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Which one should I take first? Does it help to take one before the other?

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- #1

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Which one should I take first? Does it help to take one before the other?

- #2

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Depends on your interests.Which one should I take first?

Have you developed any interests yet?

The two subject matters are largely unrelated. As long as you are comfortable with logical thinking and proofs as in the normal upper division linear algebra you should be fine.Does it help to take one before the other?

Maybe taking one before the other might be beneficial in the sense that you would have gained more experience with the mathematical way of thinking by the time you take the second class.

- #3

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At my university, the standard is to take Abstract Algebra first, and then Analysis. It may be different at other schools. I don't think you should worry about it too much, and try to take whatever makes your schedule prettier.

- #4

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Not really. But I am majoring in applied mathematics. So I guess the question is: which would be more useful for my major?Depends on your interests.

Have you developed any interests yet?

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- #7

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For Analysis and Algebra, it would be helpful to know basic set theory, 1-1 functions, etc. I assume most of it will be covered in the first few weeks.

Algebra also uses some concepts of number theory, such as divisibility, greatest common divisors, etc. The first few chapters of an elementary number theory book would suffice, but again, I am sure this will be reviewed/taught in the beginning weeks of the course.

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quasar987

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But of course there are other factors to consider. For instance, surely real analysis is a prerequisite to analysis 2 and 3 and PDE, and maybe other course that you want to take... So taking real analysis so late, will you be able to take all these courses before completing your degree?

- #11

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ok...

I have taken real analysis and abstract algebra

i will say this...

real analysis is easier than abstract algebra. Abstract algebra was the single most horrific class I ever suffered through in college. The last thing I remember learning was a field extension where essentially you were adding a "pseudo-square root of 2" to the integers which meant you could really force square root of 2 to be an integer? god help us all...

Real analysis is just another continuation of the horrificness

If you want to take these classes, it is really essential you have toned your logic skills before hand by taking at least one course on logic because both courses are 100% theorem-proof based and the proofs are more than just "prove 4 is an even number" so just make sure you have some understanding of mathematical theory

that being said, nothing will ever make you think more logically other than classes like these... i can say they were the scorn of my college existence, but if there's one thing that made me think different as a result of study its mathematical theory like this

I recommend you talk to the profs of those classes beforehand tell them your doubts, your likes, your major, all of this. See if they can advice you more

Good luck!

oh yeah and I can't stress enough how difficult these courses are... I am not joking.

JUst to add...

I have never heard of an analysis course being required for something like PDE, ADE, Linear, anything like that... actually anything at all. Many grad mathematics programs don't even require you've had more than one course on analysis. These courses like PDE aren't going to be any more abstract than linear algebra... they will rely on the fact that you can understand reading theorems and proofs but not that you are actually able to write them. They are still applied and you shouldn't have any problems in them without analysis

Further... I think one semester of linear algebra isn't *quite* enouh to prepare you for a heavy duty course like abstract algebra or real analysis. YOu really need a specific course in mathematical theory that prepares you for it. In linear algebra, the more abstract methods of mathematics are introduced, but it is still strictly an applied course. I'm sure your college offers something like "fundamentals of mathematical logic" or "intro to mathematical reasoning" or something like that. You will pretty much cover everything you would cover in a discrete mathematics course only in a theorem-proof way instead of merely studying things. For example, you will go over basic things like, whats it mean to be a one-to-one or onto, but it will be given in a 100% mathematical logic way and then you will learn how to prove that something is onto or 1-1.

So while linear is great to have I can't stress how much easier your life will be if you take a pre-req course on mathematical logic/analysis/thinking, whatever its listed as. YOu can go in without a course like this, but chances are all ready high to crash and burn in a course like abstract algebra so you want to make the chances better that you will succeed!

Good luck!

btw both these courses are what persuaded me to pursue my masters in computer science rather than mathematics :P

one more thing...

real analysis is easier than abstract algebra. I truly believe this and stand by it. If I had it to do again, I would have taken them in the reverse order. I think once you get to the maturity that you can take one course, you can take the other. the question isn't are you mature enough for one over the other its whether you are mature enough for either yet. You should start practicing now on your own time writing proofs. If you don't want to take a pre req course at least check a book from the library where you will write formal proofs in all number of ways (contradiction, contrapositive, direct..) and go beyond the scope of linear algebra.

Best wishes again ;D

I have taken real analysis and abstract algebra

i will say this...

real analysis is easier than abstract algebra. Abstract algebra was the single most horrific class I ever suffered through in college. The last thing I remember learning was a field extension where essentially you were adding a "pseudo-square root of 2" to the integers which meant you could really force square root of 2 to be an integer? god help us all...

Real analysis is just another continuation of the horrificness

If you want to take these classes, it is really essential you have toned your logic skills before hand by taking at least one course on logic because both courses are 100% theorem-proof based and the proofs are more than just "prove 4 is an even number" so just make sure you have some understanding of mathematical theory

that being said, nothing will ever make you think more logically other than classes like these... i can say they were the scorn of my college existence, but if there's one thing that made me think different as a result of study its mathematical theory like this

I recommend you talk to the profs of those classes beforehand tell them your doubts, your likes, your major, all of this. See if they can advice you more

Good luck!

oh yeah and I can't stress enough how difficult these courses are... I am not joking.

