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

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Acid Pooh Posts: 247 Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Posted: Apr 23, 2004 12:06 AM

> 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? 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? Anyone got
> any practice problems?

I'd like to help you, but some specifics would be necessary. What
terminology are you having trouble with?

At any rate, this is the perfect opportunity to see if you have what
it takes to be a math major (or mathematician, if that's your goal).
You need to learn a method to go over the material quickly and
thoroughly. You need to learn how to come up with intuitive
representations of the concepts involved to guide your thinking. You
need to learn how to apply what you know to problem solving.

So, what I suggest is that you stick it out. Read the definitions
until your head hurts. Try to figure out exactly what the quantifiers
are telling you. Do problems until your head hurts more and you dream
about mathematical symbols. Don't let a problem intimidate you.

If this sounds appealling, you probably have what it takes. If not, I
would suggest another major--it's not going to get any easier after
linear algebra.

'cid 'ooh

(I'm not trying to scare you. I'm a student too, and I'm really
excited about facing new challenges in grad school. But I often have
to work for 48 hours straight to figure out a few measly problems.
Realistic expectations are important in any endeavor of this sort)

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