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Who takes Linear Algebra?

  1. May 20, 2007 #1

    cgw

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    Just out of curiosity-
    I had little exposure to Linear Algebra (I never took a full course). I have been watching the lectures on the MIT opencourseware. Seems pretty useful so far.
    The question I have is who takes a linear algebra course and when (what is your major and what year of school did you take it)?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2007 #2

    cristo

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    I took it in my first year of a Maths degree. As for other students that take it; I think engineers take a course in linear algebra, but not sure who else needs to.
     
  4. May 20, 2007 #3
    linear algebra I is pretty standard for math, physics, engineering majors and is taken in one of the first two terms of undergrad
     
  5. May 20, 2007 #4
    I took it my 2nd semester as a Software Engineering major, now i'm a computer science but they also take it that early.

    All the Engineering majors actually were scheduled to take it the 2nd semester but usually that wasn't the case because there wasn't enough sections open to supply all the kids wanting to take the course.

    As a computer science major I haven't used very much linear algebra. But I'm going to be taking a computer graphics course so I'm pretty sure Linear Algebra/Calc 3 will be used a lot in that class.
     
  6. May 20, 2007 #5

    radou

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    Except physicians and mathematicians, nobody takes linear algebra except electrotechnical engineers in our country, although some basic linear algebra is implemented in most of the engineering math courses on our faculties.

    It is far too important to ignore, i.e. to only listen to some linear algebra as a part of another course, so I strongly recommend you to take a formal and rigorous linear algebra course.

    I am currently taking Linear algebra 2 at the faculty of mathematics, and find it very interesting and useful.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2007
  7. May 20, 2007 #6

    ranger

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    Linear algebra is standard part of the curriculum for physics, engineering, and computer science. I took linear algebra alongside calc II; not sure if this is the norm though.
     
  8. May 20, 2007 #7
    I did the same thing Ranger.
     
  9. May 20, 2007 #8
    I did the same thing as ranger and mr_coffee. My major is Aerospace Engineering. I took the class "Matrices" my second semester, which is an intro course to matrices, eigenvectors, transformations, vectorspaces, and the like. I plan to complete a minor in math, so, while my major doesn't require it, I'll probably take an advanced course on linear algebra.
     
  10. May 20, 2007 #9
    Whoa! The real question here is "why do we *need* to take linear algebra?"!

    * Image processing - any sort of rotation, translation or scaling operation can be written as a matrix multiplication. Your computer game writers and MRI users really need this one.

    * Quantum mechanics - spin models can be written in matrix form. The eigevectors define the spin states and the eigenvalues are the energies of the states.

    * Solving DE's - Computers are really bad at solving differential equations, but they're really good at solving matrices. Many engineering problems dealing with flows involve DE's - and so solving those problems involves matrices.

    In summary, Linear Algebra = Important!
     
  11. May 20, 2007 #10

    G01

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    I'm planning on taking it in the fall. After that course, I think I will have cemented my math minor in its place:)
     
  12. May 20, 2007 #11

    cgw

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    I'm a mechanical engineer and I did not take it. We touched on it in other courses but only enough to use parts of it and in the end there was always an easier way.
    I am looking at it as a result of my interest in quantum mechanics. What I am seeing so far though, is that it is pretty useful for several disciplines and you can see a common ground of those disciplines.
     
  13. May 20, 2007 #12

    mathwonk

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    everyone benefits from taking linear algebra. calculus is the science of approximating arbitrary smooth functions by linear functions.

    obviously a prerequisite is to understand linear functions. that is linear algebra.

    lin ear algebra is the one most useful and fundamental subject in all of mathematics, useful in physics pure math, engineering, economics, etc/......
     
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