Math 235.04 Spring 06 Introduction to Linear Algebra
- Lecture : 11:15-12:30 TuTh at 115 LGRT
- Instructor : So Okada
- Office : 1335 LGRT
- E-Mail :
- Phone : (413)545-1714
- Office Hours : 12:30-1:30 TuTh, or by appointment
Textbook : David C. Lay, Linear Algebra and its applications, Third edition, Addison-Wesley, 2003
Course Web Page:http://www.math.umass.edu/~okada/235/
Section Mailing List:https://list.umass.edu/mailman/listinfo/math-235-04-spr06
The main theme of linear algebra is how to solve systems of linear
equations. Since linear systems are geometrically and computationally
very useful, linear algebra is a fundamental tool of
mathematics with wide application throught the sciences  image
processing, predator-prey models, and Google PageRank are just a few
examples of linear algebra in use.
Your main learning goals are the following:
Time permitting, several applications of linear algebra will be discussed.
- Learn basic algorithms of linear algebra.
- Understand fundamental concepts such as
dimension and rank,
eigenvectors, and others.
- Develop reasoning skills with linear algebra concepts.
In almost every class, new algorithms and abstract
concepts will be introduced. Unless you prepare yourself by
reading the textbook with a pencil before each class, it
is likely that you will feel this course too fast
and too abstract to follow.
There will be two midterm exams in class and one final exam.
All exams will be closed book. You will be allowed to bring in a
single handwritten index card. Their tentative dates and
coverings are the following:
- Exam 1: Thursday March 16, Chapters 1-2
- Exam 2: Thursday April 27, Chapters 3-4
- Final Exam: Tuesday May 23 8:00AM LGRCA301, Chapters 1-5
- Your final grade will be calculated by the following table:
- Midterm exams: 20% each
- Final exam: 30%
- Homework: 15%
- Quizzes: 10%
- Class participation : 5%
- Your letter grade will be determined by the following table:
The instructor may divert from the tentative schedule by
skipping/adding certain topics or going slower/faster, depending on
the class progress.
Homework: In each week, homework will be due at the end of
the lecture on Thursday, unless mentioned otherwise. Three
lowest grades will be dropped.
Usually, you will have about 10 problems in each week.
the tentative schedule web page regularly
to find the updated list of homework problems.
You are encouraged to work together, but your solutions should
reflect your own understanding; i.e., you do not copy solutions from
somewhere else, and your supporting work for each problem is of your
own words. In writing up homework, you have to give enough detail to
show how you get the answer.
Your solutions should be written neatly and follow the order of the
problems as listed. If you need to put them out of order, you have to
make appropriate notes. Pages must be stapled in the upper-left.
There will be a weekly quiz at the end of the lecture on Thursday, unless
otherwise mentioned. Usually, it will cover all the topics
of the homework assignment due in the same week and more recent
topics in class. All quizzes will be closed book.
Three lowest grades will be dropped.
- You are expected to attend every lecture and regularly check
the emails of the section mailing list. You are responsible
for any covered material and announcements made during class
(this may include significant changes to the syllabus). For
supplemental or emergent announcement, the section mailing list
- No late homework/make-up quiz will be allowed. However,
if you provide the instructor with valid reason such as a school
trip or your doctor's recommendation, your missing grade
will be replaced by your grade of the next homework/quiz.
If necessarily, the instructor asks you to submit a
supporting memo from someone such as an instructor or a
- No make-up exam will be given without reasonable arguments.
Anyone with a valid reason for missing an exam should
inform the instructor at least a week in advance.
If you must miss an exam due to an emergency such as
sudden illness, you must notify the instructor as soon as
See the second paragraph above.
- No calculator will be allowed in exams and quizzes.
Several reasons for this rule are the following:
The instructor can not prohibit you from using your calculator in
homework, but you have to keep in mind that honest job on homework is
a key for your better grades on exams and quizzes.
- This course is more abstract than any calculus courses.
You have to try many calculations by yourself so that
you can tell how and why
each algorithm or concept is working.
- Sometimes it is difficult for you to know what is expected to
answer when you can skip certain steps by your calculator.
- Learning Resource Center :
At 10th Floor W.E.B. Du Bois Library, LRC offers several learning
opportunities such as free tutoring on a walk-in basis.
Check the tutor schedule.
- Lay Linear Algebra Web Page:
Some online resources are available.
- Mathematics & Statistics Department's list of approved tutors:
it becomes available shortly after the beginning
of each semester. Consult the current list at Department offices,
LGRT 16th floor. This is not free, but you get your personal
tutoring from an advanced student.