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Math at Brown

collegemom3collegemom3 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited October 2007 in Brown University
Do most students use their AP credits to begin with a higher math: for instance, if a student took AP Calc BC in high school, would he register for Math 200 or take Math 190 to make sure his background in math is complete and have an easier first semester?
Post edited by collegemom3 on

Replies to: Math at Brown

  • MovieBuffMovieBuff - Posts: 971 Member
    I think most students take a placement test to see where they are at. At least, that's what I did. I got a 7 on IB Math in hs but still did not place as high as I thought I would....I guess it depends on your high school..
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    Calc BC with a 4 or 5 starts at Multivariable, which is Math 18 or 35. 35 is heavy on theory and proofs and only recommended for people who may do a math concentration. 18 is more for general students.

    Math 19 and 20 are the sequence for engineers, and you'd go into math 20 if you've taken BC and gotten a 4 or 5.
  • LynxieLynxie Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    35 is impossibly hard unless you love math and can do 2 hours a day.
  • Sheed30Sheed30 Registered User Posts: 12,425 Senior Member
    that's soo me...lol :D I'm a hot nerd ;)
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    My friends would stay up overnight doing the 35 problem sets pretty frequently.

    That may seem crazy to some people, but I spend 18hrs on the midterm and 26 hrs on the final for Chem 145 and I thought it was fun. Oh, and I spent about 36 hours on the paper for that class...
  • Sheed30Sheed30 Registered User Posts: 12,425 Senior Member
    and you think you're modest?... :D stop showing off!!!
  • davebdaveb Registered User Posts: 526 Member
    That is what it is all about, though. Learning what you love, and then applying it. There are few comparable feelings of satisfaction to finishing off a stunning paper or assignment of sorts (whether it's a chem lab or whatever else) that you were eager to sit down and put your mind at work on.
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    DaveB has it right. I don't think it's showing off-- if I were smarter, I could easily cut the time in thirds that it took me for all fo those assignments. They were hard, and it felt great to finish them, and I learned a lot from the process. That, to me, is the most useful assignment.

    Plus, the name comes from song lyrics, not personality traits, per se.
  • EarlEarl Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    I got a 5 on the BC test junior year and now i'm in multivariable calculus and I'll take differential equations next semester (a local community college teacher comes to my high school before school and teaches it to us). I am getting california community college credit. Is there any chance I could skip multivariable all together or would i probably wind up in 35?
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    You can skip it. You don't have to take things you've already learned here. You don't get tuition credit-- i.e. it wont count towards courses to graduate, but you won't have to repeat it.
  • dcircledcircle Registered User Posts: 1,846 Senior Member
    your AP exam will show up on your Brown transcript however, so it is useful for whatever purposes you may want to use it for (to take a higher math class, show off to a grad school/employer, etc.)
  • EarlEarl Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    Assuming the class I'm taking at my high school is less rigorous than 35 and that I'll be taking advanced math courses beyond multivariable calculus, would it be advisable to skip it?
  • modestmelodymodestmelody Registered User Posts: 4,654 Senior Member
    You won't have a problem skipping 35. If you have credit for something, don't waste one of your 32 classes on it. Seriously. 35 is teaching the material of MV calc while introducing you to the method of formal proofs and thinking incredibly abstractly. However, we have other math classes that can used for this purpose. Since you're not taking Linear Algebra and are instead taking diff eqs (which is not considered the "fourth" math class here at Brown), why dont you take Ma54 (since you'll be required to take Lin Algebra) which is the honors version of Lin Algebra and will similarly be aimed at preparing you for higher level math.
  • GoingToSpaceBRBGoingToSpaceBRB Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    If you've taken MV, you skip 35.

    If you're not a math concentrator, 35 offers no real benefit, other than getting you acquainted with proofs earlier than others.

    That being said, if you're a math concentrator, 18 (intermediate calc) really accomplishes the same thing as 35 from a more practical standpoint. A lot of brilliant students end up taking 18 and linear algebra at the same time. Why? Because the proofs in 35 aren't really necessary for math concentrators. In fact, if you find you learn MV better in 18, then you're actually ahead of the people who stick around in 35 and don't really learn as much of the actual calculus.

    This might surprise you, but in 35, you don't get tested on the proofs that you painstakingly develop. Instead, you get tested on more straightforward problems, or problems that ask you to prove/disprove a statement. The class, however, has test questions that are not answered correctly over a span of a couple of years. The teachers use these questions to distinguish students for recommendations/future prospects.

    However, it's really up to you whether or not you actually believe delta-epsilon proofs will be useful to you later on.

    Just remember, most of the interesting mathematics is the stuff you take after you slug through MV, Linear, and DiffEQ (if you choose to even take this class).

    Finally, even if you don't do proofs early on in Math 35, it really won't matter, since you'll be introduced to proofs later on anyways.
This discussion has been closed.