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For many years, my university offered only one Bachelor's degree in math, "Bachelor in Mathematical Subjects." Here, Differential Equations is a mandatory part of the degree. Further specialization in pure or applied math, or statistics had to be done by non-mandatory subjects. Next semester, the program will be split into three, and the Bachelor-program for pure math does not require DE's.

Seeing as I chose to do one extra subject this year, Abstract Algebra, dropping DE's is a viable option that will not affect my degree. I do not like DE's, at least not in the form its being presented to freshmen; cramming methods. Furthermore, dropping DE's will finally allow me to focus on Abstract Algebra, a subject I have been unable to work with as much as I've wanted.

Above is my arguments for dropping the subject. For someone mainly interested in discrete structures, computer science, number theory, and more recently, abstract algebra, is there a reason for me to keep the DE's?

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Yes, drop it...though I thought it was a mandatory subject in any undergraduate mathematics program I've ever heard of... –  DonAntonio Mar 12 at 21:45
    
Yes, I was surprised to see that it was not on the list. Still awaiting confirmation from the institute, but the list of subjects looks finalized. They've done quite a lot of work in seperating pure/applied/statistics, so that its easier to create a community for fields of interests. –  Andrew Thompson Mar 12 at 21:47
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One thing that I've noticed with my courses is that you get 60% of the "benefit" (mathematical perspective, if not domain-specific fluency) from 20% of the effort (this doesn't quite generalise to a jack-of-all-trades optimum strategy; you need to work hard at something to be good at anything). Perhaps you should consider simply attending the lectures/reading through the notes from time to time and relaxing/enjoying it without any pressure? Differential equations are a massive subject that crop up in so many things... it's good if not necessary to have an inkling of what they're about. –  Joshua Pepper Mar 12 at 21:48
    
@JoshuaPepper I still have the text and a long summer ahead of me :) –  Andrew Thompson Mar 12 at 21:50
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It depends on what kind of subject are you labeling "Differential Equations". One part is the "methods" for solving some known ODEs and PDEs, substitutions, tricks etc. I would happily skip this (a lot of that can be done for you by computer software). The other part is the internals of DEs, and I think that any mathematician that does not have some intuitions on this topic (i.e. understanding of basic theory and connections), misses some essential part of understanding how the world (the universe) works (of course, DEs are only models, but their accuracy is scary). –  dtldarek Mar 12 at 22:06

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