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Boroleum
- Posts: **85** Junior Member

I have to take one of these over the summer, which one is the easiest? The easiest to understand with the least amount of work.

Post edited by Boroleum on

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## Replies to: Calculus 3 vs Differential Equations.

882Member660MemberDiff Eq is one the toughest (perhaps THE toughest) required math course in engineering curriculums.

660MemberDiff Eq involves way more memorization than Calc 3. In Diff Eq you need to know how to recognize what problem you are dealing wtih and how to solve it.

Setting up integrals in Calc 3 is not that difficult. Perhaps its just me but I find integrals in 3-space and coverting to cylindrical/spherical coordinates to be pretty simple.

882Member1,579Senior MemberI think Calc 3 is harder, because you have to look at integrals and figure out which method to use, or look at sums and figure out which test will tell you if the sum converges. DiffEq is more straightforward. It's usually pretty easy to tell what differential equations can be solved with what techniques, and many of the techniques are pretty fun.

But also note that I took DiffEq at a community college and did Calc 3 on the AP test, so that might skew my opinion somewhat.

Really? Not tensor calculus? (Which isn't required for all engineering majors)

I personally didn't think that DiffEq was that bad. It's a little bit tricky, but once you get over the basic hurdle of understanding what a differential equation really is, it gets a lot easier.

660MemberThat's why I said I felt Diff Eq is probably the toughest math required by all engineering majors. What majors actually require tensor calc?

I don't think any math class was that bad. But I felt Diff Eq was tougher than Calc 3 is all. Maybe I've got a mind for 3-space? To me Diff Eq was mostly memorization different equation set-ups and how to sovle them. In Calc 3 I found it pretty easy to visualize equations and how to intregrate them.

327MemberI think I found the concepts in diff equ harder to understand, however, my Calc III professor gave us harder tests. But as I said, that was just specific to that instructor and not the course in general.

264Junior MemberIn my calc3 class we also spent a month on fourier series which i'm not sure is part of other calc3 curriculums. Maybe thats why the rest of the class seemed to rushed.

201Junior MemberAnd as said above it depends a lot on the professor. A good professor can make most things seem easy while a bad one can make every detail complicated, and it also depends on how hard tests they do.

1,826Senior MemberEven though Calculus III was more difficult, it was a much better class--in that class you learn about functions from R^m --> R^n and what the derivative means for such a function. You learn how to talk about integrating a single real valued-function over more complicated domains than just the real line. You also learn some cool generalizations of the fundamental theorem of calculus.

6,673Senior Member660MemberMaybe that is why I found Diff Eq tougher was that I was completely uninterested in it. Calc 3 I actually find interesting because everything really makes sense to me.

69Junior Member660Member229Junior MemberBut also note that I took DiffEq at a community college and did Calc 3 on the AP test, so that might skew my opinion somewhat. "

Umm do you mean you took calc 3 after you took the AP test for calc BC because the standard topics in multivariable calculus aren't covered in BC (otherwise known as single variable calculus)

The type of integrals I had to set up and solve in Calc 3 were much harder than the stuff I did in elementary ordinary differential equations.

"Diff Eq is one the toughest (perhaps THE toughest) required math course in engineering curriculums. "

What do you mean by the toughest required? I know engineers use PDEs and I know electrical engineers might do a course in Complex Analysis