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Background Knowledge Expected
Not too easy. Not too difficult.
This class teaches aspects that are very important to problem solving abilities utilizing calculus in three dimensions. The aspects learned carry over to further engineering and mathematics classes. A person taking this class will not be able to ask questions like "Why does this math even matter?" because there are so many ways to apply the math in the real world, outside of class. We are just fortunate to have computers do most of the work, but this class helps students understand the importance of the mathematics they are learning.
As students progress through the class, they learn about why certain three dimensional structures are stronger than others for different tasks, such as how a hyperboloid of one sheet (steam exhaust stacks for nuclear power plants are commonly constructed this way) is useful in withstanding forces from high winds, but is not as useful in supporting much overhead weight. Students are also introduced to important vector concepts involving principles in electromagnetics that are useful to electrical engineers. Many of the three dimensional vector operations done are utilized in computer systems by NASA to track directional forces on their rockets and other spacecraft. This is the calculus class that gives students insight into why math is so important, as opposed to the many prior courses that give students very few real world examples of use.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
Be sure to study quite a bit, as there is quite a bit of material to learn. If you succeeded in Calculus II, you are more than able to succeed in Calculus III! It just takes a lot of work, but the concepts just jump into the realm of three dimensions instead of two, which include the use of double and triple integrals to solve problems. As long as students work hard and ask plenty of questions, and above all take the class seriously, any with drive can complete this course with a high grade!