MTH 215 Section 2 Linear Algebra Spring 2010

Department of Mathematics, University of Rhode Island

Instructor Orlando Merino,, 874-4442, Lippitt Hall 101C
Meets Tu-Th 12:30 - 1:45 p.m. Lippitt Hall 205
Text Linear Algebra and its applications, by David C. Lay, 3rd Edition UPDATE, 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 (see the calendar for the dates). 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 Calculator use will be forbidden in exams since more advanced calculators 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
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, S., Teaching at the University Level, AMS Notices (43), 1996, pp 863-865.]
Special Needs Any student with a documented disability is welcome to contact me early in the semester so that we may work out reasonable accomodations to support your success in this course. Students should also contact Disability Services for Student, Office of Student Life, 330 Memorial Union, Kingston, 874-2098.
Academic Honesty Students are expected to be honest in all academic work. A student's name on any written work shall be regarded as assurance that the work is the result of the student's own thought and study. Work should be stated in the student's own words, properly attributed to its source. Students have an obligation to know how to quote, paraphrase, summarize, or reference the work of others with integrity. The following are examples of academic dishonesty.
  • Using material from published sources (print or electronic) without appropriate citation
  • Claiming disproportionate credit for work not done independently
  • Unauthorized possession or access to exams
  • Unauthorized communication during exams
  • Unauthorized use of another's work or preparing work for another student
  • Taking an exam for another student
  • Altering or attempting to alter grades
  • The use of notes or electronic devices to gain an unauthorized advantage during exams
  • Fabricating or falsifying facts, data or references
  • Facilitating or aiding another's academic dishonesty
  • Submitting the same paper for more than one course without prior approval from the instructors.
H1N1 Flu The H1N1 Flu Pandemic may impact classes this semester. 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 at 874-4442 or of your status, and we will communicate through the medium we have established for the class. We will work together to ensure that course instruction and work is completed for the semester.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have posted simple methods to avoid transmission of illness. These include: covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; frequently washing your hands to protect from germs; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home when you are sick. For more information, please view . URI information on the H1N1 is posted on the URI website at , with links to the CDC at .
Additional Information The University Manual (See ) contains useful information: 8.39.10-12 (attendance); 8.51.11-14 (excused absences); 8.51.15 (examinations during the semester); 8.51.16 (final examinations); 8.27.16-19, 8.27.17-19, 8.27.10-15 (plagiarism-instructor's responsibilities, judicial action, and student's responsibilities); and 8.52.10 (grading criteria).
Civility Policy The University of Rhode Island has adopted a civility policy regarding disruptive classroom behaviors. Disruptive behaviors are defined as behaviors that interfere with the learning and/or teaching process. Disruptive behaviors in the classroom include inappropriate talking during lectures or class discussions or in any manner interfering with other student's ability to have a quality learning experience. Students who engage in disruptive behavior will receive one warning without penalty. Continued incidents of disrupting the class will result in the initiation of removal procedures or the loss of a letter grade. Disruptive behaviors include cell phone and pager use. Cell phones and pagers must be turned off, silent, and out of sight during classes, and you should not be checking for calls or messages during class (including "texting"). Common sense and common courtesy should govern classroom civility.
"Incomplete" grade I follow to the letter the URI regulations concerning incomplete grades, namely the following paragraphs taken from the university manual:
  • 8.53.20. A student shall receive a report of "Incomplete" in any course in which the course work has been passing up until the time of a documented precipitating incident or condition, but has not been completed because of illness or another reason which in the opinion of the instructor justifies the report. An instructor who issues a grade of "Incomplete" shall forward a written explanation to the student's academic dean.
  • 8.53.21. The student receiving "Incomplete" shall make necessary arrangement with the instructor or, in the instructor's absence, with the instructor's chairperson to remove the deficiency. This arrangement shall be made prior to the following midsemester for the undergraduate student and within one calendar year for the graduate student.