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Linear algebra prerequisites.

  1. Nov 2, 2008 #1
    Hey guys,
    I have recently decided that i wanna try to self-learn some more math along with what im doing in high school. I am really interested in math and want to do it sort of as a hobby. Obviously, I know i can't learn calculus 2 because i finish calc 1, but what other maths could i try to pick up before finishing calc? or does alot of it rely ona foundation of calculus....
    One i was looking into would be linear algebra. I got a book recommended to me from someone on PF, but alot of college sites claim that a prereq. of calc one is required for linear algebra. Is this because you need to know all of the basics of calc to take it, or just because calc is sort of more needed for math, well not more needed, just more widely used i guess, so they want you to take a more 'relevant math' before taking linear.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2008 #2
    There are some parts of linear algebra where you need calculus--for example taking the norm of a vector in L2 you need to know integration which you learn for the most part in calculus 2--but for the most part I think you can learn linear algebra without a previous knowledge of calculus.
  4. Nov 3, 2008 #3
    I think for most universities, linear algebra is recommended right after calculus 2 or calculus 3. I'm in a class called Math for Engineering Analysis right now, which is calc 3 and linear algebra merged into one class. From what I can remember right now (it's hard for me to separate the two subjects in my head because we're learning them simultaneously), there hasn't been any calculus involved in the linear algebra portion of the class.
  5. Nov 3, 2008 #4


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    That requirement is because some people find Linear algebra hard and maybe taking calculus first will either make it easier or cause the person to stop taking matm classes, calculus provides a few convienent examples and exercises in linear algebra, and the two are sometimes integrated at some point. If one has a basic idea of what integration and differntiation are and how calculus is used that is plenty. More important preparation for linear algebra would be some familarity with abstration, algebra and proofs.
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