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Learn linear algebra with online courses and programs

Linear algebra can be used to solve problems in a wide range of fields, from computer graphics to economics. Learn linear algebra with online courses delivered through edX.

What is linear algebra?

When you play a video game, watch a movie with animated graphics, transform an image in Photoshop, or even do a simple internet search, you are using technologies built from linear algebra concepts. 

Defined simply, linear algebra is a branch of mathematics that studies vectors, matrices, lines and the areas and spaces they create.Footnote 1 Linear algebra and its applications are important in various disciplines, including computer science, engineering, physics, and computer animation. 

The application of linear algebra in computers is often referred to as numerical linear algebra.Footnote 2 Linear algebra is extremely useful in computer science and computer graphics, because it provides a foundation for modeling digital objects, helping computer scientists transform numerical data into actionable information on a screen. 

Around the world, professionals use linear algebra to:

  • Solve linear equations

  • Interpret geometric concepts

  • Create algorithms 

  • Design and render 2D or 3D animations 

  • Compose audio, videos, and images 

  • Program machine learning devices 

  • Cluster and classify data

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Linear algebra course curriculum 

Enrolling in a linear algebra course can be an excellent way to not only learn the subject, but also understand how you might use it in the real world. An “Introduction to linear algebra” online course can teach learners about fundamental concepts that can be applied to a variety of professional fields. Coursework may cover topics like systems of equations, algorithms, matrices, data analysis, machine learning, and quantitative finance. 

A linear algebra open course may cover the fundamental theorem of linear algebra and the applications of linear algebra. From foundational algebra tutorials to advanced courses, a variety of educational opportunities are available that can fit different learners’ needs. edX makes it easy to explore all available training and certificate options. 

Jobs that use linear algebra

Learning linear algebra can prepare you for an exciting career in fields that require an understanding of mathematical calculations and equations. There are many professions that call for linear algebra expertise. Linear algebra is used in a diverse range of sectors, including:

  • Computer science

  • Computer graphics

  • Animation

  • Engineering 

  • Robotics and machine learning

  • Finance

  • Science and medicine

  • Architecture

  • Farming

In the tech world, linear algebra can help data scientists create models and work with data represented in vector and matrix form.Footnote 3 Stock traders who want to determine the possible outcomes of a certain stock can use linear algebra to make a model for solving unknown quantities. Linear algebra and differential equations also help architects estimate a structure’s weight and measurements and design buildings that comply with safety and durability standards.Footnote 4

Explore how you can benefit from linear algebra courses delivered through edX. You can focus on specialized topics with boot camps or enroll in these courses as you work toward a bachelor's degree or master's degree.

How to use linear algebra in machine learning 

Machine learning is another area that relies on linear algebra. Around the world, linear algebra for machine learning is a foundational element of computer and artificial intelligence programming. For example, linear algebra is used to make machines like computers recognize images through pixels. 

Other machine learning functions that use linear algebra include:

  • Prediction and optimization

  • Quantum computing

  • Graphics

  • Signal analysis

  • Linear programming

  • Deep learning

A bachelor's in computer science or data science may teach learners practical uses of linear algebra in machine learning. For those interested in furthering their machine learning education, a master's in data science or an online master's in engineering can help you enhance your skills and prepare for an exciting career. Since knowledge of multiple coding languages is also important for working in machine learning, enrolling in a coding boot camp can be an excellent way to practice coding and explore its real-life applications.

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