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milehigh
Registered User regular

So I procrastinated registering for this semester due to some family and job issues (wasn't sure if I was going to do any classes this semester) and am now quite limited in my choices. I'm trying to stick to online classes (and only take 2 of them) since I do work 40 hours per week (with pressure coming down in the next few months that could go up to 50-55/week)

In any case I'm going to be taking an "Intro to Social Psychology" course, which I've been lead to believe is fairly easy from those who've already taken it. There's a few other options if I'm willing to go to campus, but there's one other online course that's I need to take and still has spots open....Linear algebra and differential equations. I just completed the prereq for the course (Calc 2) with a B, that was in a normal classroom setting however.

From what I hear though this is one of the toughest math (actually one of the toughest classes period) I'll have to take in my college career.

I guess I'm looking for experiences with linear algebra/diff eq and if it's crazy for me to even think about doing this, or maybe by putting in my normal math study time (1.5 hours per day, 7 days a week) I could irk out a B or C. Any advice/observations would be greatly appreciated.

In any case I'm going to be taking an "Intro to Social Psychology" course, which I've been lead to believe is fairly easy from those who've already taken it. There's a few other options if I'm willing to go to campus, but there's one other online course that's I need to take and still has spots open....Linear algebra and differential equations. I just completed the prereq for the course (Calc 2) with a B, that was in a normal classroom setting however.

From what I hear though this is one of the toughest math (actually one of the toughest classes period) I'll have to take in my college career.

I guess I'm looking for experiences with linear algebra/diff eq and if it's crazy for me to even think about doing this, or maybe by putting in my normal math study time (1.5 hours per day, 7 days a week) I could irk out a B or C. Any advice/observations would be greatly appreciated.

## Posts

If it was regular algebra or geometry I'd say go for it, but not something as advanced as either of the two you mentioned unless you are very good with math already.

The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.

Differential equations is more like Calculus, but it is likely going to be a step up in difficulty, and depending on how deep the class gets into it you'll have to be pretty comfortable with linear algebra to do well in it. Differential equations is also one of the ways you can go down the rabbit hole to go deeper into mathematics, as a lot of really interesting and important real life uses for differential equations have no straightforward closed form solution, necessitating coming up with methods of solving numerically to approximate the answer.

Also, when you took Calc 2, what did that cover? Are we talking like integration and series convergence, or multivariable calculus?

I got an A on the previous maths paper I did and a B on this one, but that was due to me stuffing my exam timing more than not being able to do the actual stuff.

I have no idea how much harder this would all be with an online course, but it's fairly common stuff so there are a lot of online resources available to get different perspectives on it all (MIT even have a full set of streamable lectures available to anyone here and here, along with notes and stuff to go along with them).

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However I guess it depends on your field. I've never taken Differential Equations or needed to know how to use one, but my experience might be different if I were say, a chemist.

I highly suggest you look at the syllabus for your course, and then look up supplemental lectures / notes / etc on the subjects and learn them.

Diff eq's: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Mathematics/18-03Spring-2006/CourseHome/index.htm

Linear Algebra: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Mathematics/18-06Spring-2005/CourseHome/index.htm

If those don't seem like the right things, there's a listing on that website of all their courses they have online, it's possible you may be at a different level.