The Math Forum



Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.


Math Forum » Discussions » sci.math.* » sci.math

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

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Guest

Watch Watch this User
Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Posted: Apr 27, 2004 6:03 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

harrisq@tcs.inf.tu-dresden.de (Mitch Harris) wrote in message news:<c6e1ep$aov3s$1@uni-berlin.de>...
> 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,


I've got all that, more or less.

>the determinant is what?

I know how to compute it, at least for 2X2 and 3X3 matrices. Any
matrix larger than that can be reduced by getting all 0's and one 1 in
any row or column, right? And then it's treated like a 3X3 matrix?
Can a 3X3 similarly be reduced to a 2X2? I also know something about
the determinant equaling 0 or not equaling 0. If it does, then the
equations are independent (?????), I think.

>eignevectors are what?

If T(*x*) = (constant)(*x*), then (*x*) is the eigenvector and
(constant [lambda]) is the eigenvalue, right? I still need to
understand what has to be done to solve for the eigenvalues and
eigenvectors though. I was able to piece together what I had to do
for the homework assignments. But, I guess I did it in a very
roundabout way. My professor explained that it could just be
calculated by multiplying 2 matrices. Still, I don't really
understand....

similar
> matrices behave how?)

I don't know what a similar matrix is. Is that where one of them
equals the other times a scalar? If so, how does one determine if two
matrices *are* similar? So, talking here is really making me start to
think that maybe it's *not* the concepts and definitions that I'm
having major problems with. Maybe it's more the computation and how
to solve for something or show whether something is or is not
something else (e.g., how to show 2 matrices are similar, how to show
whether a system is linearly independent, how to show whatever the
determinant is used to show, etc).

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.


I've got Schaum's. I don't understand how they solve a lot of the
problems....


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

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2017. All Rights Reserved.