How can i learn Linear algebra

  1. Hi, I'm a physics student and I haven't taken any Linear algebra courses before and have only come across it in my Quantum physics classes. I'm a capable mathematician and was wondering if I were to teach my self what would be the best approach, and what text books you would recommend? Also what are the prerequisites?

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Check out MIT's open course website, or more specifically:
    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Mathematics/18-06Linear-AlgebraFall2002/VideoLectures/index.htm

    Those are great video lectures on linear algebra by prof. Gilbert Strang. I'm learning from them myself at the moment, bought the book also.

    The content of the lectures is not that abstract, and really good as an introduction..and that's all it is really, an introduction. So if you like a more rigorous approach, I can't give you any advice. :shy:
     
  4. some points you may want to cover would be: linear independence, vector basis, and the definition of a vector space.

    having learned these ideas, which are not very hard, linear transformations and determinants would be good, and these things are probably most applicable to physics.
     
  5. Thank you very much.. I'll check out the video lectures too!
     
  6. gilbert strang makes a good matrix theory text. other (slightly) more advanced books are axler's linear algebra done right & halmos' finite-dimensional vector spaces
     
  7. mathwonk

    mathwonk 9,703
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    sorry to be blunt, but if you do not know linear algebra, it is a bit optimistic to call yourself a capable mathematician, as that is pretty much the bottom rung on the math ladder.

    since you have expressed a desire to elarn, here are some free book,s form which you can learn quite a lot: I especially recommend sharipov's book.

    free books:

    http://joshua.smcvt.edu/linearalgebra/

    http://www.math.miami.edu/~ec/book/

    http://mathforum.org/library/topics/linear/

    http://dmoz.org/Science/Math/Publications/Online_Texts/

    http://www.math.miami.edu/~ec/book/

    http://www.math.uga.edu/~roy/
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2005
  8. Tom Mattson

    Tom Mattson 5,538
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Is that last one you, mathwonk?
     
  9. By capable, I meant I pick up new concepts quickly, I didn't mean that I'm an expert or anything :rolleyes: Thanks for the links they're really good.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2005
  10. mathwonk

    mathwonk 9,703
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    you are welcome; sorry for the smart*** comments accompanying.

    I wish I were as young as the guy in the picture on that link.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2005
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