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srfriggen

- 307

- 7

Although the head of the department at Stony Brook seems to think I'd be able to complete the requirements for the masters degree with the background I have, I would feel more comfortable entering the program with some more background. In the fall then spring I intend to take 2 courses in Analysis (Introduction to Analysis then Analysis in Several Dimensions), an Abstract Algebra course, and a course labeled Topology and Geometry.

I really didn't get too much out of the linear algebra course that I took. I don't want to blame too much on the professor, but he made us buy his book (which was this terrible paperback from 1980) and it was mainly a course in "matrix algebra". I learned many operations, we spent tons of time using gauss jordan etc, but very little time on theory or proofs. He never even taught us WHY gauss jordan elimination works, I had to figure that out on my own, i.e. how each step can be represented by an elimination matrix which when all multiplied together form the inverse matrix.

I have the chance now to take a more sophisticated linear algebra course and I'm trying to decide if it would be worth it. I know that is very subjective, but that's why I'm here... for advice based on personal experience.

Will it help me in my future studies (focusing on pure math)to have a deeper understanding of linear algebra or is it something one can pick up as they go along.

opinions welcome.

thank you.