Chris D. Lynd, Ph.D. Mathematics

Office: 106C Lippitt Hall

Office Hours: Tuesday 3:00 -5:00, Thursday 3:00 - 4:00, or by appointment

MTH 215            Spring 2013 Kingston Campus

Linear Algebra, 4th edition
David C. Lay
Pearson Publishing

Below are documents that you should print out and put in your notebook.

Calendar of Due Dates


Below are class notes from the author of the textbook.
Lay Notes 1.1                      Lay Notes 1.2                      Lay Notes 1.3                      Lay Notes 1.4                      Lay Notes 1.5
Lay Notes 1.6                      Lay Notes 1.7                      Lay Notes 1.8                      Lay Notes 1.9 Part 1           Lay Notes 1.9 Part 2
Lay Notes 2.1                      Lay Notes 2.2                      Lay Notes 2.3                      Lay Notes 3.1                      Lay Notes 3.3
Lay Notes 4.1                      Lay Notes 4.2                      Lay Notes 4.3                      Lay Notes 4.4                      Lay Notes 4.5
Lay Notes 4.6                      Lay Notes 4.7                      Lay Notes 5.1                      Lay Notes 5.2                      Lay Notes 5.3
Lay Notes 6.1                      Lay Notes 6.2                      Lay Notes 6.3                      Lay Notes 6.4                      Lay Notes 6.5

Grading Policy

Your final grade is the percentage of points earned out of 550 total points.

93% - 100% A
90% - 92% A-

87% - 89% B+
83% - 86% B
80% - 82% B-
77% - 80% C+
73% - 77% C
70% - 72% C-
67% - 69% D+
60% - 66% D
0% - 59% F

Your 550 points will come from the following:
Homework Assignments

40 points

60 points
Mathematica or MATLAB Project

50 points
Midterm 1

100 points
Midterm 2

100 points
Final Exam

200 points


550 points

You are NOT allowed to use a calculator on quizzes, midterms, or the final exam.


Walk-in tutoring for math is located in rooms 201 and 205 in Lippitt Hall (Kingston) Monday through Thursday from 1:00 - 9:00. There is a no appointment needed and it is FREE. There are laptops available so you can access Mathematica. Be sure to bring your notes and questions with you. The tutoring center is a great place to study with classmates and friends, prepare for exams, and review the material covered in lecture.



Mathematica is a powerful Computer Algebra System (CAS) that can perform the most complicated calculations and draw spectacular graphics at the touch of the button. Knowledge of software like Mathematica will help you in your future professional career as well as in understanding material in calculus and calculating solutions to computationally complex problems.

Dr. Pakula's website for Mathematica has links to introductory videos and basic worksheets. There will be two Mathematica assignments for the semester. The Main Library (Kingston Campus) and the Memorial Union computer labs will have computers with Mathematica installed on them. Lippitt Hall 205 also has laptops with Mathematica installed on them. Furthermore, you can get a student version for free.
Click here for instructions.

Course Description
MTH 215 is an undergraduate course in Linear Algebra for students of engineering, computer science, and mathematics. Linear Algebra is the study of linear systems of equations, vector spaces, and linear transformations. Solving systems of linear equations is at the heart of virtually every mathematical procedure for solving problems arising in science and engineering. In this class we will concentrate on the mathematical theory and methods of linear algebra.


IN THE CLASSROOM: Lecture time is at a premium, so it must be used efficiently. Expect to have material covered at a fast pace. We expect you to come prepared to class as detailed below.

OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM: You cannot be taught everything in the classroom. Much of your learning must take place outside the classroom. At a minimum you should plan on studying two or more hours outside the classroom for each hour in class. You should attempt all the homework that is assigned and try additional problems in areas where you feel weak.

THE TEXTBOOK: You are expected to read the textbook for comprehension. It gives a detailed account of the material of the course. It also contains many examples of problems worked out, and these should be used to supplement those you see in the lecture. Use pencil and paper to work through the material and to fill in omitted steps. Read the appropriate section(s) of the book before the material is presented in lecture. Then the faster-pace lecture will make more sense. After the lecture carefully reread the textbook along with your lecture notes to cement your understanding of the material.

EXAMS: Our intent is to determine how well you understand the basic principles underlying the methods and if you are able to apply these principles to novel as well as routine situations. Some problems on an exam may seem new, but all will be solvable using principles from the material on which you are being tested.

SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS: It is your responsibility to communicate clearly in writing solutions for homework, quizzes, and exams. Your results must display your understanding well and be written in a correct, complete, coherent, and well organized fashion. The rules of language still apply in mathematics, and apply even when symbols are used in formulas, equations, etc. Neatness counts!

[Based on: Zucker, S., Teaching at the University Level, AMS Notices (43), 1996, pp 863-865.]

Classroom Policies

Attendance is required, please arrive on time. If you miss class, you must notify me ahead of time via email. See the policy on Make-up Work.

Illness Due to Flu
The nation is experiencing a widespread influenza-like illness. If any of us develop flu-like symptoms, we are being advised to stay home until the fever has subsided for 24 hours. So, if you exhibit such symptoms, please do not come to class. Notify me of your status, and we will communicate through email, at We will work together to ensure that your questions regarding the material are answered and that you have a proper amount of time to complete your assignments.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted a few simple methods to reduce the transmission of the flu virus. These include: covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; frequent washing or sanitizing of your hands; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and staying home when you are sick. For more information please view or The URI Health Services web page,, will carry advice and local updates.

Make Up Work
If you miss class, you must notify me ahead of time via email. If you do not notify me ahead of time, then you cannot make up the work and you will receive a zero for the assignment. If you cannot take a midterm exam at the regularly scheduled time, you must notify me ahead of time. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to re-take the exam and will receive a zero. Obviously, exceptions will be made in the case of an emergency. However, “I woke up and didn’t feel well” does not constitute an emergency – you need to send an email in a situation like this.

Students With Disabilities
Any student with a documented disability should contact me as soon as possible to discuss your accommodations. Students should also contact Disability Services for Students: Office of Student Life, 330 Memorial Union, 874-2098. They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Cheating is defined in the University Manual section 8.27.10 as the claiming of credit for work not done independently without giving credit for aid received, or any unauthorized communication during examinations. Students are expected to be honest in all academic work. The resolution of any charge of cheating or plagiarism will follow the guideline set forth in the University Manual 8.27.10 – 8.27.20.