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Taking Intro to Linear Algebra, Probability, and Vector Calc in same semester?

  1. May 7, 2012 #1
    Hi, is it a bad idea to take

    Intro to Linear Algebra
    Vector Calc for Applications (Marsden)
    Intro to Probability (book called first course in probability by ross)

    .. in the same semester?

    This semester I took discrete math and Calc 1 at the same time and it was pretty time consuming but that is partially because I like to spend a lot of time "playing around" with problems and concepts in the books that were not covered in class; making up problems etc.

    The vector calc class is mostly for engineering majors but I feel it would help me prepare for the class "marsden basic complex analysis" for which ODE or vector cal is a prereq. (I took ODE in summer school a long time ago and forgot it all)

    Many people recommend taking no more than 2 math classes per semester and I agree because I like being able to devote a lot of time getting comfortable with the material (asking supplementary questions in office hours and such) but what do I fill the rest of my schedule with? I already finished the general education requirements and I'd like to spend most of my studying time on math rather than some filler courses that I put on my schedule just to remain a full-time student but it would not be plausible at all for me to have 4 math courses per semester especially as i get into harder and harder math.. So what to do?
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2012 #2
    Not taking more than 2 classes in one semester is madness. You should be able to take more classes at this point. If you're planning to go to grad school, then you will have to take (about) 4 classes each semester anyway, so you should get used to it.

    I'm wondering if you need linear algebra for vector calculus. Is linear algebra a prereq for vector calculus?? In any case, I think you should know some things about matrices and determinants before taking vector calculus, it'll make things much easier.
  4. May 7, 2012 #3
    mathwonk said in a thread a while ago that it is a bad idea to take more than 2 math classes in a semester, but he was probably thinking of upper-level harvard-difficulty classes not state school probability courses and the like :tongue:.

    And the proposed semester (vector calc, probability, LA) is only my second semester of taking math classes so how can you say "you should be able to take more classes at this point"? Does it typically only take 1 semester to get to the point where one can manage 3 math classes at a time? Keep in mind that high school where I live is not as rigourous as where you are from most likely and I came to college with poor study habits and 0 math knowledge.

    And LA is not a prereq for vector calc for applications. Here is the description of that course:

    I guess it is better to get used to taking 3 courses now with these easier classes than it would be to try to start taking 3 later on..

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