Instructor: James A. Davis Office hours: MW 10:30-11:30
206 Jepson Hall TTh 8-9
289-8094 or by appointment
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Linear Algebra is the bridge course to much of higher mathematics.
Many of the courses in the mathematics major rely heavily on the material
in this course, and all of the upper level courses make at least some
reference back to linear algebra. There is a theory part of this course
and there is an application part, and we will try to go back and forth
between many different perspectives. Always, we will take the
``hands-on approach'', which means that we will try to give examples
of everything that we work on. By the end of the course, you should
have a working knowledge of vectors, matrices, vector spaces, bases,
linear independence, row spaces, column spaces, how to solve systems
of linear equations, and the fundamental linear algebra theorem.
We will use the text entitled Introduction to linear algebra
by Gilbert Strang. We will cover at least the first 7 chapters (maybe
in a different order) as well as several applications depending on class
interest. This course is useful to people studying math (obviously),
physics, chemistry, economics, engineering, and others. One suggestion
is to actually read the book. This may be obvious, but I think that a lot
of people get through calculus and differential equations without really
reading the book to try to find out what is going on. This course will
introduce material that you are not familiar with, and the book does a
decent job of explaining the hard parts.
GRADING Homework assignments will account
the final grade. This will take 2 basic forms. First, there will be
written homework assignments that you will have to turn in at least
once a week. These will be graded on correctness, completeness, and
correct usage of the English language. That will account for about
2/3 of the points. The other points will be for computer assignments.
Many of the algorithms that we will learn in class are easily adapted to
the computer world, and this is a good place to do large examples that
would be impossible by hand. There will be 4 or 5 of these assignments,
and that will be the other 1/3 of the points.
The second part of the grading involves in-class tests. There will be
3 tests worth 11% apiece; thus, the total of the tests is 1/3 of the
final grade. These tests will be take home, and
are similar to the homework: some will be
purely computational while others will involve a paragraph explanation
to demonstrate understanding of important theoretical results. There will
also be a final, which is worth 28% of the final grade. The final will
be cumulative, and it will be similar to the tests.
The other 5% of the grade will be class participation. This subject will
be new to everyone, and it is critical that you be actively involved with the
class room discussions. I run an informal classroom where questions
are always welcome, and I want to make sure that everyone in the class is
with me at all times. This is not a grade on getting the answers correct in
class, but simply on your willingness to interact.
ACADEMIC HONESTY: Tests will be closed book,
closed notes: you cannot receive help on the tests from anyone except me.
Homeworks are a little fuzzier. I want to strongly encourage you to study
together and to work on the homework problems that are not going to be
graded. However, for the homework that is going to be graded, I want you
to work alone. Do your best to keep those separated.