MATH 544


Linear Algebra


Section 002, Fall 2011



Meeting times: TTh  2:00 - 3:15 PM  at  LeConte (LC) 115



Instructor:         Dr. Peter G. Binev


phones:   576-6269 (at LC 425)   or   576-6304 (at SUM 206H)


Office hours (at LC 425):         Tuesday  9:00 - 11:00 AM 

Thursday  1:00 - 2:00 PM     or by appointment



Prerequisite/Corequisite: MATH 241.


Learning Outcomes: Upon the successful completion of this course the students will be able to read, interpret, and use vocabulary, symbolism, and basic definitions from Linear Algebra. They will comprehend the notions of vector space, independence, basis, and dimension; the concepts of linear transformations, change of basis, eigenvalues, and eigenvectors; the procedures of finding solution of linear systems, singular value decomposition, and diagonalization.


Text: Introduction to Linear Algebra by Gilbert Strang, Fourth Edition, Wellesley - Cambridge Press 2009


Web Materials: The author of the textbook maintains a webpage There are several useful materials and, in particular, the videos from the author’s lectures at MIT in Spring 2010 are available on


Attendance: Regular class attendance is important. A grade penalty will be applied to any student missing five or more classes (10%) during the semester. The "10 percent rule" stated above applies to both excused and unexcused absences. Students who anticipate potential excessive absences due to participation in permissible events as described in the USC Academic Bulletins (see should receive prior approval from the instructor to potentially avoid such penalty.


Cell Phones: All cell phones must be turned off during the class.


Homework: Students are strongly encouraged to read the corresponding sections from the textbook and/or watch the corresponding video before or immediately after the material is presented in class.

A few homework problems will be assigned each class. Be sure to solve these problems before the next class. The quizzes will be based on these problems.


Quizzes: At the end of some lectures there will be 5-minute quizzes based on the homework problems assigned in the previous classes. The accumulated results of the quizzes will constitute the “Quiz Grade”. There will be no make-up quizzes.


Midterm Exam: There will be a midterm exam in a form of a test. The tentative date of the exam is September 22, 2011. There will be no make-up for this exam.


Final Exam: The final exam in a form of a test will take place on Wednesday, December 7 at 2:00 PM. All students must take the final exam.


Graduate Students: The graduate students will receive an additional problem on the exams. Each of them should prepare a research paper (5 to 10 pages long) discussing a chosen topic from Linear Algebra that relates to their research area. The papers should be submitted in class (or via e-mail) on or before November 17, 2011.


Grading (undergraduates): The final grade will be determined from the quizzes (30%), the midterm exam (30%), and the final (40%).


Grading (graduate students): The final grade will be determined from the quizzes (20%), the midterm exam (20%), the paper (20%), and the final (40%).


Grading Scheme: The grades will be assigned as follows: A for 90-100%; B+ for 86-89%; B for 80-85%; C+ for 76-79%; C for 70-75%; D+ for 66-69%; D for 60-65%; F for less than 60.


Academic Dishonesty: Cheating and plagiarism will not be allowed. The University of South Carolina has clearly articulated its policy governing academic integrity and students are encouraged to carefully review the policy ( on the Honor Code in the Carolina Community.


ADA: If you have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and need any assistance, please notify the instructor immediately.



Important Dates:        August 24   –   Last day to drop without W

                                     September 22   –   Midterm Exam

                                     October 13   –   Last day to drop without WF

                                     October 20 - 21   –   Fall Break

                                     November 17   –   Deadline to submit the papers for the graduate students

                                     November 23 - 27   –   Thanksgiving recess - no classes

                                     December 2   –   Last day of classes

                                     December 7   –   Final Exam at 2:00 PM