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    Is there a lot of advanced maths in engineering? If so, are you just given formulae and just have to accept that they work, or do you learn why they work. I'm currently in lower sixth and originally wanted to do a maths degree, but now I'm thinking that engineering might be a better choice since it might lead to a more interesting job.
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    Well a Physics graduate said to me physics at university is just applied maths. So I'd think engineering would be the same.
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    I'm at bristol and generally our formulas are derived from pre-existing concepts so we know where they come from. But to be honest 90% of it goes over my head and its hard enough being able to remember them all let alone derive them.

    Engineering tends to be less rigorous than maths, afterall we are interested in models that can be used to solve problems. Inaccuracies are a something to be expected and to bear in mind. Whereas mathematicians usually want everyhting to be perfect.
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    Put it this way. I found all the maths to this point (nearly finished 3rd year civil) less of a challenge to grasp than A level. Some of the maths is tricky but you shouldn't be out of you depth.

    If you can do A level Maths to a decent level you will be fine.
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    (Original post by Jack M)
    Is there a lot of advanced maths in engineering? If so, are you just given formulae and just have to accept that they work, or do you learn why they work. I'm currently in lower sixth and originally wanted to do a maths degree, but now I'm thinking that engineering might be a better choice since it might lead to a more interesting job.
    I agree that if you can hack A level maths, you'll be more than fine with engineering mathematics. Sometimes (esp on more theoretical courses) you need to understand where key equations come from. This isn't as difficult as it sounds, the general idea being given any engineering problem, you can take it back to first principles and generate the required equations using your knowledge of key ideas. Its a cool concept and has prooved to be very useful in my group project (final year) - but please don't be scared of the maths in engineering, if I can do it you definitely can.
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    There's a joke that engineers are failed mathematicians.
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    I was considering Engineering, but then when I found this out a few months ago, it completely put me off!! I want something with some bite to it! That's why I'm now considering Maths itself or Theoretical Physics as degree options!
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    Hey, I did engineering for a year and swapped over to Physics pretty much because of the maths thing. To put it into perspective, in physics we covered pretty much all the maths I did in the whole year in engineering in a term and a bit. The rest of the time was spent doing vector calculus which was year 2 material for the engineering course.

    If you're looking for lots of maths content but don't want to do a maths degree, then do physics. You'll utilise all the same things that the maths people learn but without the need to know HOW the maths works. Also, I found that if you want to do engineering then you need to have a proper passion for it, otherwise its something that can really get you bored.

    At the end of it though, you'll find securing a job as an engineer much easier than a physicist because of the fact that so many of the big companies will pretty much only take engineers onto their grad programes. A significant chunk of mathmos/physicists end up working in the City or doing a PhD.
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    (Original post by Ises)
    There's a joke that engineers are failed mathematicians.
    And it still is just a joke and not fact, but in general you do find lots of engineers with a lesser grasp of maths, but surely that comes with the territory - being more interested in making stuff happen than why it happens results in this. Getting the balance right between fundamental theory and application is difficult. :p:
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    I dunno, the maths content of my first year has been far more challenging than a-level. We have done the whole further maths syllabus + gone further into differential equations. And we have 3 hours of it a week.

    It might be the format of it, but i have not learnt much of it at all. I have found learning maths from lectures and a text book far harder than learning in a classroom. The rest of my lectures the maths has been fine but i still need someone to help me with the maths tbh, i find it nigh on impossible to teach it to myself.
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    Mathematical Methods for Engineering and Physics by Riley, Bence and Hobson is amazing. There's a reason why its called "The Bible" in Cambridge science circles. If you can't teach yourself from that, you're doing the wrong subject. :p:
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    :eek: K A Stroud's Engineering Mathematics is our Bible, and it works. It works from the very basics upwards to an undergraduate level - invaluable!

    Zakatu don't you have tutorials for maths? I learnt more doing repetitive and tedious examples in tutorials than in any lecture...
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    (Original post by black_mamba)
    :eek: K A Stroud's Engineering Mathematics is our Bible, and it works. It works from the very basics upwards to an undergraduate level - invaluable!

    Zakatu don't you have tutorials for maths? I learnt more doing repetitive and tedious examples in tutorials than in any lecture...
    Here here. 1st page presents you with a number line!

    It's (And stroud's advanced engineering maths) a great book, the examples are just what you need.
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    Kreyzig is good
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    Being an electrical engineering student and having a flatmate who studies maths I can say that there are significant differences. Those studying maths, from what I can ascertain, go into far more depth and are taught at a more fundamental level.

    Essentially, you're taught what you NEED to know!

    Anyone entering engineering does so for the career opportunities mainly. I studied physics alongside electrical engineering for 1 1/2 years but for me a solid career is more important.
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    (Original post by black_mamba)
    Zakatu don't you have tutorials for maths? I learnt more doing repetitive and tedious examples in tutorials than in any lecture...
    Nope, just lectures.... thats why i have found it very difficult to .. deal with.

    The other parts of the course (say structures, fluid dynamics etc) all have tutorials or "example classes" (i guess the same thing). But for our engineering maths unit we are expected to teach it to ourselves and we have a really **** textbook too.

    Argh!
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    This doesn't really directly answer your question but I noticed during my open days for civil engineering that the level of maths really varies with the university. An example of this would be UCL who no longer require maths A level as a requirement, and hence their course structure seemed to have less maths involved. Imperials course structure on the other hand seemed to be heavily based on mathematics.
 
 
 
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