JUst to add...

I have never heard of an analysis course being required for something like PDE, ADE, Linear, anything like that... actually anything at all. Many grad mathematics programs don't even require you've had more than one course on analysis. These courses like PDE aren't going to be any more abstract than linear algebra... they will rely on the fact that you can understand reading theorems and proofs but not that you are actually able to write them. They are still applied and you shouldn't have any problems in them without analysis

Further... I think one semester of linear algebra isn't *quite* enouh to prepare you for a heavy duty course like abstract algebra or real analysis. YOu really need a specific course in mathematical theory that prepares you for it. In linear algebra, the more abstract methods of mathematics are introduced, but it is still strictly an applied course. I'm sure your college offers something like "fundamentals of mathematical logic" or "intro to mathematical reasoning" or something like that. You will pretty much cover everything you would cover in a discrete mathematics course only in a theorem-proof way instead of merely studying things. For example, you will go over basic things like, whats it mean to be a one-to-one or onto, but it will be given in a 100% mathematical logic way and then you will learn how to prove that something is onto or 1-1.

So while linear is great to have I can't stress how much easier your life will be if you take a pre-req course on mathematical logic/analysis/thinking, whatever its listed as. YOu can go in without a course like this, but chances are all ready high to crash and burn in a course like abstract algebra so you want to make the chances better that you will succeed!

Good luck!

btw both these courses are what persuaded me to pursue my masters in computer science rather than mathematics :P

one more thing...

real analysis is easier than abstract algebra. I truly believe this and stand by it. If I had it to do again, I would have taken them in the reverse order. I think once you get to the maturity that you can take one course, you can take the other. the question isn't are you mature enough for one over the other its whether you are mature enough for either yet. You should start practicing now on your own time writing proofs. If you don't want to take a pre req course at least check a book from the library where you will write formal proofs in all number of ways (contradiction, contrapositive, direct..) and go beyond the scope of linear algebra.

Best wishes again ;D

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- #12

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That's all an opinion of course, you may be different.

- #13

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both are disasterous though lol

- #14

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Which one is more intuitive will vary from person to person. I find abstract algebra much more intuitive and down-to-earth than analysis. I would recommend reading the first chapter or 2 of a given introductory text to both and figuring out which you like more from there.

- #15

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I guess every college is different. I didn't even know there were linear algebra courses that were set up in that way ! :D

I agree it comes down to the person whether real analysis or abstract algebra will be harder but i think another important factor is what text book you are working out of.

My real analysis text was great but my abstract algebra text was so horrible that i was very miserable throughout the class. No clarification on anything really. My poor professor was about to strangle me from all the questions that semester :D

So I think a good text can make all the difference in many situations

maybe we can recommend some books? I used to Bartle/sherbert real analysis book, I can't remember what was my modern algebra text

... but I'll look when I'm at home and post it as a bad book to have as a study companion... anyone can recommend abstract algebra books for people to supplement their courses with in case someone gets a crappy text that should be of some help to others!

OK

I think the evil author of my abstract algebra text was by the name of Goodman... rrrr if you are studying a course with the goodman "abstract algebra : stressing symmetry" text... i recommend you get another book on the side

I agree it comes down to the person whether real analysis or abstract algebra will be harder but i think another important factor is what text book you are working out of.

My real analysis text was great but my abstract algebra text was so horrible that i was very miserable throughout the class. No clarification on anything really. My poor professor was about to strangle me from all the questions that semester :D

So I think a good text can make all the difference in many situations

maybe we can recommend some books? I used to Bartle/sherbert real analysis book, I can't remember what was my modern algebra text

... but I'll look when I'm at home and post it as a bad book to have as a study companion... anyone can recommend abstract algebra books for people to supplement their courses with in case someone gets a crappy text that should be of some help to others!

OK

I think the evil author of my abstract algebra text was by the name of Goodman... rrrr if you are studying a course with the goodman "abstract algebra : stressing symmetry" text... i recommend you get another book on the side

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- #16

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I think analysis is technically a harder subject than algebra because of all the limiting arguments and epsilon/delta manipulation that can often obfuscate what's going on as you read the proofs (and for the same reason, it's harder to generate your own proofs).

On the other hand, most students studying analysis have already taken a less-rigorous calculus sequence so there's no problem with understanding the motivation ("you're learning a rigorous version of calculus"), whereas on first encountering algebra it may not be at all clear why you're learning about these abstract things called groups, rings, and fields which seem to have nothing to do with the mathematics learned up to that point. But if you can deal with this abstraction and don't mind waiting to see the whole picture unfold, there's a lot less "dotting the i's and crossing the t's" grunge in most algebra proofs than in analysis.

Both subjects are great, though, and every undergraduate should take both. There's almost no dependence between the two, so in principle you can take them in either order.

