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Math 342: Solutions to midterm review questions

1. a) Define what it means to say that vectors ~v1 , . . . , ~vp in a vector space V are linearly independent.
b) Consider the following polynomials

1 + 2t2 , 4 + t + 5t2 , 3 + 2t

in the vector space P2 of all polynomials of degree ≤ 2. Do they form a basis for P2 ? Explain your
answer as carefully as you can.
Solution. (i) They are linearly independent if

c1~v1 + · · · + cp~vp = 0

implies c1 = · · · = cp = 0.
(ii) Write the given vectors in terms of the basis 1, t, t2 . This gives the columns of the matrix:
 
1 4 3
 0 1 2 
2 5 0

If the vectors are linearly independent, this matrix should be invertible, i.e. have rank 3. Probably
the quickest way to check is to compute its determinant:

1 4 3 1 4 3

0 1 2 = 0 1 1 2
2 =
= 0.

2 5 0 0 −3 −6 −3 −6

Hence, the matrix is not invertible, so the vectors do not form a basis for P2 .

2. Let

B = {1, t, t2 },
C = {1 + t, 1 + t2 , t + t2 }.

So B is our favorite basis for the vector space P2 of all polynomials of degree ≤ 2.
a) Explain carefully why C is also a basis for the vector space P2 .
b) Write down the coordinates of the polynomial 6 + 3t − t2 relative to the basis B.
c) Compute the change of basis matrices

PB←C and PC←B .

d) Using your answers to b) and c), write down the coordinates of the polynomial 6 + 3t − t2
relative to the basis C.
Solution. a) By the same argument as the previous question, C is a basis if the matrix
 
1 1 0
 1 0 1 
0 1 1

is invertible. To check this, compute its determinant:



1 1 0 1 1 0

1 0 1 = 0 −1 1 = −2 6= 0.

0 1 1 0 1 1
Hence they do
 form a basis.
6
b)  3 .
−1
   −1
1 1 0 1 1 0
c) PB←C =  1 0 1  . Hence, PC←B =  1 0 1  . To compute this inverse matrix, use
0 1 1 0 1 1
Gauss-Jordan elimination:
     
1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
1 0
 1 0 1 0 1 0  →  0 −1 1 −1 1 0  →  0 −1 1 −1
1 0 
0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 −1
1 1
   
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1/2 1/2 −1/2
→  0 1 −1 1 −1 0 → 0 1 0 1/2 −1/2 1/2 
0 0 1 −1/2 1/2 1/2 0 0 1 −1/2 1/2 1/2
Hence:  
1/2 1/2 −1/2
PC←B =  1/2 −1/2 1/2 
−1/2 1/2 1/2
d) Finally,
    
1/2 1/2 −1/2 6 5
[6 + 3t − t2 ]C = PC←B [6 + 3t − t2 ]B =  1/2 −1/2 1/2   3  =  1  .
−1/2 1/2 1/2 −1 −2

3. True or False? Justify your answer...


a) The vector space P3 of polynomials of degree ≤ 3 is isomorphic to the vector space R3 .
b) If B is the standard basis for Rn , then the coordinates of a vector ~v ∈ Rn with respect to the
basis B is ~v itself.
c) If T : V → W is a linear transformation between two finite dimensional vector spaces, and
dim ker T = 0, then dim V ≥ dim W .
d) A vector space is infinite dimensional if it is spanned by an infinite set.
Solutions a) False. A basis is 1, t, t2 , t3 . So it is four dimensional, hence isomorphic to R4 .
b) True. This is a tautology, so more confusing than it should be!
c) False. If dim ker T = 0, then dim im T = dim V . But im T is a subspace of W , so dim im T ≤
dim W . Hence, dim V ≤ dim W .
d) False. A vector space is finite dimensional if it is spanned by finitely many vectors. But finite
dimensional vector spaces can also be spanned by infinitely many vectors – e.g. R2 is infinite and it
is certainly spanned by all its elements!

4. Suppose T : R2 → R2 is a linear transformation and that


 
2 0
[T ]B,B =
0 3
   
2 3
where B is the basis , for R2 .
3 2
a) Describe the transformation T geometrically (e.g. draw a picture!).
b) Compute the standard matrix of T .
Solution.
 a)I would draw a picture if I could. But its really a stretch
 scale factor 2 parallel to
2 3
the vector and a stretch scale factor 3 parallel to the vector .
3 2
b) We need to compute the images of ~e1 and ~e2 . Note
     
1 3 3 2 2
= − .
0 5 2 5 3

Hence,
           
1 3 3 2 2 3 9 2 4 19/5
T = T − T = − = .
0 5 2 5 3 5 6 5 6 6/5

Similarly:
           
0 3 2 2 3 3 4 2 9 −4/5
T = T − T = − = .
1 5 3 5 2 5 6 5 6 6/5

Putting these together, the standard matrix is


 
19/5 −4/5
.
6/5 6/5

5. Let ~b1 , ~b2 , ~b3 , ~b4 be a basis for a 4-dimensional vector space V . Consider the linear transformation
T : V → V which satisfies

T (~b1 ) = ~0 and T (~bi ) = ~bi−1 for i = 2, 3, 4.

a) Write down the matrix [T ]B,B of T with respect to the basis B.


b) Find bases for im T and ker T .
c) What is dim
 im T + dim ker  T?
0 1 0 0
 0 0 1 0 
Solution. a) 
 0 0 0 1 

0 0 0 0
b) Note the matrix has rank 3, so the image has dimension 3 and the kernel has dimension 1.
Now just look at the above matrix: ~b1 is a basis for the kernel, ~b1 , ~b2 , ~b3 is a basis for the image.
c) Of course it is 4. It has to be, by the rank-nullity theory.