Linear Algebra
MATH 310 Section 901

Fall 2016
TR 4:005:15
Harris Hall 2115

Virginia Commonwealth University

Instructor: Richard Hammack
Office hours:
Office: Harris Hall 4166
Tuesday, 12:00–1:30
Work: 828-6237
Wednesday, 2:00–3:00
Home: 355-3963
Thursday, 11:00–12:30
E-mail: rhammack @ vcu . edu
and by appointment
Webpage: Course webpage:

Prerequisite: MATH 200 and either MATH 201 or MATH 300

Required Text: You may use any one of the following texts.
Elementary Linear Algebra, Fifth Edition, by Larson, Edwards and Falvo (ISBN 0-618-33567-6)
Elementary Linear Algebra, Sixth Edition, by Larson and Falvo (ISBN: 0-618-78376-8)
Elementary Linear Algebra, Seventh Edition, by Larson (ISBN: 1-133-11087-8)

It does not matter which of these editions you get. They are virtually the same, except that the earlier editions are less expensive. Look for good prices on line. Material from Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 is covered. There will be weekly graded homework assignments, quizzes, a midterm and a final exam.

Optional Solutions Manual: Depending on the edition you use, you may wish to get a student solution manuals. (Some may be on line.)
Student Solutions Manual for Fifth Edition, by Larson (ISBN: 0-618-33568-4)
Student Solutions Manual for Sixth Edition, by Larson (ISBN: 0-618-78377-6)
Student Solutions Manual for Seventh Edition, by Larson (ISBN-13: 978-1-13311132-0)

Your grade is determined by scores on homework, quizzes, the midterm, participation and a final exam. Details follow.

Weekly homework assignments are collected, graded and returned.
  • Papers are collected at the beginning of class on appointed days.
  • Papers submitted after the beginning of class may not be graded.
  • Exceptionally sloppy work may not be graded.
  • Work that appears to be copied from a solutions manual is not graded.
  • If you miss class when homework is due, give it to me early or have a classmate turn it in for you. You may also email it to me.
  • If you email an assignment to me, it must arrive in my inbox no later than the beginning of class on the day it is due. I sometimes don't print emailed assignments, so you may not get any written feedback from me.
  • Try to send homework by email when absolutely necessary (e.g. in the event of illness).
  • I encourage you to work together on homework, though the work you turn in must be your own.
  • Some homework problems are intended to make you think about ideas not discussed in class.
In addition to the work you hand in, you should work lots of extra problems for practice. A list of suggested odd-numbered problems is attached to this syllabus. Some of these problems may appear on the in-class quizzes and tests.

Quizzes: There will be a short quiz most weeks:
  • Each quiz closed-book and closed-notes.
  • Use of calculators or other computing technology is not allowed on quizzes.
  • No electronic devices of any type (other than a watch) may be used during any quiz.
  • Several of your lowest quiz grades will be dropped
  • All quizzes are written under the assumption that you are studying the material at least 6 hours per week outside of class.
Midterm: The midterm will be scheduled for the middle of October, on a day to be determined by the preference of the class.

This means that you in some way demonstrate intellectual involvement in the course. It does not necessarily mean that you ask questions and volunteer answers. Active participation may include working lots of exercises, taking advantage of office hours, and displaying preparedness, dedication and intellectual curiosity. Things that could cause you to lose participation points include sleeping or texting in class, excessive absence, etc.

Final Exam: The final exam is comprehensive, covering material from chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7. It is closed-book and closed-notes. It is scheduled for 4:00–6:50 p.m. on Tuesday December 13. In writing the final exam, I will assume that you have been studying the material at least 6 hours per week outside of class, throughout the entire semester.

The 10-point grading scale is used:

A: 90100
B: 8089
C: 7079
D: 6069
F: 059

Your final average will be computed as follows:

Assignments: 10%
Quizzes: 26%
Midterm: 30%
Participation: 4%
Final Exam: 30%

Total: 100%


Attendance: You are responsible for all material covered in class. I do not take attendance, but I do notice if you are not attending class. If your grades are high, I do not mind if you miss class occasionally; otherwise, excessive absences may result in a reduced participation score. As a matter of courtesy, you should arrive punctually and stay for the entire duration of each class you attend. Please inform me ahead of time if you must leave early.

