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Which is harder? Linear Algebra Or Calculus 1?

A photo of KevX KevX
What is Linear Algebra and what is Calculus 1?
Which one is harder and why?
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5 replies
A photo of Ba Ba Blue Ba Ba Blue
Linear algebra is definitely harder. Calculus is largely mechanical. If you do the things they teach you in class, you'll get through it just fine. On the other hand, linear algebra needs to be understood and the concepts are somewhat more abstract. This is all coming from a math major, so I've done them both as much as I need to.
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A photo of ktel ktel
Definitely agree with linear algebra. It's a lot more difficult to understand when it gets more complicated. When its being treated in the physical sense it's a bit better, but gets more abstract.
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A photo of onewordify onewordify
It depends. I found Linear Algebra to be a easier than Calculus. It's a lot less work in my opinion, but I agree it's more abstract.
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A photo of rolledoats rolledoats
You can't just compare these overall, it depends on the courses. Often there are different courses for math majors than for engineers, for example. Also, Calc I is sometimes a prerequisite for any linear algebra course, but the reverse is probably never true.

That said...for the sake of making a comparison, the linear algebra analog to a typical Calc I course would look something like this (where Calc I is this).

I would personally consider introductory linear algebra easier than introductory calculus. That's just how my mind works. And I'd consider Calc III (aka vector calc) much harder than either of the above.
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A photo of MattUK MattUK
I find them both quite doable.
Linear Algebra is more abstract, but I've never found that much of a hindrance.
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