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Discrete Math or Linear Algebra.

  1. Mar 25, 2014 #1
    I am currently enrolled in Calculus 1. Will be taking Calculus 2 in summer and Calculus 3 in Fall. I have already registered for these courses. One of the Math electives I have a choice in Fall Semester is either Discrete Math or Linear Algebra. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    My current major is Math. Planning on getting a double major in Math and Physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2014 #2


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    Depends. If you can pick one and only one, then linear algebra is the obvious winner. However, if it's simply a matter of timing, I would pick discrete mathematics first just because a course like that tends to introduce proof techniques and ease a person into a more 'proof' based mathematics. Finally, if you feel confident in your ability to prove theorems, and know what common terms like onto, into, domain, codomain, image, etc and if discrete is not required, I would simply take linear algebra.
  4. Mar 25, 2014 #3
    MarneMath! Thanks for the reply. I have to take both eventually. It was just the sequence which I was concerned about.
  5. Mar 25, 2014 #4
    I REALLY enjoyed linear algebra. As a matter of fact, it may be my favourite course I've taken so far at university (15 ish?). The discrete math course I took was a pain, but I feel it was very beneficial. I can see applications for it everywhere. I also found that linear algebra was considerably easier, so that could be something to consider.
  6. Mar 25, 2014 #5
    Easier or harder isn't the concern since I have to take both anyways.
  7. Mar 25, 2014 #6
    If you have to take both, take discrete first. Linear is a little better when you're more "mathematically mature." Both will help give you a flavor of what you'll be doing as a math major. Although, the material of linear is more directly applicable to physics. Discrete is used to understand things like digital logic circuits and mathematical arguments (and others I'm sure, but it's not required for the math degree at my school, just recommended). Hope that helps.
  8. Mar 25, 2014 #7
    Thanks a lot. I have already signed up for discrete math. :)
  9. Mar 25, 2014 #8
    Doesn't matter as long as you take linear algebra before you take quantum mechanics.
  10. Mar 25, 2014 #9
    Having taken both, I can say that discrete math is much more abstract and proof heavy. Lin alg is more applicable to physics, while discrete is more related to CS.
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