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In summary, the conversation discusses the importance of taking linear algebra for physics students and when it is typically taken at the university. The speaker expresses their concern about not taking it early on and receiving conflicting advice from their advisor. They also mention the use of linear algebra in advanced physics and their schedule limitations for taking the course.

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At my university, physics students take linear algebra in their first semester of their first year together with the mathematic students. I can't imagine how a physicist doesn't use linear algebra.

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How did you manage to solve multivariate differential equation systems? With vectors, matrices and tensors basically everywhere in physics, I cannot understand the advice you've been given.Tyler DeFrancesco said:

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I guess it's because this sort of stuff kind of gets integrated into our fundamental physics courses (the major-specific ones), as well as the calcs. Linear algebra is not usually taken until at least year 2 in my university it seems, unless you're an already-started math major. I know a lot of first-semester sophomores take it with multivariable, but I'll end up doing it with diff eq. My schedule is a little too loaded to take another math course.Math_QED said:

It is recommended to take linear algebra in your second year of undergraduate studies as a physics major. This will give you a solid foundation in mathematical concepts that are essential for understanding advanced physics topics.

It is typically recommended to take calculus before linear algebra, as some of the concepts in linear algebra build upon those learned in calculus. However, this may vary depending on your university's curriculum.

Linear algebra is crucial for understanding many advanced topics in physics, such as quantum mechanics and electromagnetism. It also provides a strong foundation for solving complex mathematical problems in physics.

Yes, it is possible to take linear algebra alongside other physics courses. However, it is important to make sure you have enough time and resources to dedicate to each course, as linear algebra can be a challenging subject.

Some recommended resources for studying linear algebra as a physics major include textbooks such as "Linear Algebra and Its Applications" by David Lay and online courses such as MIT's "Linear Algebra" course on OpenCourseWare. It is also beneficial to attend lectures and participate in study groups with other physics students.

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