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Tips to Survive 62-120 (Linear Algebra) at UWindsor

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Aman Patel
21 Feb 2018
4 min read
62-120 is a Linear algebra course offered at the University of Windsor for students. This course includes learning linear systems, matrix algebra, determinants, vectors in Rn, dot product, orthogonalization, eigenvalues, and diagonalization. In fact, this course is a foundational tool appearing in everything from computer graphics to optimization. Computer science students have to choose this course in their 1st year. Students fear a lot from this course and 30% of students drop out of this course after attending 3 to 4 lectures. They face difficulty in scoring in this course. It is quite true that this course requires a good imagination and understanding power. These two things are something which you can build by following these points mentioned below:

Ask Questions in Class

Asking questions in class is the best way to develop a good understanding of this course. This practice works with every course because the first or basic rule of education is to ask questions. Try to understand at least 85-90% of the lecture in the class itself. You can solve the questions of linear algebra easily if you have understood the concepts and formulas precisely.

Review your notes

Review your notes after class. The reason to emphasize the word after class is because concepts of linear algebra are pretty hard and can be easily forgotten but if you read it once again as soon as you come home you will fix those concepts in your mind. This will help to solve problems easily.

Do your homework regularly

"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand" -Confucius Practise the questions given by the professor. Complete the weekly problems posted by the professor on the blackboard. The problem set helps the student to have a good imagination and build your concepts stronger. According to Confucius, until and unless you don't do it (i.e. don't practice) it you won't understand it.

Get help form MSLC (Math & Stats Learning Centre)

University students are advised to get help from MSLC. MSLC is math and stats learning center where you can get free tutoring for any math and stats course. This really helps because the tutors are the graduate students of the university. It also offers an opportunity to interact and study with peers/classmates and upper year students who also drop-in to complete assignments.  Course materials, including assignments, tests, and solutions may be available.

Ask others for help

If you are having trouble in this course, be proactive and get help from others. Trying to figure out things out by yourself is inefficient. Go and ask the professor about your doubts in their drop-in hours or by appointments. Image result for take help from others

Watch Gilbert Strang's lectures on YouTube

Gilbert Strang is the professor at MIT University. He wrote the book Linear Algebra by Gilbert Strang, which you can find on the internet. Try to read the book and watch the videos of Gilbert Strang itself teaching the lectures which are available on YouTube. The way he explains this course really helps to enhance our imagination and understanding of linear algebra. Image result for gilbert strang linear algebra If you follow these above-mentioned points and try not to get behind in class, then you can easily score well in this course and you won't be afraid of this course. Once you have a good feel for this course, you will come to know how  it is useful in other courses, especially computer science courses.

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