MATH 2853

Elementary Linear Algebra

Fall 2002


Instructor: Dr. Scott Gordon, 324 Boyd, 836-4354, email:


Time and Location: M, W, F 10:00-10:50, 304 Boyd.


Office Hours: M, F 12:30-2:30, T, Th 12:30-4:00.  If you would like to see me but cannot come during one of these times, please call first or make an appointment.


Textbook: Elementary Linear Algebra, Applications Version (8th ed.), by H. Anton and C. Rorres.  We will cover Chapters 1-4, parts of 5, 6, and 9, and selected applications from Chapter 11.


Course Topics: Methods of solving systems of linear equations - Gaussian elimination, Gauss-Jordan elimination, Cramer's Rule, least squares solutions; Computing issues - counting operations, partial pivoting, ill-conditioned systems; Vectors - dot product, projection, linear independence, span, basis and dimension; Matrices - properties of matrices, matrix algebra, inverse matrices, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors; Linear transformations; Applications.


Learning Outcomes: At the end of the course you will be able to:

  1. Express linear systems of equations in matrix form (L3).
  2. Solve systems of linear equations using Gauss-Jordan elimination, Gaussian elimination, and Cramer’s Rule (L3).
  3. Perform matrix operations and compute matrix inverses and determinants (L3).
  4. Use a CAS such as Maple to perform the operations listed in 2 and 3 (L3).
  5. Determine how many computer operations are needed to perform the operations listed in 2 and 3 (L3).
  6. Understand fundamental properties of inverse matrices and determinants (L3).
  7. Compute dot products, cross products, and vector projections (L3).
  8. Determine the dimension of the span of a set of vectors (L3).
  9. Determine the row space, column space, nullspace and rank of a matrix (L3).
  10. Relate properties of a linear transformation to the matrix by which it is represented (L3).
  11. Compute the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a square matrix (L3).


Homework: I will assign homework exercises after each section.  I will not collect and grade homework, but I will allow some time during class to discuss the problems and I encourage you to use my office hours if you have any questions about them.


Problem Sets: I will periodically assign a problem or set of problems to be turned in for a grade.  There will be five such problem sets worth 30 points each.  You are not to collaborate or discuss the problems with anyone but me, and any outside sources of information used must be properly credited.


Tests: There will be four tests worth 100 points each on the following dates: 9/6, 9/25, 10/18, 11/8.


Make-up Tests: Each student will be permitted at most one make-up test during the semester.  I reserve the right to refuse to allow a make-up test for any reason.  If you miss a test and wish to take a make-up, you must notify me on or before the day that the test or quiz is given, and be able (except in extreme circumstances) to take the test on or before the day of the next class.


Grading Errors: In order to have a test grade changed as a result of a grading error, you must bring the error to my attention within one week of the time you received the graded test.


Final: A cumulative final exam worth 200 points will be given from 8:00-10:00AM on Friday, 12/13.


Grading Scale: A: 86-100, B: 72-85, C: 58-71, D: 44-57, F: 0-43.


Grading: Your final grade will be determined as follows: Problem sets - 20%, Tests - 53%, Final Exam - 27%.


Withdrawal: October 10 is the last day to withdraw from the course with a grade of W.