Elementary Linear Algebra
Math 213

Spring 2006
Copley 205

Instructor: Richard Hammack
Office hours:
Office: 238 Copley
11:30—12:30 Mon, Wed, Fri.
Work: 752-7210 (and voice mail)
1:00—2:00 Mon, Tue.
Home: 353-8572 (before 9:30 p.m., please)
and by appointment
E-mail: rhammack @ rmc.edu

Prerequisite: Mathematics 203 or permission of the instructor.
Text: Linear Algebra: A Modern Introduction, Second Edition, by David Poole

Linear Algebra is a theory of mathematical structures that are straight or flat. It is primarily concerned with systems of algebraic equations in which no variable or term has a degree greater than one. This restriction may seem limiting at first, but from it a fascinating theory unfolds. Because the degrees are low, a potentially large quantity of variables can be handled with ease. This leads to a world which has spaces with many more dimensions than the familiar 3 dimensions of everyday experience. In this world, geometry and algebra form a symbiotic union, and each illuminates the other.

In addition to being a fascinating theory on its own, linear algebra has many applications. It is a powerful tool in engineering, physics, statistics, and operations research, and is essential for further study in all branches of higher mathematics.

Material from Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 is covered. Your grade is determined by homework assignments, two tests, participation and a final exam. Details follow.

Homework: Frequent homework assignments are collected, graded and returned. These assignments are important for two reasons. First, they help you understand the material and keep you from getting behind. Second, they give you valuable practice in communicating your ideas.

Each homework problem counts one or zero points. You get no credit for an incorrect solution or a solution that is sloppily done. For each problem you attempt and miss, you may rewrite it and resubmit it, and I will regrade it. If it's still wrong, I will return it and you can redo it again. Any problem may go back and forth like this for at most two weeks, and if it it's still wrong after that, you get no credit for it.

In addition to the work you hand in, you should work lots of extra problems for practice. Most odd-numbered problems have answers in the back of the text.

Participation: Participation 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 your working lots of exercisess, taking advantage of office hours, and displaying preparedness, dedication and intellectual curiosity.

Tests: There are two in-class tests and one final exam, scheduled as follows:

Test #1: Friday, March 17 Chapters 1, 2, 3
Test #2: Friday, April 28 Chapter 3, 4, 5
Final Exam: Tuesday, May16, 8:30—11:30 AM Comprehensive

Each of these tests is closed-book and closed-notes. Use of calculators or other computing technology is not allowed. Tests are written under the assumption that everyone is studying the material at least 7 hours per week outside of class.

No electronic devices of any type (other than a watch) may be used during any test, quiz or final exam.

Make-up Tests: If a test is missed due to a documented illness or emergency, then either a make-up is scheduled or that test grade is dropped. An unexcused absence from a test results in a grade of zero. The final exam is mandatory, and a make-up final can be given only with the consent of the Dean of the College.

Grading: The 10-point grading scale will be used:
A: 90—100
B: 80—89
C: 70—79
D: 60—69
F: 0—59
Your final average will be computed as follows:
Homework: 24%
Participation: 4%
Test #1: 24%
Test #2: 24%
Final Exam: 24%

Attendance: 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. However, if your grades are low and you miss a lot of class, I will notify the Dean of Students.

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.

Internet: Information about this course is posted on the Internet. To find it, go to my home page (www.rmc.edu/~rhammack) and click on "Math 213." There you will find the syllabus, homework assignments, a calendar, and copies of old tests.

Cell Phones: Please be sure that all cell phones and other electronic devices are turned off for the entire duration of each class.

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.

Notice: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other Federal laws require Randolph-Macon College to provide a "reasonable accommodation" to any individual who advises us of a physical, psychological, or learning disability. If you have a physical, psychological, or learning disability that requires an accommodation, you must first register with the Office for Disability Support Services, located in the Higgins Academic Center.