MTH 215 Section 2 Linear Algebra Spring 2008

Department of Mathematics, University of Rhode Island


Instructor Orlando Merino,, 874-4442, Tyler Hall 222
Meets MWF 9:00 a.m., Crawford Hall 222
Text Linear Algebra and its applications, by David C. Lay, 3rd Edition, Pearson/Addison Wesley
Prerequisites MTH 142 or MTH 131
Topics We will study selected sections from the following chapters: Linear equations in linear algebra, matrix algebra, determinants, vector spaces, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, orthogonality and least squares. For more details see the Calendar and Suggested Problems
Evaluation There will be 2 exams given during normal class time, on the following dates: Wed. Feb. 27th, and Wednesday, Wed. Apr. 9th. Your grade will be calculated according to the following weights:
Final Exam (33%), Exams (33%), Assignments (33%)
Here class work includes homework, quizzes, Maple projects, and special assignments.
About the Course This is an undergraduate course in Linear Algebra for students of engineering, 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.
Homework Homework will be assigned after each section from the list of problems found in Calendar and Suggested Problems . Your homework should show your work, short answers are not acceptable unless it is obviously what is being asked. Homework questions will be answered at the beginning of class. You may also send email your instructor with questions at
Technology We expect that you have a graphing calculator and are familiar with its use. A TI-83 or equivalent is fine. Calculator use may be restricted on some exams since more advanced calculators, like the TI-89 can do some of the computations that we expect you to learn to do with just pencil and paper. We will use Maple in this class, and some Maple assignments will be collected.
For information on Maple's Linear Algebra Package, see GO HERE The first Maple Homework is HERE The second Maple Homework is HERE
Instructor's expectations
  • 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 up 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, Steven, Teaching at the University Level, AMS Notices (43), 1996, pp 863-865.]