Make-up Work:
If you miss the midterm for a documented illness or emergency, then I will consider scheduling a make-up for a later date, provided you notify me before the day of the test. I will drop a few low homework and quiz grades. If you miss a quiz or homework assignment, then that counts as a dropped grade (up to the number of grades dropped). If you miss the final exam for a legitimate reason (i.e. a documented illness or emergency) then I can give you a grade of Incomplete (I) for the course, and you will need to make up the missed exam.

Information about this course is posted on my web page (not on Blackboard). Go to There you will find the syllabus, assignments, the course calendar, and other materials. Solutions for all graded work (assignments and tests) will be posted after the due dates.

Email: Any email correspondence concerning this course should be through your official VCU email address. University policy prevents me from discussing many aspects of the course through other email addresses. I may send email messages either to the whole class or individuals in the class. It is your responsibility to check your VCU email regularly.

Cell Phones: Please be sure that all cell phones and other electronic devices (including laptops) are muted and stowed away for the entire duration of each class. Using such devices in class may lower your participation score.

Office: Please feel free to stop by my office whenever you have a question, or if you just want to chat. If my posted hours are inconvenient, I will be happy to schedule an appointment. Tell me if you are having trouble. Catching up can be very difficult once you get behind, so let me know as soon as you think there is a problem.

Exercises: You should do as many of the following exercises as you can for practice. Answers to most are in the back of your text. Many of these problems will be used for the in-class tests and exams. Notice that the numbers of the exercises differ depending on which edition of the text you are using.

  1–45 (odd)   1–29, 37–55 (odd)  1–29, 37–55 (odd)
  1–31, 39–61 (odd)   1–35, 43–61 (odd)  1–37, 41–51 (odd)
  1–17, 21–37 (odd)   1–17, 21–53 (odd)  1–55 (odd)
  1–25, 31, 35–39 (odd)   1–25, 35–41 (odd)  1–33 (odd)
  1–19, 25, 27, 31–37 (odd)   1–19, 25, 27, 33–41 (odd)  1–23, 41–47 (odd)
  1–27 (odd)   1–31 (odd)  1–33 (odd)
  1–33 (odd)   1–33 (odd)  1–33 (odd)
  1–39 (odd)   1–47 (odd)  1–41 (odd)
  1–13, 19–31, 35–43 (odd)   1–17, 23–41, 45–53 (odd)  1–33, 37–43, 53, 55 (odd)
  1–21, 25–37, 41–53 (odd)   1–31, 35–49, 55–67 (odd)  1–29, 33–47, 51–59 (odd)
  1–37 (odd)   1–41 (odd)  1–39, 43–47 (odd)
  1–31 (odd)   1–47 (odd)  1–49, 53–59 (odd)
  1–59 (odd)   1–69 (odd)  1–79 (odd)
  1–65 (odd)   1–85 (odd)  1–77 (odd)
  1–23, 27, 29, 33–45, 49–53 (odd)   1–65 (odd)  1–65 (odd)
  1–19, 23, 25, 29–35 (odd)   1–17, 29–31, 35–47, (odd)  1–23, 43–53 (odd)
  1–41 (odd)   1–57 (odd)  1–65 (odd)
  1–19,  23–47 (odd)   1–27,  31–55 (odd)  1–27, 31–59 (odd)
  1–19,  25–59 (odd)   1–29,  39–73 (odd)  1–19, 27–65 (odd)
6.4     1–17 (odd)   1–17 (odd)  1–21 (odd)
  1–27, 39–55 (odd)   1–27, 51–65 (odd)  1–27, 39–41, 51–55 (odd)
  1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 13–27 (odd)   1–13, 17–51 (odd)  1–5, 7–19, 23–39 (odd)

Last day to withdraw
: Friday, November 4.

Please read the VCU syllabus statements at