- #1

DarrenM

- 81

- 1

The short version of the thread is just as the title states: When is the optimal time to take Linear Algebra?

I'll elaborate to provide the context of the question.

I'm leaning towards a B.S. in Mathematics; I'm currently taking as many courses as possible out of Georgia Perimeter College (a 2-year community college) before transferring to either Georgia State University or trying to transfer to Georgia Tech. There are a number of other factors influencing

*that*particular decision (such as the fact that Tech seems to heavily favor an applied approach) but the one that is relevant to this thread is the fact that they kind of lump Linera Algebra in with Calculus II, and require transfer students in math to have Calculus II, with Linear Algebra strongly recommended.

I thought this was kind of SOP until I looked around a bit and realized that wasn't the case. For example, GSU has Linear Algebra as a bit of a higher level class, with an additional prerequisite consisting of a class called "Bridge to Higher Mathematics," whose course description states that the class covers "topics from set theory, real numbers, analysis, and algebra, which illustrate a formal approach to the presentation and development of mathematical concepts and proofs."

I mean, that class sounds awesome; what confuses me a bit is how one school has a class like that as a prereq. for Linear Algebra, while another school has Linear Algebra lumped in with Calc II (Calculus of One Variable II).

My initial reaction is that it would be wiser to take the Bridge course prior to taking Linear Algebra; however, as I stated before, I'm trying to take as many courses out of GPC as possible (largely due to cost difference between a 2-year and 4-year university; I'm a non-traditional student with a previous B.A., so financial aid is very limited). If it's not really necessary to have a class like the Bridge course before Linear Algebra, then it might be better for me to take it at the community college before transferring.