Course Guidelines Math 232B
Dr. R. Beezer Spring 2003

Text   We will be using Introduction to Linear Algebra by Lee W. Johnson, R. Dean Riess, Jimmy T. Arnold (Fifth Edition). We will cover material from Chapters 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 - see the attached tentative schedule for the exact sections covered. The Bookstore also has a highly recommended text: The Nuts and Bolts of Proofs by Antonella Cupillari. The course WWW page has some recommendations for similar books.

Home Page   Start at to locate the WWW page for this course.

Office Hours   My office is Thompson 321G; the telephone number is 879-3564. Making appointments or simple, non-mathematical questions can be handled via electronic mail - my address is Office hours will be 10:00-10:50 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 9:30-11:20 on Tuesday. I will always be available during these times on a first-come, first-served basis. If these times are not convenient, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with me for another time. You are also welcome to drop by my office without an appointment at any time that I am in (roughly 2 P.M. - 4 P.M. is a good time to try). We will have group office hours for this course on Thursdays, probably 11:00 A.M. - 1:00 PM many weeks, so you may want to reserve this period of time. Office hours are your opportunity to receive extra help or clarification on material from class, or to discuss any other aspect of the course.

Calculators   This course requires the use of a calculator. It should be capable of doing matrix operations - specifically ``reduced row echelon form,'' ``determinants'' and ``eigenvalues and eigenvectors.'' I highly recommend the Texas Instruments TI-86, which is what I will be using, since this is the model currently used in our calculus courses. These are available at the bookstore, though you must ask for them at the checkout counter. It is not required that you use this exact model, but whatever you use should have the capabilities listed above. If you no longer have a manual for the TI-86, check the course WWW page for a link to an electronic version (you will especially want Chapter 13, and possibly Chapter 12).

Homework   Suggested exercises will be posted on the course WWW page. It is expected that you will work these problems, but they will not be collected. Of course, you are not limited to working just these problems. These exercises will form the basis for the classes where we will have problem sessions and for discussions in office hours (group or otherwise). It is your responsibility to be certain that you are learning from these exercises. The best ways to do this are to work the problems diligently when assigned and to participate in the classroom discussions. If you are unsure about a problem, then a visit to my office is in order. Making a consistent effort outside of the classroom is the easiest way to do well in this course.

Mathematics not only demands straight thinking, it grants the student the satisfaction of knowing when he [or she] is thinking straight. - D. Jackson
Mathematics is not a spectator sport. - Anonymous
I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand.
    - Chinese Proverb

Quizzes   There will be six 50-minute timed quizzes - they are all included on the tentative schedule. The lowest of your six quiz scores will be dropped. The comprehensive final exam will be given at 4 P.M. on Tuesday, May 13. The final exam cannot be given at any other time and also be aware that I will allow you to work longer on the final exam than just the two-hour scheduled block of time. In other words, plan your travel arrangements accordingly.

Writing   This course has been designated as part of the University's Writing in the Major requirement. Thus, there will be an emphasis on the quality of the mathematical exposition in your written work, and there will be two assignments that will be primarily graded on the basis of the exposition. These assignments will not be accepted late.

Reading Questions   On the WWW course page you will find reading questions for each section of the book. Once you have read the section prior to our in-class discussion, submit your responses to the reading question via electronic mail, as described on the course page, paying careful attention to all deadlines and procedures.

Grades   Grades will be based on the following breakdown: Quizzes - 60%; Reading Questions - 5%, Writing - 15%; Final - 20%. Attendance and improvement will be considered for borderline grades. Scores will be posted on the World Wide Web at A reminder about withdrawals - a Withdrawal Passing grade (W) can only be given during the third or fourth weeks of the semester, after that time (barring unusual circumstances), the appropriate grade is a Withdrawal Failing (WF), even if your work has been of passing quality. See the attached schedule for the last day to drop with an automatic `W' and please read The Logger about these often misunderstood grades.

Attendance   Daily attendance is required, expected, and overall a pretty good idea.

Purpose   This course is much different from most any mathematics course you have had recently, in particular it is much different than calculus courses. We will begin with a simple idea - a linear function - and build up an impressive, beautiful, abstract theory. We will begin computationally, but quickly shift to concentrating on theorems and their proofs. By the end of the course you will be at ease reading and understanding complicated proofs. You will also be very good at writing routine proofs and will have begun the process of learning how to create complicated proofs yourself.

You will see this material applied in subsequent courses in mathematics, computer science, chemistry, physics, economics and other disciplines (though we will not have much time for applications this semester). You will gain a ``mathematical maturity'' that will be helpful as you pursue upper-division coursework. It is not easy material, but your attention and hard work will be amply repaid with an in-depth knowledge of some very interesting and fundamental ideas.

Tentative Daily Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday


Jan 20

Jan 21
Section 1.1

Jan 22
Section 1.2

Jan 24
Problem Session

Jan 27
Section 1.3

Jan 28
Section 1.5

Jan 29
Problem Session

Jan 31
Quiz #1

Feb 3
Section 1.6

Feb 4
Section 1.6/1.7

Feb 5
Section 1.7

Feb 7
Problem Session

Feb 10
Section 1.9

Feb 11
Section 1.9

Feb 12
Problem Session

Feb 14
Quiz #2

Feb 17
Writing Discussion
Last day to drop

Feb 18
Section 3.1

Feb 19
Section 3.2

Feb 21
Section 3.2/3.3

Feb 24
Section 3.3

Feb 25
Problem Session

Feb 26
Section 5.1

Feb 28
Section 5.2

Mar 3
Section 5.2/5.3

Mar 4
Problem Session

Mar 5
Quiz #3

Mar 7
Section 3.4
Writing #1 Due

Mar 10
Section 3.4/3.5

Mar 11
Section 3.5

Mar 12
Problem Session

Mar 14
Section 5.4
Spring Break
Monday Tuesday Wednesday


Mar 24
Section 5.4/5.5

Mar 25
Section 5.5

Mar 26
Problem Session

Mar 28
Quiz #4

Mar 31
Section 6.1/6.2

Apr 1
Section 6.2/4.1

Apr 2
Section 4.1/4.2

Apr 4
Section 4.4/4.5

Apr 7
Problem Session

Apr 8
Section 4.5/4.6

Apr 9
Section 4.7

Apr 11
Section 4.7

Apr 14
Problem Session

Apr 15
Quiz #5

Apr 16
Writing Discussion

Apr 18
Section 5.7

Apr 21
Section 5.7

Apr 22
Section 5.8

Apr 23
Section 5.8

Apr 25
Problem Session

Apr 28
Section 5.9

Apr 29
Section 5.9

Apr 30
Section 5.10
Writing #2 Due

May 2
Section 5.10

May 5
Problem Session

May 6
Quiz #6

May 7

Final Examinations
Tuesday, May 13 at 4 P.M.

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.03.
On 15 Jan 2003, 14:15.