Has anyone every done http://netmath.uiuc.edu/

My friend just started taking classes there. He had an engineering ug 15 yrs ago and will apply for a finance PhD next year. I think he is taking some courses as a refresher, and will take diff equations to meet the requirements.

Can you ask him what he thinks of the classes? How long has it taken him to finish one of them?

I finished last January in Differential Equations Plus to fill a neglected hole in my mathematical education. It’s possible that my raving comments showed up on some web page somewhere, since the coordinator asked me to use them. I meant every word. I have an MST from UI@Chicago (can’t stand the cornfields at UIUC and the dept is better anyway), and after about 40 hours of math, this is the best class I have taken, next to computational finance. Mathematica is gorgeous software and easily allows access into current research in the field, including manifolds, chaos, and control theory, all of which are pretty much the swingset of the applied mathematician’s playground. I tried doing a self-study with a couple textbooks before, and the calculations were cripplingly slow. This was a relief and a fast track. If you’re on your game, the course can be finished in three months. At the time I was teaching full time, so I couldn’t devote the attention to it. I used up all three extensions because my perfectionism got the best of me, but I still think that the homework assignments would be, for any student, challenging albeit rewarding. Some of my homework, with tons of graphs and code and comparatively little text (I’d say 6:1) sometimes went over the hundreds towards the end. My honest overall impression is that distance learning is still not embraced by the culture and the curriculum designers took this in mind, perhaps overdoing it a bit. On the other hand, everything you learn is solid gold, and really a joy. Everybody hears about the Lorenz oscillator, but what happens when you can start fiddling with your own variations in 3 space graphs? I focus on the homework mainly because that’s the bulk of the grade. The exams are basically slight variations of the practice problems. Master them and your A is secured. Feel free to contact me here if you have any other questions.

Next up for me is the Columbia Video Network, by the way. You might want to go there for some of the more advanced coursework. They’re time frame is lockstep with the semester though, so that’s a drawback. I hope they offer some analysis or PDE soon. PDE on Mathematica would be just as fun, I think.

senseijoao Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Next up for me is the Columbia Video Network, by > the way. You might want to go there for some of > the more advanced coursework. They’re time frame > is lockstep with the semester though, so that’s a > drawback. I hope they offer some analysis or PDE > soon. PDE on Mathematica would be just as fun, I > think. they have PDEs all the time - actually, too much of this if you ask me, they need more variety - but I have seen limited use of Mathematica. You’ll be on your own there.

How is the course delivered. I thought Mathematica was just software. Is it self study or do they have video instruction?

CVN is video instruction. yes you can use Mathematica, if you want, but most classes they will not grade it (I used to work for Wolfram Research and believe me, would use Mathematica on my assignments if I could!) Anytime there is coding required, you’ll likely be using matlab, to make things consistent for graders.

I’m not sure if we’re still talking about U of I, but the netmath course is 100% mathematica based, perhaps with the exception of a few (very easy) online quizzes. They even write the exams in Mathematica, but it’s still plain old paper-and-pencil. The only other issue is finding a proctor for the exam. This can be a librarian, HS teacher or college professor. Matlab isn’t so bad, though.