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Calculus III or linear Algebra? Which one should I take first?

  1. May 12, 2010 #1
    Firstly, as you may see, I'm a newbie to this forum so I apologize if I posted this question in the wrong place or violated any rules within this post. :)

    I have no idea as to which to take first. The course description for Linear Algebra says that "Calculus III is recommended but no required" as a core-requisite. I asked a teacher at school and he suggested I take Calculus III first. I asked my Dad (He's a Mathematical Physicist) and he suggested I take Linear Algebra first. The consensus on some other sites where other people asked the same questions is pretty even in both directions. Some say take Linear Algebra and some say take Calculus III. The course descriptions are as follows:

    Calculus III:
    Vectors, vector-valued functions. Calculus of functions of several variables: partial derivatives, gradient, divergence, curl, multiple integrals, line integrals, Stokes' and Green's theorems. Prerequisite: 22.

    (22 is Calculus II)

    Linear Algebra:
    Matrices, linear dependence, vector spaces, linear transformations, characteristic equations and applications. Prerequisites: 22 or instructor's permission. Corequisite: MATH 121 recommended but not required.

    (121 is Calculus III)

    Calculus III has a much smaller enrollment for this particular class (only 6 out of 25) whereas Linear Algebra has much large enrollment of 21 out of 25 students enrolled. However, Calculus III meets three days a week for 2 and a half hours a day (for about 5 weeks) whereas Linear Algebra only meets two days a week for three and a half hours a day (for about 5 weeks).

    I have no idea which class to take first. Any recommendations? I'm taking this over the summer at a local university. I won't be able to take both concurrently as the Linear Algebra course description recommends.

    Any suggestions? Any opinions?

    Thanks!! :)

    (I meant to say "Linear Algebra" in the title)
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2010 #2
    Well, let me add my voice to the equivocating masses and say, "gee it doesn't matter that much." It sounds as though you are going to take them both soon anyway.

    As a practical matter, if I were choosing I'd probably choose Linear Algebra, mostly because in a compressed summer course I would prefer the slightly more conceptual and less hairy-algebra-generating homework that a typical introductory linear algebra course generates compared to Calculus III.
  4. May 12, 2010 #3
    As for me, i would choose Linear Algebra first because, i think Linear Algebra dealt with more theoretical. And Calculus III is more of applying the theory. hmm, how should i explain it, my english soo terrible and messy.. I guess we wait for others for more opinion
  5. May 12, 2010 #4
    OK, thanks!
    I think I'm leaning more toward LA at this point. :)
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