Math 265 Elementary Linear Algebra
Department of Mathematics
Towson University

Elementary Linear Algebra

Fall 2022

Instructor: Alexei Kolesnikov
Office: YR 230
Office hours: Mondays 1-3pm or by appointment
Schedule: The class will meet from 10am to 11:50am on Mondays and Fridays. The room is YR 124 on Mondays and 126 on Fridays

This course will introduce key mathematical concepts of linear algebra that, no doubt, will be useful for those pursuing a career in mathematics, economics, computer science, or related fields. These days, routine calculations that involve matrices are done by computers; the hard part is to know which calculation to use and how to interpret the results. That is why one of the main goals is to develop the ability to recognize linear algebra concepts in other disciplines and in other fields of mathematics. Mathematical content includes matrix calculations and determinants, vector spaces over the real numbers, linear transformations, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, and inner products with emphasis on applications.

TEXT Linear Algebra and its Applications, 5th edition, by David Lay.
CALCULATOR The use of calculators will not be emphasized; it may be a good idea to get Mathematica or Octave software for checking your calculations.
GRADING There will be online and written homework, mini-homework, two exams, and a comprehensive final examination. The highest of the two mid-semester test scores will contribute 25% and the lowest test score will count 15% in the final grade. Homework will count 25% and the final 35%.

Each of these grade components will be scored on a 100-point scale. At the end of the semester, all your scores will be averaged according to the above weights, and the average will be converted to a percentage score rounded to the nearest integer percentage point. The percentage score will then be used to determine your course grade from the table below. For example, if your raw average is 86.57, your percentage score will be 87% and you will earn a B+ in the course.

Percent 0-59% 60-66% 67-69% 70-76% 77-79% 80-82% 83-86% 87-89% 90-92% 93-100%
Grade F D D+ C C+ B− B B+ A− A
Mini-homework will count as a third of a letter-grade adjustment at the end of the course.

EXAM DATES Exam 1: September 26
Exam 2: October 31
Final:  Monday, December 19, 8am
HOMEWORK Homework will be assigned weekly. It is a very important part of the class. You are encouraged to work in groups, but the solutions should be written up/submitted individually.

Most of the assignments will feature both problems you do online and problems you need to write up and hand in during the class. The link to the online system is posted on the BlackBoard site for the course. The online system will check the answers you submit and will give you immediate feedback whether the answer is correct or not. The part of the assignment that you are handing in will have very few problems; I will have high expectations for the clarity of solutions; and it is a good idea to show me drafts of your solutions for feedback.

MINI HOMEWORK This homework will be assigned after every class and will be due the next class period. Typically, it will consist of a reading assignment and some of the routine exercises. You will not need to hand in anything, instead, two or three students will be volunteered to present the solutions at the board, while the rest of the class will be expected to discuss the reading assignment with me. If your presentations and participation in discussions are consistently good (feel free to ask me for feedback if you are not sure), I will add a third of a letter grade to your final grade. At worst (if you are not ready or miss the class half the time), I will subtract one full letter grade from your final grade.
COURSE POLICIES The students are expected to behave in a professional way. This includes coming to class on time and ready to work; engaging in on-task work throughout the class period; and submitting assignments on time.

Class attendance is expected. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get the material and the homework assignment from your fellow students.

You should expect to spend a considerable amount of time working on this course outside of class. According to the US Department of Education definition, a credit hour is ''an amount of work that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom ... instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks''. This is a 4-credit hour course, so you need to budget 8 hours per week for independent work on this course. At the same time, try to be efficient. If you are spending a lot of time on homework or lab assignments without making much progress, talk to me. You are encouraged to ask me for help with course material during the office hours or by making an appointment.

You are encouraged to discuss your homework assignments with each other; however, solutions should be written down separately. Tests are to be written strictly individually. University's Academic Integrity Policy will be enforced; everyone caught cheating on any assignment will face a range of penalties, up to a failing grade in the course.

Normally, no make-up tests will be given; if for some reason you are not able to take a test, please let me know as soon as possible.

Everyone participating in this course is expected to be respectful of each other without regard to race, class, linguistic background, religion, political beliefs, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, veteran's status, or physical ability. If you feel these expectations have not been met, please feel free to discuss it with me or with the designated diversity liaison Dr. Elizabeth Goode.

This course is in compliance with Towson University policies for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities are encouraged to register with ADS at:

7720 York Road, Suite 232

If you have questions or concerns about the course, be sure to discuss them with me during my office hours or by appointment.

OTHER IMPORTANT DATES Drop without W deadline: Wednesday, September 7
Drop deadline: Monday, November 7
Thanksgiving break: November 23-27
Last day of classes: Tuesday, December 13