Math 307: Linear algebra
Spring 2015

Instructor: Mark Meckes (pronounced "MECKess")
Email: mark dot meckes at case dot edu
Office: Yost 223
Phone: 368-4997
Office hours, starting Friday, January 16: MW 1:30–2:30 p.m., F 2–3 p.m. (Or just drop by and see if I'm around.)

Class time and location:
MWF 9:30–10:30 a.m. in Bingham 305.

Web site (this page):

This site is where to go for all information about this class, including assignments. Blackboard will only be used for the online grade book and for posting the textbook.

There is no published textbook for this class. We will be using a draft textbook which will be posted (one chapter at a time) on Blackboard. See this page for more information about the textbook.

About this class
Math 307 is a theoretical course in linear algebra, geared primarily for students majoring in mathematics and applied mathematics. (Although everyone is welcome, if you're not a math major, then depending on your interests and goals you may wish to consider taking Math 201 instead.) The major topics are linear systems of equations, matrices, vector spaces, linear transformations, and inner product spaces. Here's the official course description:
A course in linear algebra that studies the fundamentals of vector spaces, inner product spaces, and linear transformations on an axiomatic basis. Topics include: solutions of linear systems, matrix algebra over the real and complex numbers, linear independence, bases and dimension, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, singular value decomposition, and determinants. Other topics may include least squares, general inner product and normed spaces, orthogonal projections, finite dimensional spectral theorem. This course is required of all students majoring in mathematics and applied mathematics. More theoretical than MATH 201.

Reading, quizzes, and homework
You are expected both to attend lecture (and take notes!) and read the textbook. The lectures and textbook partly reinforce each other and are partly complementary. In particular, I may sometimes cover material in lecture which is not in the textbook, and you will be responsible for material from the textbook which is not covered in lecture.

For most lectures there will be a reading assignment. The lecture will begin with a (very) short quiz based on the reading (so don't be late!). After each lecture, there will be homework problems based on the reading and lecture material, due at the beginning of the next class meeting.

There will be no make-up quizzes and late homework will not be accepted. If unusual circumstances arise and you contact me in a timely manner, then we can discuss alternative arrangements.

Throughout this class, you need to explain your answers even when the problem doesn't explicitly ask for a proof; this typically means writing in complete English sentences. When deciding how much detail to include, here's the standard to keep in mind: your solution to a problem should be complete and clear enough that one of your classmates, who has paid attention in class but hasn't thought about that specific problem yet, could read your solution and understand exactly how it works. If you only try to convince me that you understand the solution, then you almost certainly won't write enough.

Students may work together on homework. However, each student must figure out how to write up his or her own solution to be turned in. That means for example that you and a friend may figure out together how to prove a statement, but the written-out proofs you turn in should not be verbatim copies of each other.

Reading assignments and homework problems will be posted on this page (again: not on Blackboard).

There will be six in-class midterm exams, on January 28, February 13, March 2, March 25, April 13, and April 27. All exams are closed-book and closed-notes with no calculators allowed.

Your grade for the semester will be computed as follows: