Math 355 A
Advanced Linear Algebra


Course overview.  Welcome to advanced linear algebra. The material here is among some of the most useful college mathematics has to offer for applications.

Our main text is “Introduction to Linear Algebra, 5th Edition,” by Gilbert Strang. We will cover most material in Chapters 2 through 10, though the treatment of Chapters 2, 3 and 5 will be somewhat lighter, due to previous exposure to some topics in those chapters.

Student learning goals.  Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

My expectations of students.  As a student in this course, you are expected to

Homework.  Homework is assigned regularly in this course, with due dates displayed on the course calendar. Homework assignments come in two varieties:

Grade Calculations.  There are various components to your grade. Here is what they are, along with their relative weights:

I give these weights so that you can use it at various points as you desire to estimate your grade. If you anticipate a desire for such an estimate, keep track of your scores on various instruments, and calculate a weighted average (click the link for some guidance if you've forgotten how to do so) using those pieces of data which are available. Do not ask me what your grade is at partial points through the semester; I will not know, and the weights provide what you need to make as good an estimate as anyone can from incomplete data.

Academic integrity.  Webwork assignments are tailored individually, but vary only in minor details. You are welcome to work with others as you solve Webwork problems. While I do not bar you from discussing the hand-checked assignments with others, I encourage you to attempt these on your own, as they will better suit their purpose that way. Whether you accept this advice or not, all write-ups are to be done as if on your own, using your own words.

If an instance of academic dishonesty arises, this will result, in the first instance, in a score of zero for all parties involved. Should there be another instance, this will result in immediate failure of the course.

Contacting me.   My office is NH 281. If you are having trouble in the course — if you do not understand something important or have some special circumstance that impedes your performance — see me about it right away! Do not put things off. The hours I am intentionally in my office for meeting with students are posted on my homepage, as they are subject to change during the semester. If we cannot connect at one of these times, feel free to talk with me about an appointed time to meet, or swing by my office and see if I am available to help.

I may be reached by phone at x66856, but a better way to reach me for a non-technical question is by email. If you require my approval for something, do not consider having left a message for me as equivalent to having obtained that approval.

Accommodations.   Reasonable academic accomodations will be made for individuals with documented disabilities. Any student who this concerns should notify one of the coordinators for services for students with disabilities in the Center for Student Success, Spoelhof College Center 360. That student should also meet with me during the first two weeks of the semester to discuss academic accomodations.

Exceptions.   I reserve the right to make changes or exceptions to course policies — including those described in this document — either for the entire class or for specific individuals. The ultimate goal in this course is learning, and formal requirements should not unnecessarily stand in the way of that. Thus, if you think that any of the conditions of the course are interfering with learning, please speak with me about this, and we will see what can be done.

This page maintained by: Thomas L. Scofield
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Calvin College

Last Modified: Thursday, 17-Jan-2019 14:27:13 EST