Monday, December 20, 2010

Free Course in Linear Algebra

Computer graphics programming uses linear algebra so heavily, you could basically say it's based on it. Yet, many people — perhaps most — who develop an interest in graphics programming don't have a background in Linear Algebra. At most universities, it is taught as an upper-level (300 or 400) mathematics course, which means that the majority of students who aren't majoring or minoring in math or certain hard sciences, typically don't take them. Even if you have studied it, if you've gone a period of time without using it, you very likely have forgotten it.

Yet, if you want to go beyond a certain level in graphics programming, you need to understand it.

Today, I stumbled across a free course in Linear Algebra, and it looks to be quite good. It's dense but, hey, this is higher math we're talking about here, so there's not much that can be done to simplify it without making it incorrect. But the price is right, the content is good, and what's even better is that the course doesn't assume much in the way of specific prior knowledge.

Make no bones about it, this is hard stuff to learn, but if you've got a reason to learn it (like a drive to create computer graphics), it helps a lot. Linear algebra in the classroom taught in an abstract manner bored me to tears. Having a real reason and being able to do things with it makes it much more rewarding and fun.


Amit said...

Best course ever on linear algebra has got to be the course by Gilbert Strang - probably the best instructor in the field.

- Amit

allkindsofhandbags said...

Great job.Jeff, I tip my hat towards you; the respect goes both ways. My blog reflects the fact that I've been getting back to my roots recently, focusing on desktop OpenGL rather than iOS-specific stuff. Rock on, fellow author!


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Paul said...

Another place to learn about linear algebra (and lots of other subjects) is at the Khan Academy ... btw, also free