Calc 3 problems

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Renegado, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. Renegado

    Renegado Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    17
    Can anyone give advice about having a D in Calc 3?
    DS skipped Calc1, took Calc 2 first semester and did ok. Calc 3 has been a constant struggle. Any thoughts as to what happens if he can't pull it up? Does he retake the class?
    Thank you!
     
  2. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    169
    This is a discussion he really should be having with his academic advisor. He should have an option to retake the class or he could switch to a major which does not require calc 3.
     
  3. Dad

    Dad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    57
    AFrpaso is +1 on your DS having this conversation with his adviser. Calc III is a rough class at most universities anyway. EI (Extra Instruction) is always an option. However, late April is a bit late to make large gains in any class. If there is a failure, your DS will have to retake the class. If he earns a 'D', he may want to consider retaking it during the summer session. Again, that is a conversation he needs to have with his adviser. I hope it all works out for him.
     
  4. gbobster

    gbobster Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    8
    DS shadowed a Cadet last Monday. Her only advice in 3 hours was to avoid at all cost, Calc3
     
  5. spolac28

    spolac28 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    Which math course is calc 3? Is it math 243
     
  6. Dad

    Dad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    57
    Yup.
     
  7. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    129
    Calc 3 is tough, but it's hardly unmanageable. Go into it knowing that it will take hard work, be willing to seek EI early on before you get into trouble, and study study study. I struggled in Calc 3, but I got help and worked with classmates.
     
  8. Dad

    Dad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    57
    From the 2013-14 USAFA Catalog:
    Even USAFA recognizes that Calc III is "not like the others". The bold is mine.

    EDIT: Hornetguy is spot on about EI and working w/ classmates...and Hornetguy has an advanced degree (PhD from RAND, I think). RAND - look it up. Impressive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  9. eagle36

    eagle36 USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just to echo, it is possible to re-take a class if failed. However know that then adds an extra course that must be taken somewhere during the remaining years at USAFA or possibly have a course taken over the summer (often in lieu of leave). As hornet said, get EI and work with classmates, or look into a non-techy major that doesn't require calc three
     
  10. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    26
    For lurkers --

    Calc 3 is tough, and it definitely gets a bad rep here at USAFA. A few words of advice --

    1) For the few of you who will qualify for Calc 3 first semester, DO IT. There were only about 3 sections of Calc 3 freshmen. You are put in your own class & because it's been shown that you're pretty good at math, they're trying to get you to be math majors! So some of the best teachers teach freshman fall Calc 3. (Also, you get to skip the hot mess that is Calc 2.)(And the curve is based off everyone in Calc 3, so you get to compare to the sophomores--GOOD. DEAL.)
    2) Regardless of how good you are at math, be prepared to work your tail off for a good grade. You should absolutely plan to do all the homework, get really good at Mathematica, and get a lot of extra instruction. You are allowed to go to a different teacher for math help, too, if you just don't "click" with your instructor. If group study works for you, then great, do it.
    3) Find some recent GRs (tests). Work through them. The more recent, the better; the problems change, but they ask the same kinds of things.
    4) Sit near the front of the class, smile, and STAY AWAKE. The more your instructor can see your face (and tell when you are not understanding), the better you will do. Seriously. I make faces at my teachers all the time.
    5) Always try to start the homework within 24 hours of the class. Doing it the night before it's due, or after a weekend? NOT fun. Doing it after Thanksgiving or Spring break? SUPER not fun. Try to avoid having to reteach yourself!
    6) Take good notes. I referred to my notes FAR more than the textbook.
    7) On that note, the textbook can be pretty helpful, so do the reading before class and refer to it after class.

    Bottom line: if you can get in to USAFA, you can get a decent grade in Calc III. I have lots of friends who are doing FAR better than they expected at Calc 3 because they are getting help, doing their homework, and not procrastinating. Whatever you do, don't let Calc III deter you in major's selection--if you really want to do aero, for instance, don't choose systems instead because you don't have to take Calc III.
     
  11. E.Cadet.18

    E.Cadet.18 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    38
    Incredible insight, advice & encouragement.
     
  12. CadCandMateus

    CadCandMateus Recent Grad

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    13
    I failed calc3 the first time. Took it again, got an A. Life goes on
     
  13. Cazboy

    Cazboy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    To get into calc 3 do you have to take calc BC in high school?


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  14. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    129
    You will take math placement exams during BCT. The Calc 2 placement exam (when I was there) was optional.

    Do sufficiently well on the placement exams and you can take Calc 3 as a 4 dig (I took Calc 3 my first semester 4 dig year).

    Of course, having a Calc 2 course (either AP BC or college level course) is probably going to be necessary to pass that placement test.
     
  15. Rob.Student

    Rob.Student Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is actually something I'm confused on for my situation. My school system has an interesting math track and a governors school program that teaches some high level math classes. The math I took last semester was the equivalent of calc 3 and this semester a course that (by looking at USAFA's course description) looks to be the same as math 344 or 360, I can't tell which (The code is MTH 285 in some sort of Virginia state-wide system for standardizing course numbers and content for community colleges, or so that's what I think it is).

    I'm did am doing fine in these classes, if I review some I'm sure I can test out of calc 1 or 2 but is there anything I can do to not take either of these classes again? The language on the general questionnaire for appointees was (sorta?) vague, I did it awhile ago without thinking to much about it, thinking it didn't have to much weight anyway.

    I can get a transcript from the community college this program is based in and send it to USAFA, part of my application was an "unofficial" transcript directly from the governors school that had my last years classes on it anyway. Should I contact the Math department? The registrar? Would it be better to just take the classes for the familiarity -> easier grade or just to learn it the USAFA way?

    Some crazy 5% of me is thinking about double majoring and possibly validating 4 math courses would be an invaluable opportunity to say the least.
     
  16. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    129
    You won't be able to test or validate out of anything higher than Calc 2.
     
  17. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    169

    Once you start academics:

    Get official unopened transcripts and take them to the registrar. They'll open, file and copy them. Take the copies to the math department along with a course description (and preferably a syllabus) of each course your took. Most departments have someone who is in charge of transfer credit, but they made need to consult the course director for a particular class before granting your credit. Do all these things as soon as possible! Generally there is only a two week window to change your schedule!

    Keep in mind that for the most part this seemed to be an "opt in" system. The registrar will register you for the normal freshman courses even if they received a transcript ahead of time. It is up to you to visit the different departments for which you may have taken classes. Also, some classes cannot be validated because the Academy focus on some specific topics in their core curriculum. I was able to transfer credit for Behavioral Science (Psych 101) and Economics core classes, but some reason the AFA wouldn't accept my Philosophy of Ethics class. It never hurts to ask.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
  18. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    40
    My understanding is that a 2016er did validate Calc 3.
     
  19. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    129
    Interesting. Things may have changed. Didn't happen in 2010.
     
  20. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    26
    And one of my classmates validated DiffEq, though not Calc 3. It's possible. Be proactive and ask around ASAP. There isn't a BCT validation exam or anything, but if you are determined you can make it happen.
     

Share This Page