Math 215 - Intro. to Linear Algebra (Section 3) - Spring 2006

| General Info | Syllabus | Announcements & Dates | Homework | Resources |

General Information

Meeting Time Mon., Wed., Fri., 3:00 - 3:50
Location Modern Languages 312
Instructor Ryan Vinroot
Office: Mathematics 510
Office Phone: 621-4835
Office Hours: Mondays, 1:00 - 2:30, and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:30
Tutoring Center: Tuesdays, 12:00 - 1:00
Textbook A Course in Linear Algebra with Applications, by Derek J. S. Robinson
3 Tests -- 100 points each, Homework -- 100 points, Final Exam -- 200 points, for a total of 600 points. The exact grade cutoffs will not be determined until the end of the semester, but with a final score of 540 (90%), you will definitely get an A, with 480 (80%), you will get at least a B, etc.
In short, Linear Algebra is the study of matrix computation, systems of linear equations, vector spaces, and linear transformations. There are two main concentrations of this course. The first is problem solving, such as finding all solutions to a system of linear equations, or finding the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix. The second is verifying statements using mathematical definitions. Knowing and understanding completely the mathematical definitions of things that we will study, such as subspaces of vector spaces and linear independence, will be vital to do well in the course.
Prerequisites Math 129 (Calculus II) or Math 250A (Calculus and Differential Equations I).


We will cover most of Chapters 1-8 of Robinson's book. There will be several days in the semester which will be reserved for review.

Announcements & Dates

  • Important Dates and Class Holidays
    • Monday, January 16th: NO CLASS (Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday)
    • Friday, February 3rd: Test 1 (In Class)
    • Tuesday, February 7th: Drop deadline
    • Friday, March 3rd: Test 2 (In Class)
    • Tuesday, March 7th: Withdraw deadline
    • Saturday, March 11th - Sunday, March 19th: NO CLASS (Spring Break)
    • Friday, April 14th: Test 3 (In Class)
    • Wednesday, May 10th: FINAL EXAM (5:00 - 7:00 pm, Modern Languages 312)
  • PLEASE NOTE: Test 2 has been changed to 2 days later than it was scheduled initially. Test 2 will now be on Friday, March 3rd.
  • There will be no class on Friday, March 10th.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Test 3 has been changed to 7 days later than it was orginally scheduled. Test 3 is now scheduled to be on Friday, April 14th.
  • For those of you reading the book carefully, you should note that we are computing bases of column spaces slightly differently than the book. We are avoiding elementary column operations altogether. Instead, we use the first part of Theorem 5.2.3 to conclude that in the reduced row echelon form of a matrix, we may look at the linearly independent set of columns, then take the correpsonding columns in the original matrix as a basis for the column space.
  • Yes, I had to change the date of Test 3 again. TEST 3 WILL BE ON FRIDAY, APRIL 14TH. I will not change it again.
  • There are additional optional problems along with Homework #9, which I strongly suggest that everyone do. If you want credit for them, you may turn them in with Homework #9, but you will not be penalized if you do not turn them in.
  • The last two homework assignments are optional. They may be turned in for credit, as usual, at the beginning of class on the due date. Your homework grade will not be penalized for not doing these assignments, although turning them in will definitely help your homework score and your understanding of the material.
  • I will be holding extra office hours on Tuesday, April 25th, from 3:00 until 4:30.
  • On Monday, May 1st, I will handout course evaluations for the class to fill out. Please be in class so that you can give your feedback on the class.
  • There will be a take-home portion of the Final Exam. I will hand it out at the end of class on Wednesday, May 3rd, and it will be due at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, May 10th, in Modern Languages 312 (the location for lecture and the final exam). You may use notes and books, but you may not discuss it with anyone other than me. You may use calculators to check answers, but you must show and explain all of your steps, and give exact answers, and not approximations. It will also be available below at the bottom of "Homework" so that you may print out another copy if necessary.
  • The in-class portion of the Final Exam is on Wednesday, May 10th at 5:00 PM, in Modern Languages 312 (the same room as lecture). You will have 2 hours, although since there is a take-home portion, the in-class portion of the final exam will be written to take approximately 1 hour to complete.
  • I will have office hours in the last week at the following times: Thurs. 2-3:30, Fri. 2-3:30, Mon. 1-2:30, Tues. 2-3:30, Wed. 1:30-2.
  • I have posted the full solution to Problem 3 from Section 8.1 in the book, from the last optional assignment. There was one part which we did not complete in class, so the solution is below with the assignment listing.


    Homework will be assigned roughly every week, with papers due at the beginning of class on the due date. Assignments will be posted here as the semester progresses, but will also be announced in class every week. Each problem on each homework is worth 2 points. If there is an answer given with no explanation, this is worth 0 points (as is a mostly incorrect solution). A score of 1 point is awarded if the solution has some right ideas, but not a complete solution. A score of 2 points is for a complete solution with concise and correct explanation, with possibly only small errors. The final homework score is the total number of homework points, normalized to 100.

    Assign. # Due Date Problems


    Wed., Jan. 18

      Sec. 1.1 #1, 5
    Sec. 1.2 #1, 3, 4, 10


    Wed., Jan. 25

      Sec. 1.2 #9, 12, 13, 14, 18
    This problem (in .pdf format)


    Wed., Feb. 1

      Sec. 2.1 #1, 4, 6
      Sec. 2.2 #1, 8
    Sec. 2.3 #1, 4, 6, 7


    Wed., Feb. 15

      Sec. 3.1 #1, 3, 5, 7
    Sec. 3.2 #1, 3


    Wed., Feb. 22

      Sec. 3.2 #4, 5
      Sec. 3.3 #1, 2, 4, 5
    Sec. 4.1 #2


    Wed., Mar. 1

      Sec. 4.2 #1a,b, 2a,c, 3
    Sec. 4.3 #1b,c, 2, 3, 4, 6


    Wed., Mar. 29

      Sec. 5.1 #1, 2 (Hint: Use Theorem 5.1.4), 5
      Sec. 5.2 #1, 2a, 3
    Sec. 5.3 #1, 3, 7


    Wed., Apr. 5

      Sec. 5.3 #8
      Sec. 6.1 #1, 2, 3
    Sec. 6.2 #1a, 4


    Wed., Apr. 12

      Sec. 6.2 #7, 8
      Sec. 6.3 #1a,c, 7
    Optional problems (in .pdf format)


    Wed., Apr. 26

      This assignment is optional
      Sec. 7.1 #1, 2, Sec. 7.3 #1, 2
    More problems (in .pdf format)


    Wed., May 3

      This assignment is optional
      Sec. 8.1 #1, 3, 7, 11


  • There is a mathematics tutoring center for all university math courses numbered up to 299. The tutoring for courses including Math 215 will take place in the Mathematics East building, Room 145, on Mon-Thurs from 10-3 and Fri from 10-2. The page with the schedule can be found here. Tutoring begins on the week of January 23rd.
  • Other than my office hours, you may also attend Michael Otto's office hours, who is teaching Section 1 of Math 215. His office is also in 510 of the Mathematics building (same as mine), and his office hours are on Mondays, 2:00 - 3:00, and Tuesdays, 1:00 - 2:00.