# What do you learn in university Maths? watch

1. Hey guys,

I'm considering applying for Maths at university because i really enjoy Maths and Further Maths.The thing i like about it is because of the algebra,differentiation and integration.However,i really don't like really abstract and areas in which you need to prove things.Is University maths anything like Maths and Further Maths? What is university maths like?
2. 1 / 0 = room blows up
3. Some of my friends said the first few lectures at uni were all about proving 0+1=1. It's not much like A-level Maths apparently, it is quite abstract (and I know several people who now regret doing it - although I know plenty who love it). If you like using A-level Maths stuff but in a more applied way, consider Physics (my subject) or Engineering, both of which are pretty good.
4. Things you never use in real life

Firstly, you don't prove 0+1=1, that just stupid.

Also, sort of pointless as an axiom you take is this, 0+a=a for all real number a.

So there is nothing really to prove, well you could say let a=1.
6. How to divide by zero?
7. (Original post by Aphalleon)
Hey guys,

I'm considering applying for Maths at university because i really enjoy Maths and Further Maths.The thing i like about it is because of the algebra,differentiation and integration.However,i really don't like really abstract and areas in which you need to prove things.Is University maths anything like Maths and Further Maths? What is university maths like?
You've just named arguably the three most abstracts topics in the maths A-levels...
8. (Original post by Farhan.Hanif93)
You've just named arguably the three most abstracts topics in the maths A-levels...
Low you can tell you are pre uni.

You don't do algebra pre uni, you do something called elementary algebra. Differentiation isn't abstract at that level nor is integration.

The most abstract you can get in A level maths would be discrete maths D2 or FP4.
9. (Original post by Simplicity)

Firstly, you don't prove 0+1=1, that just stupid.

Also, sort of pointless as an axiom you take is this, 0+a=a for all real number a.

So there is nothing really to prove, well you could say let a=1.
Some of my friends said that they did right at the start, and I vaguely remember one of them showing me a page of lecture notes about it. Possibly it was more about introducing the idea of axioms/proofs etc., I can't really remember.
10. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Mathematics/Courses/index.html

You can see there what undergraduates at UCL do. I've dropped all analysis & algebra courses this year (year 3) because I dislike it, however it is the first time I've been able to do this.

If you have the time, and interest, you can find a more detailed explanation here

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Mathematics/und...ngmaterial.htm
11. (Original post by Simplicity)
Low you can tell you are pre uni.

You don't do algebra pre uni, you do something called elementary algebra. Differentiation isn't abstract at that level nor is integration.

The most abstract you can get in A level maths would be discrete maths D2 or FP4.
Well yes, especially considering it's a year before uni for me. What do you expect!
I never said that the A-Level was abstract anyway, I just said that relative to the other stuff you learn at A-Level, those are the most abstract. Discrete maths isn't abstract at A-Level, don't worry about that...
12. (Original post by Libertine)
Some of my friends said that they did right at the start, and I vaguely remember one of them showing me a page of lecture notes about it. Possibly it was more about introducing the idea of axioms/proofs etc., I can't really remember.
What uni does your friend go to?

But, from this side it just appears like you made that up.
13. (Original post by Farhan.Hanif93)
Well yes, especially considering it's a year before uni for me. What do you expect!
I never said that the A-Level was abstract anyway, I just said that relative to the other stuff you learn at A-Level, those are the most abstract. Discrete maths isn't abstract at A-Level, don't worry about that...
Please can we get someone in this thread that is actually at uni besides me.

But, the point I was trying to make is you can't judge what is abstract. Note, C4 is to me applied maths, well if you do first year uni applied maths is like C4.

Discrete maths is abstract at A-level.
14. MIT youtube channel has a tonne of maths lectures. I know its USA, but still. its maths. should give you an idea.
15. (Original post by Simplicity)
What uni does your friend go to?

But, from this side it just appears like you made that up.
Oxford. This conversation was 2 or 3 years ago, I only remembered it cos I thought the idea was entertaining. Possibly I misunderstood it at the time or something *shrug* (i can't think of any plausible reason why i'd want to make something like this up). Several of them were definitely finding uni maths a bit abstract though, and wishing they'd chosen physics/engineering.
16. (Original post by Simplicity)
Please can we get someone in this thread that is actually at uni besides me.

But, the point I was trying to make is you can't judge what is abstract. Note, C4 is to me applied maths, well if you do first year uni applied maths is like C4.

Discrete maths is abstract at A-level.
I was comparing the abstractness of A-Level topics ONLY. Besides, I never said C4 was abstract anyhow. Not sure why you think it's worthwhile to mention that it's 'applied maths for you' other than to boost your ego...
17. Ok to put it simply: about half of your first year should be taken up by 'proofy' stuff. Second year I don't know, I would say it probably depends upon university after the first year. Half your modules should be similar to stuff you do at A level, just at a higher level.
18. (Original post by Simplicity)
Please can we get someone in this thread that is actually at uni besides me.

But, the point I was trying to make is you can't judge what is abstract. Note, C4 is to me applied maths, well if you do first year uni applied maths is like C4.

Discrete maths is abstract at A-level.
You rang?

What you learn in university maths depends entirely on what route you want to take. That said, generally the first year is quite restrictive in what you can choose, you're essentially given modules across the board in statistical mathematics (i.e. using numerical and computational methods for approximations), algebra, logic (our lecturers always made this seem a lot weirder than it actually is) and the one we all fear; calculus. Oh and lots of proofs across the algebra and calculus modules. Lots and lots of proofs.

In my opinion, things don't get at all abstract until the second year, that's when you start getting modules where words disappear all together when the lecturer writes on the board and everything becomes purely symbols. You still have the standard portions of maths as in the first year but they just become a little more complex. Although I found statstical maths to remain quite similar (except measure and probability which was beyond me, there seemed to be no logical link between each step, I just about got by though!).

You'll find by the second year that the calculus side of things becomes easier to cope with, at least it did for me. In turn, algebra becomes much simpler to deal with too. I've always found that if you get calculus, you'll deal with algebra no problem.

Basically expect the following:

• Proofs, proofs, proofs
• Messing with matrices a lot
• Differentiation and integration should come to you as naturally as addition
• Memorising ridiculously long methods of approximation that require laboriously entering things into your calculator to find a single number (for statistical modules).
• Get to grips early on with the epsilon-delta definition. It's a concept that cropped up regularly in modules and is quite hard to grasp first-time if you haven't looked at it before.

Hope that helps OP
19. Mainly you learn about really big numbers.
Like, way bigger than the ones you know about now.

The rest is pretty straightforward.
20. It entirely depends on the modules you take and so also the uni you go to because obviously that will affect the modules available. In first year though you tend to do a pretty wide range of stuff covering some abstract stuff and some applied stuff - there is usually also the option of doing some stats but you can generally avoid that if you want.

From my experience physics at uni was more theoretical than school physics and while I thought I enjoyed physics at school what I actually enjoyed doing was applied maths. I would recommend looking at a uni where you can do a bit of a breadth in first year so that you can get a reasonable idea for which areas interest you because you're unlikely to know exactly what bits of maths you'll want to do before even getting to uni.

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