
Re: Failing Linear Algebra:
Posted:
Apr 23, 2004 10:46 PM


Anonymous wrote in message news:<c98b1ba0.0404221444.4623535e@posting.google.com>... > 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?
Get yourself a piece of bristle board. Reproduce all your notes on the bristle board in compact form, include diagrams and pictures from your notes and textbook. Every definition in the course should be on the bristle board, and every important theroem in the course should be on it as well. Use color and alot of diagrams. Once you're done, put this on your wall next to your bed. Every morning when you get up, and every night before you go to sleep read everything on this bristleboard to yourself outloud. Do this every day for the entire duration of the course, and do this for every course you take. If you don't understand anything on this bristle board, then talk to you teacher about it IMMEDIATELY.
This is the best advice I can give you as someone who'd learned most everything through home study. There is no royal road to mathamatics, it's repetition and memorization and those who claim "understanding" will give you what you really need are fundementally different students, and by the fact you're nearly failing the course I suggest you ignore that approach and power though the content in this manner. Although you MAY not understand it, by memorizing it you at least give yourself the chance to see it come up in another context later on, and get the required epiphany.
As for a resource on the internet you can find a complete course in Linear Algebra at http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Mathematics/1806LinearAlgebraFall2002/CourseHome/index.htm thanks to MIT, including video lectures from one Proffessor Strang, problems to solve, and practice exams. I found these lectures to be extremely useful in increasing my understanding of the content you're working with. Good Luck!! :)

