Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fall 2010 Schedule

This morning, I met with the graduate advisor and we hammered out my schedule for the fall. I'll be taking four courses rather than the usual three since I have a fellowship and don't have to work as a TA this year. The final schedule is as follows:

5000 Instructional Issues for the Professional Mathematician
M/W 3:30-4:50PM
This is the class for new TA/TF's. I guess I get to take it this year even though I won't really be a TA/TF until next year. This one also meets twice before the semester starts (so, next week).

5010 Mathematical Logic and Set Theory
M/W/F 10:00-10:50AM
This isn't a normal course in the sequence, I don't think, but more of a one-off. The advisor recommended it as being probably very interesting and possibly a good prep for topology later on.

5310 Functions of a Real Variable
Tu/Th 2:00-3:20PM
This is the first course of the core sequence for real analysis. After this course and its successor, I could be ready to take the qualifying exam in real analysis.

5810 Probability & Statistics
M/W 2:00-3:20PM
Prob/stats is not a required core sequence at UNT, but they do have a qualifying exam in it (new this year; nobody has taken it yet, ever), and this is the first course of the sequence for that one.

Dr. B originally had me starting the Algebra sequence instead of Prob/Stats, but I told him I might want to do research in probability ultimately, so we swapped it out so this would happen earlier in my graduate career.

My first job at this stage in the game is to pass two qualifying exams, so it's important to get to the four required core sequences (real analysis, complex analysis, algebra, and topology) as soon as I can. If we count prob/stats (which we can since it has a qual associated with, even though it's not one of the required four sequences), I'll be taking care of two of those this year. Dr. B would like me to take my first qualifying exam next August and the second one in January of '12. I technically have four years to pass two of these exams, but doing it earlier is better.

I also got my campus ID and access to the computer labs (password, etc.) so I'm doing pretty well.

The plan for next semester is that I will take the continuation of the prob/stats, analysis, and logic courses, plus either the introductory topology course (the prelude to the core sequence in topology) or a reading course in something or other (to help me prepare for one of the exams).


Sally said...

Cool. I'm especially looking forward to hearing how you like the prob-stat class, since it's your first taste of math-based prob-stat (and since it's the class I am most likely to be able to follow whatever the hell you are doing in it).

siro said...

Funny, I have undergrad courses all with the same names.
How are they different?

Debbie said...

I also took four graduate courses rather than the regular three my first semester in grad school because I had a fellowship. And an additional undergraduate course. I ended up with two incompletes, then was at risk of losing my fellowship because C's in grad school are really D's. Oops.

So anyway, I don't recommend taking an additional undergrad course in Astronomy in Science Fiction at the same time as your other four courses even though it's kind of fun.

Tam said...

Siro, that's a good question. I'll answer according to my understanding, which might be wrong since I'm only starting grad school now.

An undergraduate logic/set theory course is probably a kind of "gateway to higher math" course where you learn techniques of proofs. The one I'll be taking almost certainly assumes that we know how to do proofs and we understand standard mathematical logic and basic set theory. Instead it will delve into things like Goedel's incompleteness theorem and alternative logic systems.

When I took an upper division undergrad prob/stats course, it was taken not only by math majors but also by other science/engineering majors and students in other fields. It was not very theoretical in nature at all. I assume (I certainly hope) that the one I'll be taking will be theoretical and involve proofs rather than being primarily about the application of statistical techniques.

As far as "Functions of a Real Variable" goes, it is basically the next course in the analysis or "advanced calculus" series. Usually Intro to Analysis (often called Advanced Calculus) is a very upper-division undergrad course or a first-year graduate course that may also be taken by undergrads. So this course is just the next year of that sequence.

Sally said...

To siro's point, it is interesting/misleading how math courses are titled. It's like, "Pshaw, you're takin' algebra - I took that in 9th grade!"

And depending on the program, a C in a grad course can be an F, so yeah, I think we want to avoid those. The astronomy/SF course sounds like something that would be fun to take as a non-credit course (at a time when one isn't enrolled in a PhD program).

Kostis said...

We also have an undergrad course covering some stuff from 5010 called Discrete Mathematics. We did all kinds of stuff mostly logic, some set theory, some recursion but as a subject it definitelly gets deeper and can't be covered in a single cemester.

Don't get your hopes up though on probability and statistics, the theoretical part is not so much, it's covered usually with examples/applications and you will very likely get assignments on computer using some statistics software package

Sally said...

Curious - how different is a PhD in math with a concentration in prob-stat different from a PhD in stats?

Tam said...

I really don't know. I don't think my school has a stats program that is separate.