MATH 2085: Linear Algebra

MATH 2085         Linear Algebra         Fall 2005

  Section 1   Instructor: Dan Cohen   Phone: 578-1576
  M W F   10:40 - 11:30     Office Hours: M F   9:00 - 10:00,   W   11:30 - 12:30   E-mail:
  232 Lockett   Office: 372 Lockett   URL:  

TextElementary Linear Algebra, Ninth Edition, by H. Anton and C. Rorres.
We will cover (portions of) the first eight chapters, and possibly some additional topics.

Prerequisites:  MATH 1552 (Calculus II).

Description:  In this course, we will investigate a number of topics in linear algebra, a subject which is extremely useful both in mathematics and in applications. Some of these topics may be familiar (for instance, systems of linear equations), while others (such as the eigenvalue problem) will probably be new. The course will have both computational and conceptual aspects. We will develop methods for solving problems such as those mentioned above, and also endeavor to develop an understanding of why these methods work. Linear algebra also provides a good forum for developing experience working with mathematical proofs.
The Catalog Description is as follows:
Systems of linear equations, vector spaces, linear transformations, matrices, determinants.

Homework:  This course will use the computer package WeBWorK for the assigning and grading of some homework problems. The first graded WeBWorK assignment will be given in the second week of classes. Your initial WeBWork assignment will be to successfully log on to the system at and complete the introductory problem set (named Set 0). This problem set is designed to acquaint you with using WeBWorK, and will not be graded. I will check near the end to the first week of classes to make sure everyone has successfully completed this problem set. If you are enrolled in the course, but are not able to access WeBWorK, contact me (preferably by email).

I will assign other homework problems from the text (to be done by hand) essentially every class. Some of these homework problems may be collected, with selected problems graded. Homework may also be occasionally augmented with short in-class quizzes. These homework assignments will be announced in class, posted at, and occasionally discussed in class as necessary.

In total, the homework (and any quizzes) will be worth 50 points.

Exams:  There will be three hour-long, in-class exams, each worth 100 points. Exam dates will be announced in class. No make-up exams, except in extreme cases. If you must miss an exam, you should notify me before the exam takes place.

Final:  There will be a comprehensive final exam worth 150 points. The final exam is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14, 3:00 - 5:00 pm.

Grade:   Your course grade will be out of the 500 possible points outlined above. I may curve course grades. In any case, 90-100% is assured an A, 80-89% a B, and so on.

Important Dates:   September 14 is the last day to drop; September 16 is the last day to add; Fall Holiday is October 6-7; November 11 is the last day to withdraw; Thanksgiving is November 24-25.

Notes:   Calculators, computers, books, notes, etc. may not be used on the exams, any quizzes, or the final exam.

Blue Books:   For redistribution for the exams and final, please bring four (blank) blue books to class by Wednesday, September 14.

Bear in mind that you are taking this course under the guidelines of the Code of Student Conduct.

Dan Cohen   Fall 2005            This page: