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Which course is harder for students? Complex variables designed for engineers/ scientists

or

odes+linear algebra course for Engineers/Scientists?

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  • $\begingroup$ This is going to depend on the curriculum, the instructor, and your own personal strengths. I have no information about the first two, but for your own personal strengths I wold generally say that if you liked Differential Calculus, Multivariable Calculus, Vector Calculus you will probably find Complex Variables less difficult than someone who didn't enjoy those subjects. If you liked Linear Algebra, 3D geometry and Integral Calculus you'll probably do better in ODE's than someone who didn't. Both courses will be probably be hard, but you can be successful if you can put the work in. $\endgroup$ – Nate Bade Feb 22 '18 at 16:36
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The difficulty of the courses depends on the content and execution of the courses in question, and as such, the question does not have an answer.

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Totally guessing but I think the specific ODE course might be a little harder since it is already a big topic without matrices and then you add in LA (so a littler tougher than just a classical ODE course).

That said, I would do the ODE course first. It is much more fundamental than contour integration is to engineering. Almost everything is a diffyQ in engineering. Use of complex variables is actually rather rare in normal engineering homework.

(By use complex variables, I mean full on complex analysis. Of course you use imaginary numbers and phase angles in EE circuit analysis. But that is more like basic algebra 2 type stuff.)

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