I took AP calculus in high school and I really enjoyed it, but when I got to my university I was upset that I couldn't take Calculus II as it didn't fit in my schedule. I feel kind of behind now that I'm considering pursuing an undergraduate maths degree as I realise how much I miss doing maths.

In order to catch up and go beyond what is required, what order should I learn new maths in? I'll be taking Calculus II next semester, but I would like to do some supplementary work on my own. Can I teach myself topics in multivariable calculus and linear algebra concurrently with a Calculus II course? Which should I start with linear algebra or multivariable calculus?


1 Answer 1


This has been answered before.

My opinion: linear algebra is, in some ways, actually easier than calculus, and it's an important foundation for many later topics. I would suggest learning linear algebra first, and then multivariate calculus.

(Many of the applications of multivariate calculus also rely on linear algebra, whereas multivariate calculus is not required to do linear algebra. So the chain of dependencies alone should inform your decision: linear algebra first, then multivariate calc.)

Edit: I just read that you haven't done Calc II yet. Okay, definitely do linear algebra first. Doing multivariate calc without having had Calc II-exposure would probably not be a good use of your time.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for the repeat question, I tried searching for something first, but couldn't exactly find it. Thanks very much. $\endgroup$
    – Sartree
    Nov 3, 2014 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Sartree sure thing :-) $\endgroup$
    – Newb
    Nov 3, 2014 at 18:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.