Quote:

Originally Posted by

**kingpir**
Why?

Let's put this into perspective. Your first year GPA was a 1.94, this was after stretching it out over 3 semester so that you could have 3 class semesters.

I'm not a math brained person, but failing linear algebra 1 when you're only taking 3 courses either means you have no work ethic (which you adamantly deny) or you have no aptitude for math.

During my first semester of engineering they made you take 6 courses, all of which were science courses. These courses were Calculus, Intro Phys, Intro Chem, Statics, Intro to Computer Programming and Linear Algebra. If you wanted to cut that course load in half and just take 3 of them in the summer they'd automatically subtract the weight of those courses from your GPA. In other words, you had to take 6 courses a semester.

During that time I realized one thing; you could scrape out a B as long as you worked. If I ever got below a B it was because I didn't put in the time.

Now, obviously your program isn't at all comparable to engineering. If they made engineering degrees as easy as math degrees we wouldn't have any math majors. But the point is that there really isn't any excuse to rock a 1.9 taking 3 course semesters. If you had chosen engineering you would have failed out first semester.

First of all, my comment about work ethic was a rejection of the idea that arts students have bad work ethic, and the implicit suggestion that you don't need work ethic for an arts degree. Hence my anecdote about a philosophy course that required a greater work ethic than any of my science courses. In fact, it does not even follow from my comment that I have good work ethic, so at no point did I adamantly defy having poor work ethic.

As it turns out, I get bored very easily. And when I get bored, I tend to stop working. The main reason I did exceptionally well in analysis and topology is that I never got bored. The material was interesting, I enjoyed doing the problems, so putting in 20 hours a week or more for just the analysis course was not an issue. By contrast, putting in even 2 hours a week for a boring course like lin algebra 2 was a chore. So I think that's an overall poor work ethic by any reasonable standard.

Though you're also displaying poor perspective by suggesting that failing an easy course demonstrates either a lack of aptitude in the material for that course or a bad work ethic. For one thing, one can suffer temporary functional impairment (e.g. via mental illness). For another, not everything is like engineering where it's mostly about just putting in long hours doing computations in preparations for tests. One can be both competent and have a good work ethic but fail to grasp one small but important concept that prevents the person from understanding a lot of material. Lots of students face this particularly in calculus. In that case one needs the foresight and motivation to seek extra help (e.g. via office hours). Failure to do so is neither bad work ethic nor a lack of aptitude for the subject. And some people do extremely well in the first two years of math courses but get destroyed in upper division math courses (you know, the ones you don't need to take for engineering). A lot of them give up on math and transfer to something sciency, including... (drumroll) engineering!

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During that time I realized one thing; you could scrape out a B as long as you worked. If I ever got below a B it was because I didn't put in the time.

And you assume this experience applies to everyone? In that 4th year combinatorics course I got a 63. I did all the problem sets (acing them), I actively participated in in-class discussion, understood the material extremely well, but still bombed the final. I also know of plenty of people who worked their asses off and still failed some of the courses I was in. Your narrow experiences are not universal.

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Now, obviously your program isn't at all comparable to engineering. If they made engineering degrees as easy as math degrees we wouldn't have any math majors. But the point is that there really isn't any excuse to rock a 1.9 taking 3 course semesters. If you had chosen engineering you would have failed out first semester.

I'm sorry, but this is just a joke. Here's a question that was on one of our problem sets for MAT357. Prove the following theorem:

http://drexel28.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/extending-uniformly-continuous-functions/
That's just one question on one problem set, and by no means a particularly difficult one. Or here's a fun one: construct a monotonically increasing function on [0, 1] whose discontinuity set is exactly the set of rationals in that interval. The construction actually uses nothing you wouldn't have seen in engineering. It's just a challenging problem, one that I can't see very many engineers being able to solve.

This stuff is conceptually difficult. We don't spend hours upon hours doing the same exercise in a thousand different cases to master an algorithm or solution technique, we just study abstract mathematical structures to learn about structure itself. The difficulty of engineering comes primarily from an onerous workload. The difficulty of pure math comes from the sheer difficulty of developing an understanding of abstract structure.