Honors Linear Algebra

 Math 1185, Fall 2017

Time and place: MWF 2:00-2:50 pm, 106 Allen Hall

Instructor: Prof. Anna Vainchtein (aka Dr. V)

Grader: Rahul Singh, RAS292@pitt.edu, MAC hours: Tuesday 9-10 am, 5-7 pm and Thursday 9-10 am, 6-7 pm.


About the course:

Linear algebra is a fascinating subject that is fundamental in both pure and applied mathematics and science in general. For some of you, it may be the first course where you encounter abstract mathematical ideas and learn how to write proper proofs. This honors course will emphasize the theory behind some important concepts in linear algebra (vector spaces and subspaces, linear independence, basis, orthogonality, projections, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, diagonalization, Fredholm alternative, etc.). Several applications of linear algebra will also be discussed.

Text: Applied Linear Algebra, by Peter J. Olver and Chehrzad Shakiban, Prentice Hall, 2006.

Course schedule and homework problems


Important announcements

The grader (Rahul Singh) has office hours on Tuesday 9-10 am, 5-7 pm and Thursday 9-10 am, 6-7 pm at the Mathematics Assistance Center (MAC), located in room 215 of O'Hara Student Center,  4024 O'Hara St.


Homework: Each week I will assign a set of problems to be handed in, out of which selected problems will be graded. Solving homework problems is essential to learn the material.  You may discuss the problems with one another but you must write your own solutions. It is your responsibility to regularly check here for current homework assignments. Homework will be due each Friday at the end of class. If you cannot be in class that day, your homework must be in my mailbox in Thackeray 301 by 3 pm Friday. Early submissions are welcome.

I encourage everyone to start working on the homework assignment early enough so that I can answer any questions you might have during my office hours on Wednesday. If you have classes during my regular office hours, email me your Wednesday schedule, and we will set up a different time to meet on Wednesday. While I will respond to emails, I am rarely available to meet in person on Thursdays, so starting an assignment early is important. You will also find that you need an early start to complete the homework on time.


Exams: There will be two in-class midterm exams, scheduled for Monday, October 16 (Exam 1) and Monday, December 4 (Exam 2), and the comprehensive final exam on Saturday, December 16, 8-9:50 am (room TBA). All exams are closed book, closed notes but you may bring a one-page handwritten "cheat sheet" to each exam.  Calculators or any other electronic devices, including cell phones, will not be allowed (or needed) during the exams.


Rules: Class attendance is expected. Barring exceptional circumstances (of which I must be notified immediately), no late homework is accepted and there will be no make up exams.


Grades: (Tentative as of 8/28/17) Your class grade will be determined as follows: