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Topic: Failing Linear Algebra:
Replies: 54   Last Post: Jan 10, 2007 12:47 PM

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Mitch Harris

Posts: 398
Registered: 12/8/04
Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Posted: Apr 24, 2004 11:34 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Anonymous wrote:
>I'm currently a math major and am taking linear algebra, but I'm in
>serious danger of failing. I just don't get it! Is this newsgroup a
>place to come to ask questions and get information about learning
>math?


1) for informal curiosity questions, sci.math is great
2) if you expect the sci.math news group to help you consistently every
week on your homework problems, it could happen but it depends on your
doing a lot of the work first and being very conscientious in your
requests for help.

>Or is there somewhere more appropriate to go?

Online? hmmm... there might be chatrooms but linear algebra seems at a
level where a dedicated chatroom would be a little sparse. look for
undergrad math tutoring or help.

> I've always had
>trouble with vectors, and I think I fell apart sort of right at the
>beginning of linear algebra (although, I did manage to get a B- on the
>very first exam). I've got another exam next week. What can I do? I
>don't get all the terms, concepts, and jargon. Anyone know how to
>make learning linear algebra easier and more practical?


Practical? do you mean like showing how it is useful?
1) the contrite answer is that it is useful for fulfilling the
requirements of a degree in mathematics.

2) the liberal arts answer is that it is one of the pillars of
the beautiful and wonderful human achievement that is mathematics (along
with say differential/integral calculus, number theory, or logic). It
permeates all of mathematics.

3) the plain answer is that it is used all the time in engineering.

The answer you probably want though is that to make linear algebra easier
to understand (because it is all symbols, it's so abstract, you can lose
sight of what it really means) is to try to give it an interpretation that
is easier to think about. Usually geometrical/visual interpretations work
best with linear algebra. Think of arrows in the plane or 3-space as
vectors, a linear transformation (multiplying by a matrix) as modifying a
set of points, the determinant is what? eignevectors are what? similar
matrices behave how?) etc. ask your TA or prof about these...er after the
test.

>Anyone got any practice problems?

Online? possibly (google is your best bet here), but in real life, you can
go to a university library and find "Schaum's outlines" or "thousand's of
problems solved in" for linear algebra.

--
Mitch (remove the q to respond)


Date Subject Author
4/22/04
Read Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
4/22/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Michael N. Christoff
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Gerry Myerson
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Jonathan Miller
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
David C. Ullrich
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Acid Pooh
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
4/23/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Russell Blackadar
4/23/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Brian Borchers
4/27/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
maky m.
4/26/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
David Ames
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Michael Stemper
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
maky m.
4/23/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Porker899
4/27/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Abraham Buckingham
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Mitch Harris
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Grey Knight
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Toni Lassila
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Thomas Nordhaus
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
George Cox
4/28/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Dave Rusin
4/28/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
George Cox
4/28/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
George Cox
4/29/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Marc Olschok
4/29/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Mitch Harris
4/29/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Robert Israel
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Russell Blackadar
4/28/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Russell Blackadar
4/29/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Russell Blackadar
4/29/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Russell Blackadar
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Russell Blackadar
5/1/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Russell Blackadar
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Russell Blackadar
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Dave Rusin
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Russell Blackadar
4/30/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
David C. Ullrich
4/27/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
4/27/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
4/28/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Law Hiu Chung
4/30/04
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Guest
1/10/07
Read Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
David C. Ullrich

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