3Blue1Brown – Linear Algebra videos

Right out the gate, I want to express my gratitude for the 3Blue1Brown YouTube channel for publishing a wonderful video series titled Essentials of Linear Algebra. After watching, and rewatching, the first four beautifully animated videos, I can say that I’ve developed a much better understanding, much more intuitive, of what I’m been learning in my linear algebra course.

Before watching the videos, I’ve been reading the first few sections from the assigned textbook (and PDF lectures supplied by the instructor), which covers adding and subtracting and multiplying matrices as well as finding the inverses of matrices. Now, for these topics, I’ve been presented with sample exercises and, for the most part, been solving them with little to no questions.  However, I had no idea why I was doing what I was doing — I was simply going through the mechanics of solving problems.  For instance, multiplying matrices: what does that actually do? To elaborate, what’s the purpose of multiplying two matrices together, let alone adding them.  I had shared this frustration with my uncle, a physicists and who works at Boeing, and he recommended that I check out 3Blue1Brown YouTube videos.  So I did.

And the videos, which are crisp and concise and aesthetically beautiful, cleared up much of my confusion around the concepts. And sure, the videos don’t jump into example exercises but that’s not the point of the videos. Instead, I think the expectation of the viewer is to go and practice problems on their own, and then supplement those exercises by watching the videos. At least that’s how I’m leveraging these videos.