The World of Math

In what order do most students learn math? Well, the answer might be more complicated than you think. In high school and lower-division college math, most people take courses in the same order:


Algebra 1


Algebra II and Trigonometry


Calculus I

Calculus II

But here’s where stuff gets interesting, after Calculus II, math branches out. Students can generally choose one of many “tracks” and take courses in no specific order.

  1. You may want to take Multivariable Calculus (the calculus of functions of more than one variable), then Differential Equations (equations involving derivatives)
  2. You may want to take Linear Algebra (the study of matrices, vectors, and their applications)
  3. You may want to take Discrete Mathematics (the study of discrete structures, with many applications in CS)
  4. You may want to take Calculus-based Statistics

Which one should you pursue? It all depends on your interests and what appeals to you. Math isn’t just a series of steps to blindly solve a problem, and this becomes evident in higher-level math, when there is much more thinking, and much less computation.


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