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#### Fantini

MHB Math Helper
How different have you perceived the two? Personally undergrad hasn't been any bed of roses for me. If people start to comment I'll give more details why, it has to do with a great overlap with graduate duties.

Do you feel things were better when you were an undergrad? Do (did) you prefer you graduate student time? Let's share experiences of a certainly turmoiled period.

#### Ackbach

##### Indicium Physicus
Staff member

1. Determine which homework set was due next.
2. Complete that homework set.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the entire semester.

That worked in undergraduate, where I could generally figure things out in a straight-forward manner. It didn't work in graduate school. What would happen is that I would sit and stare at a homework set for hours, getting nowhere. The best advice I ever got in graduate school was to change my algorithm to the following:

1. Start with one class's homework. Give it a good go. If you're on a roll, keep going.
2. As soon as you get good and stuck, STOP.
3. Move to the next class's homework, and repeat Steps 1 and 2.

In graduate school homework, it wasn't the sheer amount of time you threw at a homework set that got it done for you, it was the number of fresh starts. In addition, this approach allows inter-class pollination. An idea in one class might help in another.

#### Fantini

MHB Math Helper
Thank you for your reply, Ackbach! I'm thoroughly familiar with this piece:

What would happen is that I would sit and stare at a homework set for hours, getting nowhere.
1. Start with one class's homework. Give it a good go. If you're on a roll, keep going.
2. As soon as you get good and stuck, STOP.
3. Move to the next class's homework, and repeat Steps 1 and 2.
But not the other. The explanation is simple: at my university, Mathematics majors are enrolled in almost all graduate subjects (all except 2, actually) during undergrad. In our fourth semester you are thrown into your first graduate course, and it keeps on a steady two subjects per semester after that (they recently altered slightly the order, leaving the sixth semester with three!), however you're not treated as an undergrad. In fact, some people don't even acknowledge the fact that part of the students aren't enrolled in PhDs yet.

The end result is we're treated like trash, facing odds tougher than our average level (quite tougher) without the due benefits. Honestly, memories of when I could do homework like your first algorithm are almost forgotten memories, tracing back to the three basic calculus courses.

Another small interesting piece of information, although not a complaint this time, is that mathematics major have no other contacts with different areas after you finish the basic three semesters. That means you get to do basic physics up to electromagnetism, and that's it.

I find it sad that we get to miss some of the more interesting (mathematically and physically) advanced subjects, such as Analytical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, General Relativity, Electromagnetism (done right) and several others.

#### CaptainBlack

##### Well-known member
I find it sad that we get to miss some of the more interesting (mathematically and physically) advanced subjects, such as Analytical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, General Relativity, Electromagnetism (done right) and several others.
All of those subjects should be offered as part of a maths course (though you should never encounter them first, if you can avoid it, from the maths department since they are taught devoid of their meaning)

CB