Math 235.4 : Introduction to Linear Algebra

Fall 2009

Instructor: Paul Hacking
Office: LGRT 1235H
Office Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays, 4:00PM--5:00PM, in my office LGRT 1235H.
Classes: MWF 11:15AM-12:05PM in Goessmann 51.
LGRT = Lederle Graduate Research Tower map, photo


The course text is Linear algebra with applications by Otto Bretscher (3rd or 4th ed.). googlebooks.

It is important to read the text book as well as attending the lectures -- there is not enough time in class to cover all the material. The sections we will cover are listed in the syllabus below.


Linear equations: Sections 1.1 -- 1.3.
Linear transformations: Sections 2.1 -- 2.4.
Subspaces of Rn and their dimensions: Sections 3.1 -- 3.4.
Linear spaces: Sections 4.1 -- 4.3.
Determinants: Sections 6.1, 6.2.
Eigenvalues and eigenvectors: Sections 7.1 -- 7.5.

Class log


There will be weekly homework, due at the beginning of Wednesday's class (first homework due 9/16/09).

The homework and quizzes make up 25% of your course grade.

Homework sets


There will be two midterm exams and one final exam. The first midterm will be held in class on Wednesday 10/7/09.

Practice questions for the first midterm are here. Answers are here.

The first midterm exam is here. Answers are here.

The second midterm will be on Thursday 11/12/09 at 7PM in Marcus 131. A review of the material covered since the first midterm is here.

Practice questions for the second midterm are here. Answers are here. These have been prepared by the course chair Prof. Peter Norman.

The second midterm exam is here. Answers are here

The final exam will be on Tuesday 12/15/09 at 4PM in LGRT 0321.

Practice questions for the final exam are here. Answers are here. These have been prepared by the course chair Prof. Peter Norman.

Calculators, notes, and the textbook are not allowed on exams and quizzes. You should bring your student ID (UCard) to each exam.

The exams make up 75% of your course grade -- 20% for each midterm and 35% for the final.

Useful links

Linear algebra computations can be done on the web in the free mathematical software "sage".
Main sage website.
Use sage online (you will need to create a username and password).
Quick reference guide to linear algebra in sage.

MIT Linear algebra course (lecture videos and course materials freely available).

Google uses linear algebra to rank search results on the web:
Expository article, Original article (see Section 2.1).

This page is maintained by Paul Hacking