Tufty

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What's up with this requirement? Will a year of calculus suffice? In my case, I am ready to graduate, I have not taken differential equations, and now I see this requirement---is there any hope for me?

I got into both HST and NP...but I really prefer the HST for various reasons.

Any Harvard med students out there who could help me with this dilemma?

thanks, Tufty.
 

AStudent

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"Will a year of calculus suffice" :laugh:

DiffEQ was one of the two classes in college I got less than a 2.5 in.

Tufty said:
What's up with this requirement? Will a year of calculus suffice? In my case, I am ready to graduate, I have not taken differential equations, and now I see this requirement---is there any hope for me?

I got into both HST and NP...but I really prefer the HST for various reasons.

Any Harvard med students out there who could help me with this dilemma?

thanks, Tufty.
 

bobhagopian

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Tufty said:
What's up with this requirement? Will a year of calculus suffice? In my case, I am ready to graduate, I have not taken differential equations, and now I see this requirement---is there any hope for me?

I got into both HST and NP...but I really prefer the HST for various reasons.

Any Harvard med students out there who could help me with this dilemma?

thanks, Tufty.
Differential equations is most definitely not the same as calculus. Usually, a "year of calculus" means one semester of single-variable calculus (e.g., basic integration, differentiation, etc) followed by a semester of multivariable calculus (gradients, vector calculus, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, etc). You are very likely to encounter some differential equations in a standard calculus course, but the content of a differential equations course is quite different. In fact, differential equations is usually taught as a collection of methods for solving complicated-looking differential equations.

I don't want to quash your dream of going to HST or anything like that (btw, congrats on both acceptances!), but the content of a differential equations course is not the same as that in a calculus course. Perhaps you can take the course over summer to avoid any problems. If that's not something you're willing to do, at least you have NP!

Just for reference, here are the websites for the corresponding (and publicly available) courses -- perhaps they'll be of help:

Single-variable calculus
Multivariable calculus (not the best website, but whatever)
Differential Equations
 

mercaptovizadeh

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Yes, they are not the same. First you do single-variable calculus. Then you do multi-variable (mostly scalar) calculus. Then you do vector calculus. Then you diffEQ. The latter is not a calculus course; it is more like a course that goes through the standard differential equations that show up in the sciences, e.g. predator-prey equation, 1st order, 2nd order, separable, expansions into series, maybe some partial differential equations. I don't think it's harder than vector calculus, it's just more cookbook-ish - going through the common equations and teaching you how to attack them, make approximations, etc.

Personally, I thought its cookbookishness was boring, and did not do great in the class.
 

tommerbommer

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I was talking to someone who is currently in the HST program and she said that she never even fulfilled some of the more stringent requirements. This is all hearsay, and I don't know whether she actively misrepresented herself to Harvard or merely didn't get around to filling out the forms, but I wouldn't count yourself out. See if you can track down some current HST students and pick their brains (particularly any that seem like rule breakers).
 

Wiggy73

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I could be wrong, but I thought the requirement was for differential calculus, not differential equations - a whole different beast. You get plenty of differential calculus, as in "differentiate this," in a first year calc course.
 
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Tufty

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Thanks for all your responses. I saw the requirement and sent out the message in a panic yesterday. I also just heard back from Harvard Admissions, and they also suggest taking the requirement over the summer.

I really wasn't planning on doing any of this stuff during the summer- and infact I had other plans. So I asked Admissions if I could take the course during my first year summer...will let you know what they say.



summervacation said:
:) Hi Tufty, I PM-ed you.
 
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Tufty

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They say it has to be taken before matriculation...

Tufty said:
Thanks for all your responses. I saw the requirement and sent out the message in a panic yesterday. I also just heard back from Harvard Admissions, and they also suggest taking the requirement over the summer.

I really wasn't planning on doing any of this stuff during the summer- and infact I had other plans. So I asked Admissions if I could take the course during my first year summer...will let you know what they say.