Linear Algebra with Applications
Last updated October 16, 2006
In this course, we use Euclidean space to develop intuition about
ideas such as linear transformations, determinants, vector spaces,
coordinates, the dimension of a vector space, and inner products. We
also discuss the idea of a proof, including what should and should not
be included and how to write them coherently. These discussions will
occur mainly during the x-hours (x-hour proof workshops) and will
roughly consist of
In addition, 5 points on each exam will be "style" points. I expect
everyone to earn all 5 points, but if I have to read a solution more
than once because I cannot follow your work, you may lose style
points. On the final, you will only be able to lose style points; in
other words, I will not set aside a certain number of points for
style but will take off points on questions that I have difficulty
following (This is based on the Teaching Time
Savers column published by the
MAA in the August/September 2006
issue of Focus).
- the class broken up into small groups to write proofs and
- individual students writing proofs on the board so that we can
discuss in general what we want, as well as what we want to avoid,
when we write proofs.
||Required text: Linear Algebra and its Applications, 3rd
edition update, by David C. Lay (ISBN: 0321287134)
The text is available at
Wheelock Books, although
you may be able to find it cheaper elsewhere. We will be using the
text from the first day of class.
|MWF 13:45 – 14:50 (1:45 – 2:50 pm)
x-hour*: Th 13:00 – 13:50 (1:00 – 1:50 pm)
|Location: Kemeny 108|
* We will use all x-hours unless specifically announced otherwise.
|Office: 239 Kemeny Hall
||Monday 11:00 – 13:00 (11:00 am &ndash 1:00 pm),
Thursday 11:30 &ndash 12:30, and by appointment.
When I am on campus on weekdays, I am usually in my office (or close
to it). I am always happy to talk to students who stop by when I am
available; if you stop by but I am in the middle of something that
needs to be finished soon, we can find another time to meet.
For each day of class (not including x-hour proof workshops, x-hours
during which you take part of an exam, and the day before an exam), I
will post an associated assignment on the
HW Assignments page. I will collect
these assignments at the BEGINNING of class on MONDAYS.
I strongly encourage you NOT to put off the assignemnt until
the night before it is due. You may work together on these
assignments, but you must write up your answers individually. Clearly
indicate the exercise that you are solving by giving the section of
the exercise and the exercise number. If you use more than one piece
of paper, staple the pages together. Do NOT do your homework
with anything except a pencil or a pen with either blue or black ink
(NO MARKERS, COLORED PENCILS, or CRAYONS).
All homework assignments are due at the START of class on the
day they are due. LATE HOMEWORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR ANY
REASON. The grader is permitted to deduct 1 point on any homework
without a name, on any homework that is not neat and stapled, or on
any homework done in anything except a pencil or a pen with either
blue or black ink.
Each exercise will be graded 0, 1/2, or 1, as follows:
The total number of points you earn on homework will be converted to a
number out of 100 in computing final grades. Thus, if there are 200
exercises assigned over the entire term and you earn 140 points, then
you will earn 70 points out of 100.
- 0 – exercise either not attempted or attempted with no
progress made toward a solution/proof
- 1/2 – exericse attempted, with some progress made toward a
solution/proof, but the solution/proof contains a significant error
(you have shown that you understand where to start)
- 1 – solution/proof of exercise is essentially correct;
errors are minor (you have clearly shown that you understand what you
need to do and how to do it)
At the end of each week, you are to submit a memo by email; this is
due by 23:59 (11:59 pm) every Sunday. The purpose of these
memos is to help both of us keep track of your progress in the course.
Do NOT submit your memo as an attachment to an email; write it
in the body of the email itself. Among the things your memos could
address are the following:
In your first memo (due by 23:59 on September 24), introduce yourself.
Tell me why you are taking this class, what your major is (or if you
don't have one, some possibilities for a major), what some of your
hobbies are, what your background is, and anything else you think I
- your feelings about the pace of the class (too slow, too fast,
- how comfortable (or uncomfortable) you feel about the material
covered during the past week,
- how an exam went (too hard/too easy, how you think you did,
whether your performance accurately reflects your knowledge of the
- other concerns that you have.
The last memo of the term is due by 23:59 (11:59 pm) on Sunday,
We will have two exams and a final in this course. The exams will have
two parts: you will do one part during the x-hour; you will pick up
the second part during the x-hour, and it is to be handed in at the
START of the next class period. You will be allowed to use your
notes and the text for the take-home part of each exam but NOT
for the in-class part. For the take-home part, clearly indicate the
problem you are doing, staple your pages together if you use more than
one, and do NOT do the problems using anything except a pencil
or a pen with either black or blue ink (no markers, colored
pencils, or crayons). The final will NOT have a take-home
part. You are to neither receive nor give help on any exam or final.
The two exams and final are tentatively scheduled as follows:
||Thursday, October 11
||Thursday, November 2
||Sunday, December 3
||15:00 – 18:00 (3:00 – 6:00 pm)
The final is scheduled by the registrar and will NOT be given
early to accomodate travel plans.
The course grade will be based on the scores on homework, exams, and
final as follows:
||total points possible
You are encouraged and permitted to collaborate on homework, but it is
a violation of the honor code for someone to provide the answers for
you. In other words, feel free to talk to other students while
thinking about an exercise, but write up your solutions independently.
You are also on your honor not to talk to another student about an
exam or final until both you and the other student have handed in the
exam or final.
Any students with disabilities who are taking this course and who may
need disability-related classroom accommodations are encouraged to
make an appointment to see me as soon as possible. They should also
stop by the
Center in Collis Center to register for support services.