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How should I plany my future Math courses?

AryanJ20190AryanJ20190 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
I am a Sophomore at a high school in MN. I love math and want to take the highest courses possible. I am in Calc BC right now. Since, I relocated from NJ last year, UMTYMP gave me the opportunity to join Calc 2 from next year, given I get a 5 on the BC test (which is fairly easy. Tried so many practice tests). I have two options now.

Option 1:
Junior - UMTYMP Calc 2 and AP Stats at high school (requirement)
Senior - UMPTYMP Calc 3 (multivariable) and PSEO (don't know if both UMTYMP and PSEO possible)

Option 2:
Junior - Multivariable PSEO
Skip Stats, give the AP test based on self-study
Senior - Linear Algebra PSEO

So far theses are the only options available to me. If any of you people out there have any experience with UMTYMP or PSEO, what would you recommend. Is there something else I can do instead of the 2 options? An advice is appreciated.

Replies to: How should I plany my future Math courses?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,552 Senior Member
    Are both ways of taking college courses while in high school?

    In either case, you may want to try the old final exams for the college's calculus 2 courses to see if you are ready for calculus 3 / multivariable calculus. Many students who scored 5 on AP calculus BC are ready for calculus 3 / multivariable calculus, but it is best to check your knowledge by trying the old final exams for the college's calculus 2 course.
  • AryanJ20190AryanJ20190 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Yes, both UMTYMP and PSEO are college courses. My aim is to take most advanced course available to me. I will take Multivariable but have not decided whether to take it next year from the PSEO program or in my senior year from the UMTYMP program.
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 1,130 Senior Member
    So much of this depends on what else you would do - you describe Option 1 as 4 courses, while option 2 includes 3 courses and a self-study for AP stats. Is there a difference in who would be teaching you?

    As a former math major myself, who raised math lovers who have far exceeded anything I did, when giving advice on math selection, I try to turn the question around - what do you expect to accomplish with either approach? S always appreciated the math theory more than D, who is kind of bored with the more abstract stuff but finds the mechanical/computational stuff fascinating.

    In reading your posts, you state your goal of taking the most advance course available to you - but you don't say why you want to do this. As a HS soph now, it sounds like you are capable of handling the advanced work - and good for you, that is a feather in your cap. But if you never learn to think about the why - and their is nothing wrong with learning for learning's sake - I daresay you might not get as much out of the experience.

    You haven't live long enough to forget any of the school work you have learned so far. But trust a middle aged woman, you will forget a lot of this over time. What you will remember is whether or not you had average, good, or great teachers, and how they make you feel about yourself.

    I appreciate you wanting to challenge yourself , and understand you are great at and you love math. Math people are good at figuring out how to solve math problems - but this is not a logic problem, there is no single right answer to what is better. This is an evaluation problem, and you have to come up with the method to determine what is best for your situation, considering the variables you know and understand better than anyone here. You are asking what is more challenging, and when it gets to this level, the honest answer is option 1, 2, neither, or both.

    If you are posting here at CC because you want to know how college adcoms will look at you in a couple of years, the answer is truly that whatever you decide will be viewed as amazing for a HS kid. Think about what miniscule fraction of a percentage of applicants are able to have either of these options. Wait, since you haven't had AP stats yet - you may not know the answer. It is a very very small number. But despite how impressive it may be, it won't be enough on its own to assure you automatic acceptance wherever you want to apply.

    Best of luck to you

  • warbrainwarbrain Registered User Posts: 665 Member
    This is something you should check with someone at your high school or someone at the University of Minnesota. According to their website, UMTYMP would prepare you to take 4000 and 5000 level classes after you are done with the program, so that seems more advanced than your option 2. Additionally, it seems like the Calc II and Calc III classes that are part of UMTYMP cover much much more than just caclulus, so it seems good to keep that in mind.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,473 Senior Member
    Definitely a HS guidance counselor session is in order. Plus, U of M is a top tier U for math so you can look at what their math majors take. Remember that you are a whole person. Use your HS time to continue with one math course but use the other class time to widen your range of knowledge. Take not only the STEM subjects but broaden your skills with lit classes and other nonscience classes as well. Be well rounded.

    So true about losing skills with disuse. I have forgotten more math and chemistry than most people will ever learn (became a physician). My globally gifted son was a college honors math major (after also taking enough physics to know he preferred math) who, of course, took some grad level courses as an undergrad. He wasn't in the top percent for math (brutally competitive at the grad level) and did a complete change of direction. He finished off the computer science major as well and does that. He may be better off career wise than if he did the math PhD...

    What one is passionate about as a teen may change with age and exposure to other fields. You are at an age where being broadly educated instead of specializing too soon may be in order. Of course, you sound exceptionally gifted in math and this is one reason it is your passion. You do need to forge ahead but you also need to not neglect the other facets of who you are. Take some time to look at the faculty info posted by many math departments and you will find the renounced professors have a wide variety of other interests.

    Sorry, had to get on my soapbox. You do not want to become burned out at an early age and have no other options.

    What is UMPYMT? I suspect it is the MN version of taking college classes while in HS.

    Son found AP stats easy- only got B's because he had zeroes on homework and 100% on tests (5 on AP exam). It is a subject that lends itself to self study. Check with your GC and parents as it may be better to take a fun HS class with the time, regardless of the grade you may get. Do not neglect other subjects.

  • snowfairy137snowfairy137 Registered User Posts: 1,857 Senior Member
    Calc BC should cover all of Calc 2, so if you did good on the AP test, and they let you, you should consider going straight to multivariable. After calc 3 (mv), usually comes ordinary differential equations. Linear algebra is another one that can be helpful depending on your major.
    In terms of AP Stats, ive heard college level calulus based statistics is much more useful, so you should take that instead if you want the challenge and its avalable to you.
    Another helpful thing is if you have a particular major in mind, to research what math classes you need for that specific major.

    I dont know anything about either of the programs you mentioned, but like you, I took calc bc as a sophomore. Here is what I took/am taking junior and senior years:
    11th grade semester 1: dual enrollment multivariable calc
    Semester 2: DE ordinary differential equations

    12th grade: semester 1: DE linear algebra
  • AryanJ20190AryanJ20190 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thank you for all the advice. I will keep in mind to not neglect other subjects. I am focusing on other subjects as well, but my interest in math is what drives me to take the highest course available. Furthermore, I also learned that if you are enrolled in UMTYMP, the school has to give you AP Stats credit, but I will still take it because I want to major in Computer Science and study Artificial Intelligence. My main focus in AI will be Advanced math, and quantum computing research (a technology still in development). Hopefully, this clarifies a few things about my focus on Math. Also, I am not taking high math courses to impress adcoms. It was not even a priority.
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