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Math 10 or 20 Series as a Cognitive Science Major?

warlands719warlands719 484 replies15 threads Member
Basically what it says. How much harder is 20a compared to 20b? The 10 series is recommended for Cognitive Science but I saw that if you want a B.S instead of a B.A you can specialize in a specific field (Which sounds like something I want to do) I need to take the 20 series. In addition, I didn't do that well in high school calc and did pretty poorly on my ap exam. I'm planning on taking 4 classes for fall, so will I have to devote a lot of time for math?

edited August 2013
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Replies to: Math 10 or 20 Series as a Cognitive Science Major?

  • baktraxbaktrax 2561 replies2 threads Senior Member
    I don't have experience with 20a personally (I got AP credit for 20A and 20B), but I just wanted to let you know that there's a lot of help available for the calc sequences since many students have to take calculus (the math department has some info on it here: Calculus Tutoring ). I definitely recommend that you look into if you find that you're struggling, either this quarter or in future quarters.

    There's a calc help room (in the basement of AP&M, I think) where they have TAs and grad students to help with homework or problem sets. And there's OASIS, which offers workshops specific to certain courses. And this is in addition to discussion sections and office hours. How much time you need to devote to it depends on how prepared you are in math and how quickly you're able to catch onto math, but I wouldn't be too worried about it as long as you put the work in. There are many, many students in the same boat as you, and there's tons of help available if you need it. Even if you didn't do that well in calculus before, just having some familiarity with the material may make it easier for you the second time around as well.
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  • ohyeahljohyeahlj 23 replies6 threads New Member
    I took AP Calc in high school, did "well" in the class (got good grades), very bad on the AP exams, and the entire time I never felt I understood a thing.
    Took 20a and 20b, did horrible. But, I didn't go to class, minimal studying, etc..
    BUT, lol, I don't think they were difficult, but obviously you do have to put forth effort. I'd say they are equivalent to the work that AP Calc in high school requires (assuming you didn't have a super-laid back class). If I were to use something that may be easier to compare...I'd say the textbook for my AP Calc class and for 20a/20b didn't differ in difficulty at all (well, they are the same subject essentially). I didn't find the exams for 20a/20b any more difficult, although the grading in my AP Calc class was leagues more lenient despite the curves on finals/midterms/final grades in the 20a/20b classes I took.

    Also, be aware that you can also take CSE20 and CSE21 to satisfy two of the four math classes you're required to take (at least for the Cogsci BS)...I'm pretty sure that still works (i.e. take 20a, 20b, cse20, cse 21...or something of that sort).
    I found those classes leagues easier than when I started 20c (which I took until the drop deadline). Additionally, if you decide on a double major or a minor with computer science, it satisfies 2 lower division courses that CSE requires. ALSO, lol, if you decide on a Cogsci HCI specialization, some courses you can take as electives include some CSE courses which will require prerequisites CSE20 and CSE21 (including some other CSE lower divisions probably).

    I recommend a Cogsci BS. But, I never sat in or perused what the 10 series requires. But, given my experience with the 20 series, I wouldn't say they are difficult but, that they do require effort and time which may require discipline (everyone experiences change/college differently, I took the change quite difficultly which is why I'm saying it this way...just to explain what I've said thus far so as not to make it seem intimidating--it really shouldn't be, I'm just a terrible, terrible student). Despite my terrible and depressing experience with the 20 series, I would take it again if I could have a re-do (and will, most definitely, put forth effort). The HCI specialization is really enjoyable, granted your could still take some of the HCI-recommended courses if you were to take a different specialization.
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  • warlands719warlands719 484 replies15 threads Member
    @ohyeahlj @baktrax

    Thanks guys, I guess I should just suck it up and take the 20 series. I am just worried because tons of smart engineering kids are taking the 20 series which intimidates me a lot. I'll definitely give it a shot.
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