May 2012

This was advice provided by a student who is just finishing his degree and was asked to make some general comments on taking on the Minor in Honours Mathematics.

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Here are some suggestions for those who want to do Engineering + Honours Math

1. Make sure you really like Mathematics! When I say this, I mean it. Most Engineering students know Math by computational Math courses such as Calculus. The real Math comes to play when you deal with proofs and theories. You should be passionate about Math in order to do the real Math.

2. One way to understand if you enjoy Math is to drop in to the class Real Analysis(Math 320). If you enjoy it, you probably like Math.

3. The list of courses required for Honours Math degree has been listed on UBC calendar website. Make sure to take eligible 300 or 400 Math courses in second, third and fourth year. It is highly recommended to take Math 320 no sooner than third year!

4. Study hard, have faith and practice, practice and practice! Doing proofs or understanding theories take time; so you should allocate enough time to study Math courses.

5. Unlike many Engineering courses, you need to understand Math courses very profoundly! Not many partial marks will be given if you just write down something on your homework or exam papers! Yes you heard me right! It is different with Engineering!

6. Try to balance your timetable with combination of Engineering and Math courses. Do not take many Math courses in one semester( On average, I took 2 Math courses each semester)

7. Last but not least, enjoy Math! I cannot remember any moment more enjoyable than the time that I prove theories, understand them and apply them! Also remember as Winston Churchill Ò Success is going from one failure to another with no lose of enthusiasmÓ. So stay positive!

Good Luck with your studies and welcome to the world of Mathematics, the `Queen of the Sciences'.