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MAS 3105–901 (4CH), Linear Algebra, Fall 2008 Course Syllabus

Instructor information

Instructor: Brendan Nagle (Dept. Math. Stat–CAS)

Office: PHY 330

Office hours: 5–6 pm, TR, and by appointment

Phone: 974–9724



Course information

Textbook: Linear Algebra with Applications, by Otto Bretscher, 3rd ed.

Class meetings: 6–7:45 pm, TR, in PHY 118

Course objectives: To learn the fundamentals of linear systems, matrix algebra, vector spaces and linear transformations. Topics include linear systems, matrix algebra, vector spaces, linear transfor- mations, orthogonal matrices, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors.

Course Outline (tentative): From Bretscher, Sections 1.1–1.3, 2.1–2.4, 3.1–3.4, 4.1–4.3, 5.1–5.3, 6.1–6.3, 7.1–7.3

Examinations: There will be three exams:

Exam 1

Sept 25 (tentative)

Exam 2

Oct 30 (tentative)

Exam 3

Dec 9, 5:30–7:30 pm (fixed).

Make-up exams will not be allowed unless a prior (and legitimate) notice of absence is given, or in the case of an emergency (with some verifiable proof presented to the instructor).

Homework: Homework exercises are listed at the instructor’s website above. The instructor will announce in class and at his website above which and when certain homework problems are to be submitted for a grade. Each homework submission will consist of two worked problems from homework, which must be clearly written on (using front and back, if needed) a single page. Moreover, for each submission, only the two problems sought are to be written on this sheet. Failure to meet these standards can result in a disqualification of the homework submission. Late homework will not generally be accepted. Due date extensions will be granted individually, and only in the case when a prior notice is given, or in the case of emergency (and in any case, no more than one extension will be granted, per student, during the whole semester).

Quizzes: There will be seven in-class quizzes, one for each of Sections 1–7, each about 15 minutes long. The dates of each quiz will be announced in advance (in class) and at the instructor’s website above. There will be no make-up quizzes.

Course grade: Averages will be determined as follows:

Exams 1, 2, 3

25% each





Grades will be evaluated as follows:

A + 96.5 > A 92.5 > A 89.5 > B + 86.5 > B 82.5 > B 79.5

> C + 76.5 > C 72.5 > C 69.5 > D + 66.5 > D 62.5 > D 59.5 > F

Students who wish to take the course on S/U basis must complete a written contract with the instructor within the first three weeks of the session. (Forms are available in the office of the Department of Mathematics.) An ‘S’ grade is given if the grade is ‘C’ or better. (The student should be aware that there are restrictions on the courses that can be taken on an S/U basis and should consult with an advisor within their own department for further information.) The incomplete grade I may be assigned only in the case when, (1) the student is passing the course with ‘C’ or better average and, (2) due to some dire circumstance (such as sickness or a death in the family) the student is unable to complete the course.

Calculator policy: Unless otherwise stated, calculators are not allowed on exams or quizzes.

Attendance policy: Attendance is not required, but is encouraged. The student is responsible for any material missed while he or she is absent. Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the observation of a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.

Lectures: Taking lecture notes in this course is encouraged, and these notes may be shared among classmates, but not sold. All unauthorized recordings of class are prohibited. Recordings that accomo- date individual student needs must be approved in advance and may be used for personal use during the semester only; redistribution is prohibited.

Students with disabilities are encouraged to consult me as soon as possible. If accomodations are needed, a letter from the Office of Academic Support and Accomodations for Students with Disabilities (SVC1133) will be required. Please inform me if there is a need for alternate format for documents or a note taker.