Math 55

<p>Does MIT have a comparable class? Yes, I know you can cross-register and take it at Harvard, but I was just curious.</p>

<p>I'm nowhere near qualified enough to take that class anyways lol</p>

<p>Most students who I would assume would take Math 55 at Harvard take 18.701, 18.702, and 18.100B throughout their first year at MIT (the courses are Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Analysis I respectively). According to Math</a> 55 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, I think this group of math classes has more algebra than what would be in Math 55, but definitely doesn't have any complex analysis.</p>

<p>But I think since there isn't one single tough class that everyone takes (I know a lot of people that just took 18.100B), there isn't anything as famous as Math 55. They're still pretty tough though, I know that this semester for 18.100C, which is just 18.100B but with an extra writing component, 55 people-preregistered, but it finished with just 16.</p>

<p>I know that MIT doesn't have a lot of red tape as far as prerequisites are concerned, but what kind of math background do students who take (18.701, 18.702, and 18.100) typically have?</p>

<p>When I was on campus, 18.100 was, per capita, the most dropped class on campus.</p>

<p>The way I've seen it, 18.701/18.702 teaches you Algebra from the ground up. The typical required background is some linear algebra (matrix manipulation techniques) and "mathematical maturity" (ability to think abstractly& proof writing)</p>

<p>I think you can take 18.100B once you know calculus, and how to write proofs. Now they officially require differential equations, but I don't see how knowing ODE's is gonna help.</p>

<p>Both of those classes are standard "intro's" for pure math majors, and are quite rigorous.</p>

<p>I'll second what faraday has said. Having done a proof-based course and a first course in linear algebra will be more than enough to attack an introduction to modern algebra and analysis. (It's definitely possible to bypass college calculus and go straight to a first course in real analysis.)</p>

<p>random perspective here, you probably will find tons of similarly hard classes at mit, but i would think that its easier to make "math 55" sound more intimidating than a bunch of numbers.</p>

<p>A bunch of numbers, like, for example, "fifty-five"?</p>

<p>If you need letters in front of a class name to be scared, just read 18 above as "math".</p>

<p>Incidentally, I've heard of a case where a freshman started out first semester in graduate-level math courses. So certainly there's no ceiling on the ability to challenge yourself as early as possible as a freshman in course 18.</p>

<p>I was also under the impression that a lot of the really super-qualified math types took 18.S34 (Mathematical Problem Solving) as a freshman seminar. Obviously it isn't graded, nor really failable, so maybe it doesn't matter for this discussion.</p>

<p>mollie - I signed up for that seminar in the lottery, because it sounded fun, except now you're making me nervous because I'm really not a super-qualified math type. :3 I like math, but I'm not a USAMO genius.</p>

<p>What I know about course 18 could fit on the head of a pin, so don't take my word for it. :)</p>

<p>well, if it's not graded I guess I'm not too afraid... :P</p>

<p>Math 55 is hard because of both the crowd it attracts and the fact it is MEANT TO BE HARD.</p>

<p>Obviously there are crazy topics covered in various classes, and various classes and assortments of classes cover the same info. The point is a ton of info is crammed into a single class with insane workload, in a fairly incomparable package, though someone once said U. Chicago has something like that.</p>

<p>Making a class on standard topics that hard means the professor has to be really interested in making it intense. I think the reason Math 55 is so hard is partially that whoever's teaching it makes a conscious choice to be brutal, instead of just teaching a terrific class at a high level and expecting a lot.</p>

<p>At least one grad student at my school, I definitely know had the 55 experience, and at least one terrific math professor I know who did undergrad at Harvard did not do 55. </p>

<p>I would tend to agree in general with:</p>

<p>
[quote]
random perspective here, you probably will find tons of similarly hard classes at mit, but i would think that its easier to make "math 55" sound more intimidating than a bunch of numbers.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>except that I'm not aware MIT has a comparable class in the sense that I don't know of a class that's hard and crazy out of some long lasting tradition of cramming insane amounts of material.</p>

<p>Yea, 18.S34 is basically MIT's Putnam class, though since it's MIT it's also pretty difficult. I think the emphasis is more on problem solving related to the Putnam though, and isn't really comparable to Math 55.</p>