Math 307 — Linear algebra — Spring 2013

Instructor: Mark Meckes (pronounced "MECKess")
Email: mark dot meckes at case dot edu
Office: Yost 223
Phone: 368-4997
Office hours: MWF 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Class time and location:
MWF 9:30–10:30 a.m. in Yost 102.

Web site (this page):

Linear Algebra Done Right, 2nd edition, by Sheldon Axler.
Matrices and Linear Algebra, by Hans Schneider and George Phillip Barker.

Official course description
First semester of an integrated, two-semester theoretical course in abstract and linear algebra, studied on an axiomatic basis. The major algebraic structures studied are groups, rings, fields, modules, vector spaces, and inner product spaces. Topics include homomorphisms and quotient structures, the theory of polynomials, canonical forms for linear transformations and the principal axis theorem. This course is required of all students majoring in mathematics.

About this class
Math 307 is the linear algebra portion of the two semester sequence described above. The major topics are matrices, vector spaces, linear transformations, and inner product spaces.

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

There will be homework problems based on the material from each lecture, normally due by noon on the next class day, at my office. 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 and homework problems will be posted on this page.

There will be five in-class midterm exams, on February 6, February 25, March 22, April 10, and April 29. The final exam will be May 7, 8:30–11:30 a.m. All exams are closed-book and closed-notes with no calculators allowed.

Your grade for the semester will be computed as follows:
Homework 25%; each midterm exam 10%; final exam 25%.