderivative, Riemann integral, logarithm, and exponential functions.

Calculus II
5 hours. Techniques of integration, arc length, solids of revolution, applications, polar coordinates, parametric equations, infinite sequences and series, power series.

Calculus III
3 hours. Vectors in the plane and space, vector valued functions, functions of several variables, partial differentiation, maximum-minimum problems, double and triple integrals, applications, Green's theorem.
• Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
I found calculus III to be harder than calculus 2.
• Registered User Posts: 742 Member
My school splits it up a bit differently than most others. Calc I is derivatives and integrals. Calc II is Series, Vectors, and Multivariable Calculus.

So basically at my school Calc I is normal Calc I + half of Calc II, while Calc II is the second half of Calc II + Calc III.

But anyways, I like multivariable calculus much better than series and other "calc II" subjects. It's pretty much calc one rehashed, but the graphs are a bit trickier.
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