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Should I take the accelerated Linear Algebra course?

  1. Apr 18, 2015 #1
    I am finishing up Calculus II, which is mostly just solving integrals using techniques and finding the convergence of a series. My school is offering Linear Algebra in the summer, but it will not be available in Fall. I personally feel math to be my strong suit, since I had an A for my Calc 1 class last semester and I anticipate that I will finish with an A in my Calc 2 class as well. The course is a 6 week course, so I anticipate that there will be a test every week. However, I have worked and studied hard and I have learned to avoid procrastination within my months of studying in school.

    With all of that said, is it advisable to take Linear Algebra in 6 weeks?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2015 #2

    IGU

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    Depends on your goal. Is there any reason to think it's a good class? Will you learn from it?

    You might find it helpful if you go through the first three chapters of Linear Algebra Done Wrong first. But that's just a guess.
     
  4. Apr 19, 2015 #3
    Aside from the fact that it might be a requirement for my engineering major, I heard that it will also properly prepare you for Calculus 3, since multivariable calculus deals extensively with vectors and modified planes. Plus, as someone who partakes in the math olympics, it doesn't hurt to learn something new as well. I just want to know if it is possible to learn this subject within 6 weeks and what it is I should be expecting.
     
  5. Apr 19, 2015 #4

    IGU

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    There's no telling without details. Obviously if they teach it in six weeks, it's doable. But linear algebra can be taught in many ways. There's without calculus, with calculus, as a basic tool for science, as a first rigorous math course with proofs, etc. Try the first three chapters of the book I suggested, working the problems, and see how long that takes you.
     
  6. Apr 19, 2015 #5
    Your response seems reasonable. I will do as you said and read through it and do a few problems and see if either my questions have been answered or if I have any new questions. Thanks for the reply and the link to the book!
     
  7. Apr 19, 2015 #6

    Fredrik

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    First of all, what do you mean by "6 weeks"? When the preface of our quantum physics book said that the book was suitable for a 1-year course, our teacher had to explain to us that the author meant that it's supposed to take 1 year if you spend 25% of your time on it. So then we thought that a 1-year course in the USA is what we'd describe as a 10-week course, but apparently a semester in the USA is 18 weeks, not 20, so it was really just 9 weeks.

    A first course in linear algebra is unlikely to cover everything in "Linear algebra done wrong". (This is a great book by the way). It will probably cover something like the first 170 pages, or the first six chapters. If you haven't encountered linear algebra before, I would think that you need six weeks of full-time study to learn the content of those chapters.
     
  8. Apr 19, 2015 #7

    micromass

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    The first 6 chapters is very much for a 6 week course. It would mean one chapter a week, which is insane! If this is the case (and if he never really worked with vector spaces before), then it would be advisable not to take the class.
    But perhaps the OP needs to list exactly what linear algebra they will be seeing. Maybe they won't cover vector spaces at all (which I think would be very regrettable, but seems to be done in some universities).
     
  9. Apr 19, 2015 #8

    Fredrik

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    The course I took in my first year covered roughly the same stuff as the first 170 pages in Treil. It was a 6-week course for us. But they made the test so easy that you could pass (get half the points on the exam) without knowing what a vector space was. It would probably be very difficult to really learn the material in six weeks.
     
  10. Apr 21, 2015 #9
    I'd recommend taking a full-on semester course in linear algebra, since its of such OMG importance in physics / engineering.
     
  11. Apr 21, 2015 #10
    I wish that was an option, but unfortunately, my institution does not offer a full length course in the fall. Plus, I plan on taking calculus 3 in the fall as well. Not to mention, I still have to complete differential equations as well. >.<
     
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