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i had a really cool physics degree program that told me Linear Algebra was not required. so anyway i took it first on a whim. then a year later saw it in a mechanics class where it was absolutely crucial to passing the course. now i'm formally learning the method i already had to master how to use linear algebra for differential equations

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Step 1. introduction to mathematical tool

Step 2. Application of tool that requires mastery

Step 3. Formal theory of how tool is applied to step 2

this seems like a smart and normal way to structure a degree

@D_Blakely Yikes, that doesn't sound like a good setup. I had a similar situation in my undergrad where I was learning electricity and magnetism. Knowing vector calculus makes this topic much more understandable, but my calculus class wasn't getting to vector calc until later in the semester.

So I learned vector calc two different ways in two different classes. The physics course was Step 2, and the math course was Step 3, a few months later.

At least everything made sense before final exams

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