Is Diffeq harder than Calc 3?

Is DiffEq Harder than Calc 3?

Is DiffEq Harder than Calc 3?


Calculus 3 and Differential Equations are the required math courses in many engineering curriculums. In general, it is a consensus that both courses are challenging for students who do not have a strong mathematical background. However, when it comes to comparing the difficulty level of these two courses, many students who have taken both courses argue that Differential Equations (DiffEq) is harder than Calculus 3.


1. What is Calculus 3?

Calculus 3, also known as multivariable calculus, is the study of functions of several variables. This course covers topics such as partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and vector calculus. In this course, students primarily work with mathematical functions that take numbers as input and produce an output that is also a number. Calculus 3 is a prerequisite for many upper-level math courses and is required for many fields of study, particularly in the STEM field.

Although Calculus 3 is not an easy course, it is considered easier than DiffEq by many students. This is because Calculus 3 builds on the foundational knowledge from Calculus 1 and Calculus 2, whereas DiffEq is a completely new topic.

2. What is Differential Equations?

Differential Equations (DiffEq) is a branch of mathematics that deals with equations that involve derivatives. This course covers topics such as first-order differential equations, higher-order differential equations, Laplace transforms, and series solutions of differential equations. DiffEq is an essential course for engineering students and students in other fields who use mathematical models to solve problems.

See also  Is electrical easier than civil?

DiffEq is often described as one of the toughest (if not the toughest) required math course in engineering curriculums. This is because it requires students to have a solid understanding of Calculus, and it introduces new concepts that are not typically covered in high school math classes.

3. Why is DiffEq harder than Calculus 3?

The difficulty of a course can depend on multiple factors, including the instructor, the student’s study habits, and the student’s background knowledge. However, there are some objective reasons why DiffEq is considered harder than Calculus 3:

  • New Concepts: DiffEq introduces new concepts that are not covered in Calculus 1, 2 or 3 which require a lot of imagination and critical thinking. The topics are more abstract and require stronger problem-solving skills.
  • No Standardized Method: Unlike Calculus, differential equations do not have standardized ways to solve them. Sometimes, it relies on the student’s own creativity and intuition to come up with a solution.
  • Complexity: Differential equations involve complex expressions that require a lot of time and practice to master. This makes it more complex than calculus 3


4. How to succeed in DiffEq?

While DiffEq is a challenging course, there are ways to make the journey easier.

  • Build a Strong Mathematical Foundation: Before taking DiffEq, make sure that you have a solid mathematical foundation, especially in Calculus. Students should have a good handle on topics like derivatives, integrals, and series.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: Practice problems regularly, do past papers to help you to gain familiarity with the types of questions that may appear on exams
  • Engage with the Material: Participate in study groups or consult with tutors, attend office hours meet your lecturer during his/her office hours, ask questions, and engage with the course material so that you understand concepts clearly.
See also  Who is the smartest in math?

5. Conclusion:

In conclusion, DiffEq is harder than Calculus 3. It challenges students with abstract concepts, complex expressions, and requires strong problem-solving skills. However, with patience and effort, students can overcome this hurdle and achieve success in the course. By building a strong foundation in Calculus, engaging with the material, and practicing regularly, students can prepare themselves for success in DiffEq and beyond.



Here are some links where you can find more information on the topic:


Leave a Comment