Math 405     Spring 2011
Course Description and Syllabus

Course title: Linear Algebra
Class time MWF 12:00 - 12:50 pm
Class location: MATH B0421
Professor: Mike Boyle
Office: Room 4413, Math Building
Phone: 301-405-5135
Office hours: TuTh 11:00-11:50, Fri. 1:30-2:30

Problem solving help sessions of Manjit Bhatia

Prerequisites. MATH 405 is definitely a second course in linear algebra, and therefore MATH 240 or MATH 461 is a prerequisite. As a general rule, a stronger background is advised. MATH 405 is a serious proof course, like MATH 410, and covers a lot.

Required text: Linear Algebra, Serge Lang, Third Edition

Syllabus. This course intends to put your understanding of basic linear algebra on a very solid foundation, and to teach you some important topics not covered in MATH 240 or 461. In part, the course will cover what you know, but from a more thorough, rigorous and mathematical viewpoint. And in part, you will see new things. I intend to cover almost all of the text, with the exception of the final chapter on convex sets. I also hope to use a week for the important basic results on nonnegative matrices, which are widely used.

Grading. (The possible points in each category will be normalized at the end to give the corresponding percentages.)

Course Grades. Here is a grading curve: A 85-100%, B 75-84%, C 65-74%, D 55-64%. F 0-54%. It is possible that the curve will be relaxed, but it won't be made tougher.

Conflicts. If you know before an exam that you have a schedule conflict, contact me in advance.

On-line grades. We will use the online gradesheet provided by the mathematics department. After giving me an alias you will be able to see your grades from a link I'll put on the course website.

Expectations/philosophy. You are expected to come to class, do the homework, and most important of all be actively engaged in trying to understand. Tips for success: Course email. I will use coursemail to email the class. You are responsible for reading this email. If you aren't getting the email, perhaps you need to update your official email address. It may take a little while for the update to go through. You can send me an email address directly to add to my course list, if necessary.

Academic integrity in this class. (Follow the link.)

Religious observances. If your religion dictates that you cannot take an exam or hand in assigned work on a particular date, then contact me at the beginning of the semester to discuss alternatives. You are responsible for making these arrangements at the beginning of the semester.

Disabilities. If you have some disability related to testing under the usual timed, in-class conditions, you may contact the office of Disabled Students Services (DSS) in Shoemaker. If they assess you as meriting private conditions and/or extra time, then you may arrange to take your tests at DSS, with extra time as they indicate. You must arrange this well in advance of a test (in particular: no retakes). Click to Disability Support Services for further information.

Learning in MATH 405. By far the greater part of your learning will happen outside of class. I won't cover in class all the things you must read and understand: I'll certainly give many proofs and explanations in class. But I am thinking of class more for giving context, interpretation, extra material, things that will help the reading and homework, and answering questions. Because the reading is so important, there will be quizzes, designed primarily as questions on assigned reading. Excellent reasons for missing class or not reading are addressed as follows: I will drop the lowest two reading quiz scores.