
Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Posted:
Apr 27, 2004 3:26 PM


Gerry Myerson <gerry@maths.mq.edi.ai.i2u4email> wrote in message news:<gerry1AD269.11591023042004@sunb.ocs.mq.edu.au>... > In article <c98b1ba0.0404221444.4623535e@posting.google.com>, > 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? Or is there somewhere more appropriate to go? > > The appropriate place to go is your teacher's office. Ask her to > take the time to go through a few problems with you & to suggest > what you ought to be doing to get a grip on the material.
Oops, I also forgot to comment on office hours in my last post. Some friends have recommended this, but the way my schedule just so happens to be set up this semester, I'm almost always in other classes during my linear professor's assigned hours. On the days I'm not, there have always been other things going on that have prevented me from seeking help (I live in a triple room and my other two room mates have had severe problems with each other this semester; I've been caught in the middle and a lot of the time that I should have been using to study, read, do homework, and visit whatever office hours I'm free for has been taking up instead by talking to deans, my dorm's R.A.'s, etcbut this is a whole 'nother issue).
When I've used office hours in the past, I've found that students generally need some kind of basic idea where their problem lies. With linear algebra, I'm not sure about that. I wouldn't want to waste the professor's time (or become even confused about the topics I thought I understood), especially since it's incredibly hard to find a time at a professor's office hours when they're free anyway. In the past, I've spent hours waiting and waiting outside a professor's office, just to go inside and not have any clue where my problem lies, and then leave the office hours feeling more confused than when I went in.
So...I don't know what to do. I do want to meet with my professor when I'm free to do so on Thursday, before my last inclass exam on Friday (I'm not sure this will give me enough time to solve anything...) and perhaps again before my final exam in two weeks.
I've come a long way in my understanding of linear algebra using the guides I have, but, like I've said, I'm still really unsure what my problem is. Something tells me I may just need a little more brushing up on a little more specific useage of the concepts, and I may be OK. Finding a way to solve proofs might be helpful too; this is something I generally suck at and not having all the concepts clearly seems to only make the proofs harder.

