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Would it be a really bad idea to take Linear Algebra & Calculus III in the summer?

  1. Feb 16, 2012 #1
    The two classes would happen during the same summer session which lasts six weeks. The lectures would be 2 hours long each every Monday through Thursday. I would have the month of June to look ahead (if that helps at all) in my Calculus book since we use the same book for the entire Calculus sequence. Would you advise me against taking both this way or somehow offer me advice?
     
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  3. Feb 16, 2012 #2
    Re: Would it be a really bad idea to take Linear Algebra & Calculus III in the summer

    I'm doing that now. Granted it's not the summer semester, but I am also taking DE as well and a physics course. I've noticed that calculus 3 is really easy for some, and really difficult for others. If you already have an intuitive sense of 3d objects and vectors, it will probably be pretty easy for you. I have to spend a TON of time studying for LA, and it always feels like I am behind. I feel like I understand the material covered only a day or so before the test! I suggest you read ahead for that course to decide whether or not you want to take it in a short semester and with other math courses.
     
  4. Feb 17, 2012 #3

    mathwonk

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    Re: Would it be a really bad idea to take Linear Algebra & Calculus III in the summer

    its a lot of work, but it might work, because those two courses are very similar. rather linear algebra is a theoretical prerequisite for calc 3.
     
  5. Feb 17, 2012 #4
    Re: Would it be a really bad idea to take Linear Algebra & Calculus III in the summer

    With that agressive of a schedule - be prepared for 2-3 hours of homework each night for each class. Maybe more if you (like QC said) have any trouble grasping the spatial concepts in Calc III. I found LA to be much more methodical than intuitive, so if you have found math easy to grasp in the past - you'll learn LA a little differently (and may get burnt out a little easier).

    When I took Calc III, I had ~1.5-2hrs/night of homework on a 10week quarter schedule (M-Th 1.5hr/day class). I 'got' the material, but it was a lot of homework to see the variety of problems in each lesson (or 2 lessons/day like you'll likely be doing per class).
     
  6. Feb 17, 2012 #5
    Re: Would it be a really bad idea to take Linear Algebra & Calculus III in the summer

    My ex-gf did this one summer and she got D's in both classes....but she wasn't very bright. I think it's completely possible given enough time to invest in them. Good luck.
     
  7. Feb 17, 2012 #6
    Re: Would it be a really bad idea to take Linear Algebra & Calculus III in the summer

    I took both calc III and differential equations together during a summer semester - which is comparable in complexity so it definitely can be done. Also, in terms of overlapping content, neither course should be a prerequisite for the other (even though some of the concepts may overlap), so you should be okay there.

    So, it may be challenging, but I don't think it's a "really bad idea".
     
  8. Feb 17, 2012 #7
    Re: Would it be a really bad idea to take Linear Algebra & Calculus III in the summer

    I took Calc II along with another difficult science course during the summer, though Calc was two hours a day five days a week. The pace is very rapid, and you have to be sure you have time to work on homework every night. As long as you've got about 3-4 hours a day for each class (2 in class, ~2 doing homework), and the commitment to spend several weeks doing almost nothing but studying math, it can work. You simply must study every day, though. If you fall behind even one day, you can spend the next two-hour lecture completely lost without much flexibility in your schedule to catch up. It felt really nice at the end to have gotten those credit-heavy courses out of the way in less than half the time it would normally take.

    I got a little bit tired of doing the same thing every single day, but I also did very well in those courses because you simply don't have time to forget what you've previously learned. Consequently, I didn't even need to study for the midterm or final--you're constantly exposed to the material. I know the human anatomy courses at my school (which are notoriously difficult and require large amounts of memorization) post grades ~15% higher during summer semesters compared to fall and spring, presumably for this reason.

    TL;DR: if you can survive the monotony, taking just a couple courses during the summer can actually be easier than taking a more balanced load during fall/spring.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  9. Feb 17, 2012 #8
    Re: Would it be a really bad idea to take Linear Algebra & Calculus III in the summer

    I would be a bit worried about combining these two courses, esp. in an intensive summer course situation. I don't think Calc III will really be a problem, but linear algebra can be pretty hardcore, especially if your university uses it as a first proofs course.
     
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