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bgw
Joined: 22 Jul 2005 Posts: 174 Location: USA

Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 15:41 pm Post subject: Finite Math vs. College Algebra 


My cousin is getting ready to start college later this year and was asking me which subject might be the best one to take to fulfill his general education requirements. Finite Math or College Algebra.
He is not going to be a math or science major.
When I was in college, I took algebra (I also didn't major in math or science). Can't say I really investigated Finite Math as an option back then. My friends took Algebra to meet the req. so I just did the same.
He is a "c" student in math so he's looking for the easier subject of the two. 

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Deborah
Joined: 06 Feb 2001 Posts: 4664 Location: Seattle

Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 16:50 pm Post subject: 


I took college algebra. I was a science major and ran into my nemesis in differential equations I am not a math person and have no recommendations other than doing what's easier. Look at the texts and see what's more intuitive. 

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pete
๑۞๑ Joined: 29 Apr 2002 Posts: 2825

Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 17:39 pm Post subject: 


In 1961, one of my Professors said, "College students are the only people in the world that DO NOT want to get their money's worth".
After almost 45 years, nothing has changed...
College is not a trade school. The difficult courses will teach him to think. The ones he can "coast" through will not. 

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digger
๑۞๑ Joined: 29 Mar 2001 Posts: 2687

Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 1:45 am Post subject: 


If not math or science, what is he going to major in?
I don't know what college algebra entails. I assume that that is the same as highschool algebra, only with two years compressed into one quarter, plus some emphasis on preparing people to take calculus.
I don't know what finite math means either, but it sounds similar to the CS specific discrete math course that I had to take plus a little bit of matrix algebra. Overall, a very different kind of math from what most people are used to.
Based on the above, I suggest finite math. College algebra is probably just a continuation of things that he found boring in highschool. Finite math is probably something different, and could potentially be cool enough to give him a little more respect for math and logic and critical thinking.
Actually, my real suggestion is to take both, plus three quarters of calculus. Also, be sure not to miss the introductory courses in physics. A well taught three quarter introduction to physics can change your life. 

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bgw
Joined: 22 Jul 2005 Posts: 174 Location: USA

Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 10:41 am Post subject: 


He's chosen Marketing as his major. 

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digger
๑۞๑ Joined: 29 Mar 2001 Posts: 2687

Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 15:40 pm Post subject: 


A good strategy is to look at all the upper level classes that you might want to take and see what their prerequisites are.
A quick look through the course requirements at my old school reveal that Marketing can require algebra and statistics, and if you want to get into the market research type stuff you have to take calculus. They do offer a "calculus for business majors" type class. You also take some economics, which involves math. 

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