Math 540 Honors Linear Algebra, Spring 2013

Course Information

A printable pdf version of the syllabus is here.

Basic Information

Instructor: Chris Kottke

Office: 303 Kassar-Gould House


Office hours: Mon 3:00-3:45, Wed 11:15-12:00 (shared with Math 1530), or by appointment.

Text: Linear Algebra Done Right, by Sheldon Axler. 2rd Ed (ISBN 0-387-98259-0 hardcover, 0-387-98258-2 softcover).

Additional homework problems:



Linear algebra is the study of vectors and linear maps. It is a foundational subject in mathematics, and of extremely wide use in fields such as economics, physics, biology, computer science, engineering. Math 540 is the honors version of the class, and is fast-paced and theoretically oriented. We'll be covering lots of interesting material, but you should be prepared to spend a lot of time on this course.

Linear algebra is a very important subject, both for its use in theoretical mathematics and for it applicability in the real world. The computational side of linear algebra is quite important, but due to time constraints, computations will not be the primary focus of the lectures in this course. Homework sets will consist of two different sorts of problems. Some problems will be theoretical, and you'll learn to construct your own proofs. These will generally build on material that we've covered in class. Other problems will ask you to gain familiarity with computational aspects of linear algebra that we discuss only briefly in class.

We will use the same exams and (mostly the same) homework problems as Section 1 (taught by Joe Silverman), and will try to keep to more or less the same schedule.

Approximate lecture schedule:

1-4Vector Spaces
5-8Finite-Dimensional Vector Spaces
9-12Linear Maps
17-20Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors
21-24Inner-Product Spaces
25-28Operators on Inner-Product Spaces
29-32Operators on Complex Vector Spaces
33-36Trace and Determinant

Course Policies

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