W. Stephen Wilson: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Textbook: Linear Algebra, 4th edition, Friedberg, Insel and Spence. ISBN 0-13-008451-4
Monday, Wednesday, 1:30-2:45, Hodson 305, Section, Friday, 1:30-2:20, Hodson 305,.
Office hours are Wednesday, 2:45-3:45. (Krieger 421.) This is right after class, so if you want to come to office hours, you arrange that in class, or I won't be there. You can always email me with questions or to set up a meeting if the office hours don't work for you or aren't enough.
In addition, you should all know about the math department help room that is open nearly all day and most evenings during the week. It is in Krieger 213. Your TA will be there in the help room on Thursday from 5-7, but anyone in the help room can help you with linear algebra.
Linear algebra videos made by me that are relevant to the course. Linear algebra videos made by the Khan Academy. And then there are Linear algebra videos made by Gil Strang at MIT. Feel free to make use of these resources in your spare time.
The Honors Linear Algebra course is designed for students with the mindset of a math major even if the student is not majoring in math. It is for students who have self selected because they are brighter, harder working, and more motivated. In particular, they are happy to be free to learn. The prerequisites are 113, Calc II, or a 5 on the AP BC exam.
All students must attend every class and maintain a high level of consciousness during the entire class. You will have something serious to do during the entire class, every class (except the first one on Sept 2). I would never have taken a course like this, but it is likely to be a formative educational experience for those who do.
Students are expected to make the transition to proving things in this course if they have not already made that transition. Few will have done this already. It is a great introduction to proving things because everything in the course is simultaneously geometric and algebraic. Great material, and you use linear algebra in nearly every math, science, and engineering course you take.
The transition to proving things is a difficult one and the course will be fast paced. It is best for students to keep an eye on the regular linear algebra course so they can drop down to it if it looks like the honors course will not go well.
The flow of the course. The normal flow is to have a reading assignment, then to be tested as to whether or not you did the reading and absorbed a bit of it. Next, homework on that reading will be assigned and then, of course, it will come due.
The pattern for the above is:
Friday: Technically I assign reading on Friday, but, in fact, I've already made up the reading assignments for the whole semester. Friday is normally your TA day, but there is no class on Friday, October 21. That week, Thursday, October 20, is redefined (by the university, not me) to be a Monday. We (that is, me) will redefine it once again and call it a Friday although it will be me, not the TA, in class, because that Thursday we consider a Friday is really a Monday. (You can't make this stuff up.) Note that technically you have class on Friday, Sept 2 when you get your first reading assignment. There won't be much to do, but you might want to go to meet your TA.
Monday: You hand in your homework and then get tested on the material. Note that there is no class on Monday, Sept 5, our first Monday, so this fits our schedule well since there is no homework due that first Monday.
Wednesday: I give you a test when you walk into class to see if you have done the reading. It will cover really basic things like definitions and statements of theorems. No understanding is required to do well on this, but I want people prepared to work, not read, when they come to class on Wed.
Wednesday: I will post the homework on this reading assignment. This is deliberate. I don't want people reading just for the homework, so you have to read before you know the homework.
More details about what we'll be doing, other than the flow.
Monday: Your homework is due at the start of class on Monday. A quiz will be given immediately. The quiz will cover the material that you read for the homework just handed in. There will probably be two problems, one from the homework just handed in, and one from the sections the homework was based on. I reserve the right to ask whatever I want though.
Monday Continued: After the quiz, I will assign small groups to work on a sequence of problems. These problems will be from the material you read for the homework you just handed in, so you should be really good at it. The group will do as many of them as they can, sequentially, and write them up to be handed in at the end of the class for the whole group. The whole group will get the same grade on this. The groups will vary day to day.
Wednesday: After the quiz on the reading, I might tell you what was important in the reading. I expect there to be an oral True/False quiz at this point where I call on individuals to answer questions. You will be assigned to small groups to work on a sequence of problems. These problems will be for the reading you were just quizzed on. As above: The group will do as many of them as they can, sequentially, and write them up to be handed in at the end of the class for the whole group. The whole group will get the same grade on this. The groups will vary day to day.
Friday: This is your TA section. The TA will primarily go over problems with proofs that he sees on the homework and group work.
Grades: As you can see, you have a quiz that gets graded every day you have class (except that first Friday). In addition, you have homework and some, but probably not all, problems on the homework will be graded. Also, on Mondays and Wednesdays, you will be working problems in groups most of the class. These will be graded. I am not sure at this point what the TA will want to do to add to the grade. All in all, there are lots of things that get graded that will go into your grade. Because this is a new system, how they will all be weighted will get worked out during the semester. For example, you will probably get graded on more problems worked in groups than individually, but your individual work will probably dominate the grade. I suspect I'll want to count the oral T/F questions too.
The syllabus, subject to, but not likely to, change.
Reading assignment # 1: Sections 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5. Quiz to see if you read it, Sept 7.
Problem set # 1.
Reading assignment # 2: Sections 1.6, 2.1. Quiz to see if you read it, Sept 14.
Problem set # 2.
Reading assignment # 3: Sections 2.2, 2.3, 2.4. Quiz to see if you read it, Sept 21.
Problem set # 3.
Reading assignment # 4: Sections 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2. Quiz to see if you read it, Sept 28.
Problem set # 4.
Reading assignment # 5: Sections 3.3, 3.4. Quiz to see if you read it, Oct 5.
Problem set # 5.
Reading assignment # 6: Sections 4.1, 4.2, 4.3. Quiz to see if you read it, Oct 12.
Problem set # 6.
Reading assignment # 7: Sections 4.4, 4.5, 5.1. Quiz to see if you read it, Oct 19.
Problem set # 7.
Reading assignment # 8: Sections 5.2, 5.4. Quiz to see if you read it, Oct 26.
Problem set # 8.
Reading assignment # 9: Sections 6.1, 6.2. Quiz to see if you read it, Nov 2.
Problem set # 9.
Reading assignment # 10: Sections 6.3, 6.4, 6.5. Quiz to see if you read it, Nov 9.
Problem set # 10.
Reading assignment # 11: Sections 6.6, 6.7. Quiz to see if you read it, Nov 16.
Problem set # 11.
Reading assignment # 12: Sections 6.8. Quiz to see if you read it, Nov 30.
Problem set # 12.
Reading assignment # 13: Sections 6.11, 7.1. Quiz to see if you read it, Dec 7.