Applied Linear Algebra, M346, Fall 2005, Unique #58760

  • Professor: Lorenzo Sadun
  • Classes: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30-11, RLM 5.124
  • Website:
  • Office: RLM 9.114
  • Office Hours: W 9-11
  • Phone: 471-7121
  • Email:
  • Text: Applied Linear Algebra; the Decoupling Principle, by yours truly.  We will attempt to cover the first 8 chapters, with occasional sections skipped.  Note that MOST copies of the book on the used book market are defective, thanks to a printing error that took way too long to be caught.  Look at the figure on page 27.  If the  vectors don't have labels, then most of the other figures in the book, especially in the later chapters, are also mangled.  
  • Prerequisites: M340L or M341 or M311 or my permission.  I expect you to have a good feel for manipulating matrices, especially row reduction, but also taking determinants. I also expect you to have seen abstract vector spaces and linear transformations, but some rustiness is expected -- we'll be reviewing that.  I don't assume you've seen eigenvalues and eigenvectors at all; we'll do them from scratch.

  • GRADES ARE IN!  The final exam was quite disappointing, with a median score of 50.  Even so, I assigned a majority of As and Bs to the class.  Of the 31 people who took the final, 7 got As, 10 got Bs, 7 got Cs, 3 got Ds and 4 got Fs.  
    As indicated on the first day handout, your term total was computed as MT1+MT2+HW+2*Final - Lowest.  The maximum possible was 400 points.  The cutoff for an A was 325 (81.25%), the cutoff for a B was 260 (65%), the cutoff for a C was 200 (50%) and the cutoff for a D was 160 (40%).  The overall grade distribution was a little lower than last year; the cutoffs were a lot lower than last year.

    I would appreciate feedback on what went right and what went wrong this semester.  In response to student comments, I made a number of changes from previous semesters -- writing a solutions manual over the summer and cutting out quite a bit of theoretical material that baffled earlier classes (e.g., sections 2.5 and 3.5).  However, I have the impression that I lost much of the class for the second half of the semester, and that the material on Fourier series and waves connected with VERY few people.

    Part of the problem may be background, as some people were tripped up more by calculus than by linear algebra.  (On the final, a number of people integrated u^(-2) du and got something times u^(-3)!) Would it help if the prerequisites for M346 were changed to require a B (rather than a C) in 340L or 341?

    *Handouts and Other Course Information

  • Actual first midterm, without and with solutions
  • Actual second midterm, without and with solutions
  • Actual final exam, without and with solutions
  • First midterm from 2004
  • First midterm solutions from 2004
  • First midterm from 2003
  • First midterm solutions from 2003
  • First midterm from 2000
  • First midterm solutions from 2000
  • Second midterm from 2004 (solutions not available)
  • Second midterm from 2003
  • Second midterm solutions from 2003
  • Second midterm from 2000
  • Second midterm solutions from 2000
  • Practice final from 2000, both with and without solutions
  • Practice final from 2003, both with  and without solutions
  • Practice final from 2004, both with and without solutions
  • First Day Handout
  • Course Schedule
  • Homework
  • Homework Solutions
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