Math 520: Linear Algebra

David Dumas

Brown University
Spring 2008

Section Information

Section 1 Section 2 Section 3
Time MWF 10:00-10:50am MWF 12:00-12:50pm MWF 1:00-1:50pm
Location 157 Barus & Holley 115 MacMillan 168 Barus & Holley
Instructor Xiao Xiao David Dumas Constanze Liaw
Xiao underscore Xiao at math dot brown dot edu ddumas at math dot brown dot edu conni at math dot brown dot edu
Office Hours Mon 2-4pm Mon 2-3pm, Wed 3-4pm
(No office hrs on May 7)
Mon 12-1pm, Wed 2-3pm
016 Kassar 114 Kassar 018 Kassar

Note: Section 4 (TR 2:30-3:50pm) is managed separately from the three MWF sections; visit the Section 4 home page for further information.

Course-wide Information


How to study for the midterm exams

Problems on the exam will be similar in style and difficulty to the homework problems from the textbook. To study for the exam, you should:


[Textbook Cover]   Introduction to Linear Algebra, Third Edition, by Gilbert Strang   (ISBN 0961408898)

Homework policies

Homework will be collected once each week, usually on Friday.

Late homework will NOT be accepted. There are no exceptions to this policy.

You can discuss the course material and homework with other students, but when writing solutions that you will turn in for credit, you must work alone, and the work you turn in must represent your own understanding of the material.

When computing your homework average at the end of the semester, your lowest homework score will be dropped.


There will be two evening midterm exams and a cumulative final exam. If you have a compulsory academic activity that interferes with a scheduled midterm exam, inform your instructor as soon as possible.

The registrar determines the date and time of the final exam, and these cannot be changed. You must be available on Tuesday, May 13, 2-5pm, to take the final exam.

If you are absent from a midterm exam without prior approval, you will receive no credit; a make-up exam will be offered only under exceptional circumstances, such as an incapacitating illness or medical emergency.

Exam 1 Tuesday, Feb 26, 7-8pm 117 MacMillan
Exam 2 Tuesday, April 8, 7-8pm 117 MacMillan
Final Exam Tuesday, May 13, 2-5pm 117 MacMillan

Calculators and computers

A calculator is not required in Math 520, and calculators are not permitted at the exams.

While you may use a calculator for basic arithmetic operations on the homework, do so with care, and never as a substitute for understanding. You may not use linear algebra functions of advanced calculators or computer algebra systems to assist with any of your course work.

On rare occasions, part of a homework problem may explicitly call for the use of a calculator in order to give a numerical answer (e.g. "Using a calculator, determine the angle between these planes to the nearest degree..."). In such cases, you may leave your answer in a symbolic form (e.g. cos-1(3/14)).


Your course grade will be determined on the following basis:
Homework 20%
Exam 1 25%
Exam 2 25%
Final Exam 30%

Getting help

The following resources are available for additional help with Math 520:

Other Resources

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