Math 344 Section 003 (MW 3:55 - 5:10pm), Close-Hipp 337
Linear Algebra

Spring 2020

Professor: Peter J. Nyikos

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, I will have very limited access to my office, the only place from which I can edit my webpages. So for the foreseeable future, my communications will be by way of Blackboard. This includes virtual classes and virtual office hours.

Office: LeConte 406

Phone: 7-5134

Email: nyikos @

Prerequisite: MATH 241

Office Hours: TR 2:00 - 3:30. or by appointment (or any time I am in). Exceptions will be announced as far in advance as possible, with a note on my office door if necessary.

Outside of class, I will be communicating mostly on blackboard. This webpage is for information of a more permanent sort.

Textbook: Linear Algebra, by David C. Lay, 3rd ed.

This book is out of print, but can be obtained very inexpensively on line. My first blackboard announcement mentioned one place that seems to give free downloads; the url for it is
The 5th edition, now in print, would cost nearly $200, so the savings is considerable!

The following sections will covered to some extent, some thoroughly:
All in Chapter 1.
2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.8, and 2.9, with topics from the other sections of Chapter 2 as time permits.
All in Chapter 3.
4.1 through 4.6, and later sections of Chapter 4 as time permits.
5.1, 5.2, 5.3, and 5.6.
6.1 through 6.5.

Only simple calculators (in other words, those that may be used in taking SAT tests, costing $20 or less) are needed for this course, and they will be needed only a small fraction of the time, outside of class. Neither the quizzes, nor the hour tests, nor the final exam will require their use, although they may save some time on a few problems. Programmable calculators are not permitted for quizzes, hour tests, or the final exam.

The course grade will be based on quizzes, homework, 3 one-hour tests, a final exam, and attendance. Details on this and on various policies can be found here.

I might as well include the following information already:
The final exam in this course is on Wednesday, April 29, 4:00 - 5:30 pm.
Only major, documented excuses for missing the final exam will be accepted. With so many students in the class, the University cannot accommodate any but the most compelling reasons. If you know in advance that you will miss it, let me know as soon as possible, in writing, giving details.

The first class-long test was on Wednesday, February 19. It covered what the class covered in Sections 1.1 through 1.9. This means Section 1.6, which was not covered in class, also was not covered on the test.

The third quiz was on Monday, March 2, on Sections 2.1 and 2.2.

Learning Outcomes: Students will master concepts and solve problems based upon the topics covered in the course, including the following: solutions of systems of linear equations; Gaussian elimination; matrix multiplication and calculation of inverses; linear transformations and their associated matrices and their geometric interpretations; parametrized solutions to systems of linear equations; vector spaces and subspaces including null spaces and column spaces of matrices; rank and nullity of matrices; bases for, and dimensions of subspaces; determinants, eigenvalues, eigenvectors and the characteristic equation; inner products; orthogonal and orthonormal sets, and the Gram-Schmidt process for producing them; least squares solutions to data problems; and a number of scientific applications.

The following are not to be handed in, but make good preparation for quizzes and tests:

Section 1.1: Practice Problems 1, 2, 3; Exercises 1, 3, 11, 15, 17
Section 1.2: Practice Problems 1, 2; Exercises 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 15
Section 1.3: Exercises 9, 11, 13, and 17.

Section 1.5: Exercises 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 19

Section 1.7: Practice Problems 1 thru 4; Exercises 1, 5, 9, 11
Section 1.8: Practice Problems 1, 2; Exercises 5, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17
Section 1.9: Practice Problem, and odd-numbered problems 1 through 9, 13 through 17.

Section 2.1: Practice Problems 1 and 2; Exercises 3, 5, 7, 9, 10
Section 2.2: Practice Problems 1 and 2; Exercises 1, 5, 31, 33.
Section 2.3: Practice Problems, Exercises 1, 5, 15, 17