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Calc III and diff equations or LA

  1. Mar 19, 2012 #1
    This summer I plan on taking calc II at my local community college, and next semester I will definitely be taking calc III, intro to computer science, and probably a science course (physics I or chemistry). This leaves a spot open for a math course (I am planning on majoring in math), which will be most likely either linear algebra or differential equations.

    Does anyone here have any experience taking these classes together? Does it make more sense to take one combination or anther? Whichever I do not take I will take during a condensed winter session.

    calc III:
    Vectors, operations on vectors, velocity and acceleration, partial derivatives, directional derivatives, optimization of functions of two or more variables, integration over two and three dimensional regions, line integrals, Green's Theorem. Includes use of the computer package, Maple, to perform symbolic, numerical and graphical analysis.

    Differential Equations:
    Solutions and applications of ordinary differential equations as well as systems. Considers initial value problems and boundary value problems. Topics include Laplace transform, the phase plane, series solutions and partial differential equations. Includes use of the computer package Maple.

    Linear Algebra:
    Systems of linear equations, matrix algebra and determinants. Vector spaces, linear dependence and independence, basis and dimension. Linear transformations, similarity transformations and diagonalization problems. Inner product spaces and least squares approximation. Emphasizes theory and application to other mathematics areas. Includes computer use for analysis and solution of linear algebra problems.

    thanks for your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2012 #2
    Calc III + Linear Algebra. LA compliments calc III nicely and will help with systems of DEs.
  4. Mar 19, 2012 #3
    I took all of them in the same semester. I found linear algebra to be the most useful and fun. Linear algebra will be used in both Calc III and Differential Equations. I'd say take linear algebra.
  5. Mar 19, 2012 #4
    Yea you definitely HAVE to take linear algebra,

    I took Calc III at the same time as an electro dynamics course and they both ran really well together so you should probably consider taking that class as well,
  6. Mar 19, 2012 #5
    Make sure the LA course will transfer. My community college had a course on LA that was a 2000 series class that would not transfer and was basically just matrix algebra. You are probably better off learning that yourself if that's the case. A good bit of matrix algebra will help you in calculus III though, so it's worth learning soon.
  7. Mar 19, 2012 #6
    At my community college LA/Diff Eq is one class put together with calc III as a prerequisite
  8. Mar 19, 2012 #7
    Take LA. It will be useful for calcIII and diffy eq.
  9. Mar 19, 2012 #8
    Take LA. I found it helpful in DEs as well as in multivariable. It's really a good subject to have in your mathematical toolkit.
  10. Mar 20, 2012 #9
    I would say take all 3. That way you'd have the majority of the computational stuff out of the way and you could move into the fun stuff starting your second semester. But if you can only take one, I'd say LA since LA concepts often pop-up in Diff Eq (although most professors won't assume knowledge of them).
  11. Mar 23, 2012 #10
    At my school, Calc III is a prerequisite for Differential Equations, and they suggest that you take Linear Algebra first as well. That said, I don't know what Linear Algebra is like at the school where you'll take it, but it is pretty challenging at my college (because it's our transitional course with a first exposure to proofs) and I wouldn't have wanted to combine it with another math class or too many hard classes.
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