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#1 2007-07-27 21:11:01

justlookingforthemoment
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Registered: 2005-05-26
Posts: 2,161

Maths or Physics?

At the moment I'm trying to sort out subjects for the next couple of years ... there is one subject slot left to fill. I'm thinking I will fill that gap with either Specialist Maths or Physics. But I don't know which one to pick.

One teacher has recommended I take both, as they will help each other. But unfortunately I can't do this. I know it really is up to me but I was wondering if I could possibly have some guidance or thoughts.

Some of the other subjects I will also be studying next year are Maths Methods 3&4 and Chemistry 1&2. Not sure if any of you are familiar with the Australian education system, so hopefully this makes sense.

Oh, one other thing to say is that I'm not sure where I want to head in the future as of yet.

So if anybody has any recommendations or suggestions it would be much appreciated.

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#2 2007-07-27 21:12:07

Identity
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Registered: 2007-04-18
Posts: 934

Re: Maths or Physics?

Is this for high school graduation or for university?

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#3 2007-07-27 21:16:20

justlookingforthemoment
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Registered: 2005-05-26
Posts: 2,161

Re: Maths or Physics?

High school, for VCE.

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#4 2007-07-27 21:20:29

luca-deltodesco
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Registered: 2006-05-05
Posts: 1,470

Re: Maths or Physics?

why cant you take both?


The Beginning Of All Things To End.
The End Of All Things To Come.

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#5 2007-07-27 21:25:49

Identity
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Registered: 2007-04-18
Posts: 934

Re: Maths or Physics?

Well, this is just my opinion, but I would go for Specialist Maths. I'm also doing VCE starting next year and the guide book says you will be studying Vectors and Mechanics in Specialist Maths, which is also used in Motion Physics. Chemistry ought to cover the atomic physics, and whatever is left hopefully shouldn't be too hard to catch up on yourself.
I picked Methods A 1&2, General A 1&2 and Olympiad Physics for next year.

Some info from my guide book:

Units 1 and 2: General Mathematics
General Mathematics provides courses for diverse groups of students and may be implemented in a number of ways. The areas of study are: Statistics and Probability, Arithmetic, Functions and Graph, Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. General Mathematics (A) Units 1 and 2 topics: Algebra, Arithmetic, Functions, Graphs, Statistics, Probability, Geometry, Proof and Vectors. Students who intend to attempt Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4 are advised to choose this subject. General Mathematics (B) Units 1 and 2 topics: Algebra, Arithmetic, Functions, Graphs, Statistics, Probability and Geometry.

Units 3 and 4: Specialist Mathematics
Specialist Mathematics consists of the following areas of study: Coordinate Geometry, Circular (trigonometric) Functions, Algebra, Calculus, Vectors (in two and three-dimensions) and Mechanics.

The development of course content should highlight mathematical structure and proof. All of this material must be covered in a progression from Unit 3 to Unit 4 with an appropriate selection of content for each of Units 3 and 4.

The appropriate use of technology to support and develop the teaching and learning of mathematics is to be incorporated throughout each unit and course. This will include the use of some of the following technologies for various areas of study or topics: graphics calculators, spreadsheets, graphing packages, dynamic geometry systems, statistical analysis systems and computer algebra systems. In particular, students are encouraged to use graphics calculators, spreadsheets or statistical software for probability and statistics-related areas of study and graphics calculators, dynamic geometry systems, graphing packages or computer algebra systems, in the remaining areas of study systems, both in the learning of new material and the application of this material in a variety of contexts.

Physics:
Students develop skills of observation, research, analysis, interpretation and reporting by hands-on experiments, excursions and classroom discussion. Contextual knowledge and understanding are developed appropriately for a wide range of tertiary studies.
Unit 1: Wave-like properties of light, Nuclear and radioactivity Physics, and Energy from the nucleus.
Unit 2: Movement, Electricity, Alternative energy sources
Unit 3: Motion, Electronics and Photonics, Investigating materials and their use in structure
Unit 4: Electric Power Interaction of light and matter, and Sound.

Last edited by Identity (2007-07-27 21:38:29)

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#6 2007-07-27 21:30:55

justlookingforthemoment
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Registered: 2005-05-26
Posts: 2,161

Re: Maths or Physics?

I can't take both because I don't have enough subject places left. I can only choose six subjects (twelve units) for 2008 and five subjects for 2009. I've already chosen five for next year.

Identity, when you say General A, what do you mean? General Specialist? And what's Olympiad Physics ... is that a subject at your school?

Thanks.

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#7 2007-07-27 21:32:02

mathsyperson
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Registered: 2005-06-22
Posts: 4,900

Re: Maths or Physics?

Based on the fact that you don't know what you you want to do in the future and that you're already doing some maths stuff, I'd go with physics.

I don't know how Australian education works or what any of those subjects are about though, so other people may be better qualified to give advice.


Why did the vector cross the road?
It wanted to be normal.

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#8 2007-07-27 21:40:07

Identity
Member
Registered: 2007-04-18
Posts: 934

Re: Maths or Physics?

Your school system might be different from mine. You can't do specialist in year 11 (at least that's what I've heard). General Maths leads into Specialist Maths. The A just refers to top class. I don't know the difference between olympiad physics and physics, but I think it's just physics with more of an emphasis on problem solving.

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#9 2007-07-27 23:25:17

MathsIsFun
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Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,560

Re: Maths or Physics?

The good thing about the Physics is that you get to see maths in action, and by the sound of it you get lots of hands on fun.

But it would be a shame to miss out on some of the Specialist Maths subjects.

Tough call. Predicting your future would help.

You also have to think how well you might do, because you want good entrance scores, right?


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#10 2007-07-28 01:49:51

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: Maths or Physics?

From the description of the math course, it sounds like it's mostly math that is required for physics.  If you're going to learn physics, you're gonna have to study that stuff anyways at some point.  On the other hand, math does not require physics.  So if your intention is to study mathematics, taking the physics course is a "waste of time" (only with regards to learning just mathematics).

So if you're unsure of what to study, I would go with the mathematics.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#11 2007-07-28 03:27:16

John E. Franklin
Member
Registered: 2005-08-29
Posts: 3,588

Re: Maths or Physics?

I think take the math because I think you can read about physics and learn a lot, but learning math from the books is pretty hard, ask Mikau?


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#12 2007-07-29 23:27:12

justlookingforthemoment
Moderator
Registered: 2005-05-26
Posts: 2,161

Re: Maths or Physics?

Thanks for the advice. I found out today that I may be able to take the first semester of specialist maths, and if that's not my cup of tea then I can move to physics the next semester without having to do too much catch-up. I will most likely do that if I don't end up making up my mind ...

MathsIsFun wrote:

You also have to think how well you might do, because you want good entrance scores, right?

And that is also true.

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