Math 24
Linear Algebra (Honors)
Last updated January 13, 2017 12:12:22 EST

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General Information

About The Course The Textbook Scheduled Lectures Instructors
Examinations Homework Policy Grades
Honor Principle Tutorials Special Considerations

About the Course

Math 24 is an honors course in linear algebra.

Linear algebra, the study of abstract vector spaces, is a beautiful subject in its own right. It also has applications in many areas, including but not limited to mathematics, physical and biological science, and economics.

This course differs from Math 22, Linear Algebra with Applications, in putting less emphasis on specific applications and more emphasis on mathematical abstraction and theory. In addition to learning linear algebra, students will develop their skills in reading mathematics and in writing proofs.

Prerequisite for this course: Math 8 or the equivalent. If you are not sure about your preparation for an honors course, please see the instructor.

Math 24 covers much of the same material as Math 22, and can generally substitute for Math 22 as a prerequisite.


Linear Algebra (Fourth edition) by Friedberg, Insel, and Spence
(Available at Wheelock Books and elsewhere)

Scheduled Lectures

MWF 10:10 - 11:15
(x-hour) Th 12:15 - 1:05
105 Kemeny Hall


Professor Marcia Groszek
Office: 330 Kemeny Hall
Office Hours: Mon 2:30-4:00, Thu 1:30-3:00, and by appointment
Contact via email.


Take-home exam 1 will be distributed around January 16 and due on January 23.

Take-home exam 2 will be distributed around February 6 and due on February 13.

Take-home exam 3 will be distributed during the last week of class and due on the date of our final exam.

A series of quizzes will be held during the x-hour in weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8, and during the final exam period.

Homework Policy

Regular written homework will be assigned daily and collected weekly. Homework assigned on a given class day is due on the first class day of the following week, generally Monday.

There will be a small number of special homework assignments, due on Mondays, specifically on the skill of proof writing. Special assignments will be graded credit or no credit. If your assignment is graded no credit, you will be able to redo it for credit. The first special assignment will be distributed during the second week of class, and due on January 18.

Most days there will also be a reading assignment. Reading assignments are always due the day following the day they are assigned, and each is assessed by a short quiz at the beginning of class. The quiz will consist of one or two short questions, chosen from a list of questions that will be given to you in advance. See here for more details.

Homework is due at 9:30 AM, unless you bring it to class with you, in which case it is due at 10:10. Homework handed in any later than this does not get full credit. If you are not going to be in class, you may hand in your homework at the instructor's office or by email, in which case it is due at 9:30 AM.

Late homework receives partial credit, depending on how late it is. The exception is reading quizzes, for which you must be on time. Homework is late if it is not turned in by 9:30 (not in class) or 10:10 (in class); and yes, one minute late is late. The partial credit schedule is:

Submitted by 2:00 that day: 95 percent
Submitted by the beginning of the next class: 80 percent
Submitted by the due date of the next assignment: 60 percent
Submitted by the due date of the following assignment 40 percent
Submitted by the last class 20 percent

Late homework will not be excused except in case of serious, unpredictable difficulties such as extended illness or family emergency. It is not possible to make up reading quizzes; however, your lowest three reading quiz scores will be dropped. This policy is intended to cover missing class due to extracurricular activities, minor illness, malfunctioning alarm clock, or other such things.

Regular written homework problems are graded on a scale of 0 to 5. A grade of 1 indicates some attempt at the problem. A grade of 2 indicates that the solution manages to communicate some progress on the problem. A grade of 3 indicates either a somewhat flawed explanation of a partial solution, or an excellent explanation of the problem and attempted solution (even though the mathematics might be completely wrong), or a correct mathematical solution with a very inadequate explanation. A grade of 4 indicates an excellent explanation of a solution that is partially correct, or a somewhat flawed explanation of a complete and correct solution, or perhaps a solution that just misses the top level on both issues. A grade of 5 indicates an excellent explanation of a complete and correct solution.

If you must miss a class, it is your responsibility to submit all homework on time, and to arrange to get notes from a classmate.


The course grade will be based upon homework and exams. In borderline cases, factors such as class participation, demonstration of the ability to work independently and collaboratively, or a steady record of improvement will be considered.

Regular written homework 15 percent
Proof-writing homework 5 percent
Reading quizzes 5 percent
Take-home exam 1 5 percent
Take-home exam 2 20 percent
Take-home exam 3 25 percent
Quizzes 25 percent
Total 100 percent

The Honor Principle

Academic integrity is at the core of our mission as mathematicians and educators, and we take it very seriously. We also believe in working and learning together.

Collaboration on homework is permitted and encouraged. You may get help from others, but you must write up the answers yourself. If you are part of a group of students that produces an answer to a problem, you cannot then copy that group answer. You must write up the answer individually, in your own words.

On exams, you may not give or receive help from anyone. Quizzes in this course are closed book, and no notes, calculators or other electronic devices are permitted. For take-home exams, you may use your textbook and your notes and homework, but no other sources. You may discuss the take-home exams only with the instructor, and only to clarify the problems.

If you have any questions about how the honor principle applies in this course, please ask the instructor.


The TA for this course is James Ronan. Tutorial assistance for this course, and help with your homework, will be available on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 7:00-9:00 PM, Kemeny 108.

Special Considerations

Office hours are always drop in; you need not make an appointment. If you have a conflict with regularly scheduled office hours, you can make an appointment for another time.

Students with disabilities enrolled in this course and who may need disability-related academic adjustments and services are encouraged to see their professor privately as early as possible in the term. Students requiring disability-related academic adjustments and services must consult the Student Accessibility Services office (301 Collis Student Center, 646-9900, Student.Accessibility.Services at Once SAS has authorized services, students must show the originally signed SAS Services and Consent Form and/or a letter on SAS letterhead to their professor. As a first step, if students have questions about whether they qualify to receive academic adjustments and services, they should contact the SAS office. All inquiries and discussions will remain confidential.

If you have any questions or concerns about the course, please come to office hours or make an appointment.

Marcia Groszek
Last updated January 13, 2017 12:12:22 EST