Recommend some books? Absolutely. I used Bartle's "Elements of Real Analysis" in my first (honors) analysis course. I really like this book: it's challenging enough that you don't feel even slightly talked down to, but it's not quite as austere or slick as Rudin (and has a lot more, and better, exercises). Rudin is very beautiful and one of my favorite math books, but I think it's better as a reference after the fact than as a place to learn the material the first time around.

Another good option for analysis at this level is Thomson/Bruckner/Bruckner, "Elementary Real Analysis," which is maybe a little gentler than Bartle's "Elements." I'm not very familiar with Bartle/Sherbert's "Introduction to Real Analysis" but it's well regarded and, as I understand it, a bit more leisurely and less ambitious than "Elements."

I studied algebra after analysis, so had built some mathematical maturity by then. I found a lot of the introductory algebra books to be boring and not very challenging, e.g. Gallian. The course I took nominally used Dummit and Foote, but the professor followed his own notes and I hardly ever looked at the book as it seemed very longwinded and dry. I read part of Herstein's "Topics in Algebra" instead, and really liked it, particularly the group theory parts. That book would be my first recommendation to anyone new to the subject but not new to proof-oriented mathematics in general.

On the other hand, most students studying analysis have already taken a less-rigorous calculus sequence so there's no problem with understanding the motivation ("you're learning a rigorous version of calculus"), whereas on first encountering algebra it may not be at all clear why you're learning about these abstract things called groups, rings, and fields which seem to have nothing to do with the mathematics learned up to that point. But if you can deal with this abstraction and don't mind waiting to see the whole picture unfold, there's a lot less "dotting the i's and crossing the t's" grunge in most algebra proofs than in analysis.

Both subjects are great, though, and every undergraduate should take both. There's almost no dependence between the two, so in principle you can take them in either order.

Recommend some books? Absolutely. I used Bartle's "Elements of Real Analysis" in my first (honors) analysis course. I really like this book: it's challenging enough that you don't feel even slightly talked down to, but it's not quite as austere or slick as Rudin (and has a lot more, and better, exercises). Rudin is very beautiful and one of my favorite math books, but I think it's better as a reference after the fact than as a place to learn the material the first time around.

Another good option for analysis at this level is Thomson/Bruckner/Bruckner, "Elementary Real Analysis," which is maybe a little gentler than Bartle's "Elements." I'm not very familiar with Bartle/Sherbert's "Introduction to Real Analysis" but it's well regarded and, as I understand it, a bit more leisurely and less ambitious than "Elements."

I studied algebra after analysis, so had built some mathematical maturity by then. I found a lot of the introductory algebra books to be boring and not very challenging, e.g. Gallian. The course I took nominally used Dummit and Foote, but the professor followed his own notes and I hardly ever looked at the book as it seemed very longwinded and dry. I read part of Herstein's "Topics in Algebra" instead, and really liked it, particularly the group theory parts. That book would be my first recommendation to anyone new to the subject but not new to proof-oriented mathematics in general.

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- #18

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Dummit and Foote is probably the easiest book to work from, but the best intro is probably Michael Artin's book.I studied algebra after analysis, so had built some mathematical maturity by then. I found a lot of the introductory algebra books to be boring and not very challenging, e.g. Gallian. The course I took nominally used Dummit and Foote, but the professor followed his own notes and I hardly ever looked at the book as it seemed very longwinded and dry. I read part of Herstein's "Topics in Algebra" instead, and really liked it, particularly the group theory parts. That book would be my first recommendation to anyone new to the subject but not new to proof-oriented mathematics in general.

I think that to be a good mathematician you need to be able to enjoy an abstract puzzle as much as one that has more concrete intuition behind it. You might start out in the concrete but you often have to delve into obscure areas with a good amount of understanding to get a proof you need.

I liked both courses, they each had their own flavor.

- #19

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Alike yourself i'm interested in Applied Mathematics too and proving isn't really my thing. However, these two courses are required for graduation so i really had no choice but to take them. I'm doing them together just so i can get it over with. After this i'm all applied and [i checked] none of those courses have abstract o analysis as prerequisites.

regarding your qn on how similar they are...well, i find them different. Although both have fair deal of poofs, both are about different things (at least from a basic pov).

Yes, you could do they both.

and yes two linear algebra courses is good enough preparation.

what do you need to know?

abstact algebra:

- poof methods (direct, contradiction, induction)

- well ordering principle

- modular mathematics

- equivalence classes

- gcd

- partition

- mapping

analysis:

- poof methods (direct, contradiction, induction)

- set theory

- inequality

usually books have an introductory chapter on these so you'll get time to prepare.

P.S. reviewing your CALC will help ALOT in analysis. In particular go over limit (epsilon definition), series & sequences (when it converges, diverges // tests: p-test, leb test, ratio, root, comparison test, limit comparison test, abs or conditional convergence), functions (graphs, composition, limit, continuity, circular, inverse, polynomial, rational function), differential (derivative, mean value theorem, taylor theorem), integration (riemann integral, properties of integral, fundamental theorem, techniques of integration). Above mentioned stuff are literally the topics you'll be doing in your analysis course....just more religiously than you did in Calc.

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