Math 1600A: Linear Algebra I (Fall 2013)

This course is over. The web page for the current course can be found here.

Please check this course web page and the exercises page regularly for announcements and updates.

Here are the solutions to Midterm 2 and to Midterm 1.

You can get exercises for all appendices. The ones for Appendix C are here, and there are solutions.

Section 001 Section 002
Instructor Hugo Bacard Dan Christensen
Office Middlesex 121 Middlesex 103B
Phone ext. 86534 ext. 86530
E-mail (at uwo dot ca) hbacard jdc
Office hours Mondays 11-12, Wednesdays 10-11 Mondays 1:30-2:30, Wednesdays 12:30-1:30
Class times (and notes) MWF 8:30-9:30 MWF 10:30-11:30 (click times for notes)
Class location 3M-3250 NCB-113
Tutorials 1 hour per week, either Wednesday or Thursday. The TA reviews material from the course and answers questions, and the tutorials also include quizzes (see below). You must attend the tutorial you are registered for (see your schedule).
Help centre Mon-Fri 2:30-6:30 in MC 106 starting Sept 19. (This is the common help centre for all first year math courses.)
Course outline Properties and applications of vectors; matrix algebra; solving systems of linear equations; determinants; vector spaces; independence; orthogonality; eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Link to UWO course calendar.
Textbook D. Poole, Linear Algebra: A Modern Introduction, 3rd ed., Brooks Cole, 2010. ISBN 9780538735452.
The textbook is available at the bookstore. It should be possible to find used copies of the 3rd edition as well. There is also an optional "Student Solutions Manual and Study Guide".
Prerequisites One or more of Ontario Secondary School MCV4U, Mathematics 1229A/B, Calculus 1100A/B, 1500A/B or Calculus 1000A/B taken as a pre- or co-requisite. Note that 1229 can be taken before 1600, but not at the same time.
Antirequisites Applied Mathematics 1411A/B, 2811B, the former Linear Algebra 1600A/B.
Web page This page is available at, where you should also check for course announcements. We will also use OWL for grades.
Quizzes There will be 6 quizzes throughout the year, during the tutorials. The quizzes will cover the material up to and including what was covered on Monday's lecture. You must take the quiz at the tutorial you are registered for.
Sep 11-12no tutorial
Sep 18-19quiz 1
Sep 25-26quiz 2
Oct 2-3review, MT Oct 3
Oct 9-10review
Oct 16-17quiz 3
Oct 23-24quiz 4
Oct 30-31no tutorial
Nov 6-7review, MT Nov 7
Nov 13-14review
Nov 20-21quiz 5
Nov 27-28quiz 6
Dec 4-5review
The tutorials do run even if there is no quiz that week, and the TA will use the full time for going over course material and answering questions.
Midterm exams There will be two midterms, each 90min long. Thu Oct 3, 7-8:30pm and Thu Nov 7, 7-8:30pm.
Final exam
The final exam will take place on Mon Dec 9, 2-5pm.
Section 001: HSB 236 (last names A-W), HSB 240 (last names X-Z)
Section 002: HSB 240 (last names A-LI), HSB 35 (last names LIU-Z)

The final exam will cover all the material from the course, but will emphasize the later material. See below for how conflicts are handled.
Evaluation Quizzes: 20%, each midterm: 20%, final exam: 40%. For the quizzes, the lowest score will be dropped.

What is expected of the student

The aim of the course is for you to learn the techniques of linear algebra and to gain an understanding of the concepts on which the techniques are based. This will require a considerable effort on your part. For each hour of lecture, you should spend about 2 hours studying the material at home. This includes reading the relevant sections of the textbook and, above all, doing the exercises at the end of each section as we cover the material, not just before quizzes and exams. Do as many of them as necessary to feel comfortable with the material.

Remember: You understand the material if you can answer questions about it that you have not seen before. Being able to solve the umpteenth exercise in a row of almost identical ones just shows that you remember the recipe. While this is certainly important, you should not confuse this with a true understanding of the concepts.

It is strongly recommended to read the text ahead of time to prepare for each lecture.

This course covers a lot of material, and is cumulative (much more than other courses!), so it will be necessary to work hard throughout the term in order to do well.

Quizzes and exams

For quizzes and exams, questions will be similar — but not identical — to the exercises in the textbook. Here "similar" means that they require the same level of understanding, not that just the numbers were changed. The best way to prepare for quizzes and exams is to do as many exercises as possible. Note that the point is not to learn solutions by heart, but to gain experience in finding them. If you cannot solve an exercise, the most important question you should ask yourself is not: "What is the solution?" (which, for most odd-numbered exercises, can be found at the end of the book), but: "What is the concept that I haven't understood?"

Missed quiz, midterm or final exam

Remember that the lowest quiz score is dropped, to take into account absences for unforeseen reasons.

If you know ahead of time that you are unable to attend a quiz, midterm or final exam, please let your instructor know as soon as possible so alternative arrangements can be made. For final exam conflicts, see below.

If you are unable to attend a quiz, midterm or final exam due to illness or other serious circumstances, you must provide valid medical or other supporting documentation to the Dean's office as soon as possible and contact your instructor immediately. It is the student's responsibility to make alternative arrangements with their instructor. For further information please see this link and the Student Services web site.

A student requiring academic accommodation due to illness should bring a Student Medical Certificate with them when visiting an off-campus medical facility and use a Record Release Form for visits to Student Health Services. Hard copies of both of these forms are available from your home Faculty Academic Counselling Service.

If a quiz is missed and sufficient documentation is provided, the grade for that quiz will be reweighted to the other quizzes. If an exam is missed and sufficient documentation is provided, a make-up exam will be offered.

Failure to follow these rules may result in a grade of zero.

Final exam conflicts

Please see the University's policy on final exam conflicts. Here is a quote from this document:
A student who is scheduled to write more than two such examinations in any 23-hour period, more than three in any 47-hour period, or more than four in any 71-hour period may request alternative arrangements through the office of the dean of their faculty.

A student who is scheduled to write two examinations concurrently must notify the Registrar so that arrangements may be made for both examinations to be written in the Examination Conflict Room in a sequence established by the Registrar.

Please also let your instructor know about the conflict, and read the entire University policy. This must be done by November 15.

Academic offences

Copying solutions from other students, online sources, textbooks, etc., or showing your work to other students, constitutes a scholastic offense.

Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the official policy. Note that the penalty for cheating can include receiving a failing grade in the course and suspension or expulsion from the University. All scholastic offences are added to your student record.

Electronic devices (including cell phones and ipods) are not allowed at the exams and may be confiscated. The mere possession of such devices will already be considered an academic offence.

Accessibility Statement

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 661-2111 ext. 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.

A note to all students from the office of the Dean of the Faculty of Science

You are responsible for ensuring that you have successfully completed all course prerequisites and that you have not taken an antirequisite course. Lack of prerequisites may not be used as the basis of appeal. If you are not eligible for a course, you may be removed from it at any time, and will receive no adjustment to your fees. These decisions cannot be appealed.

If you do not have the course prerequisites, and have not been granted a special permission to take the course by the department, it is in your best interest to drop the course well before the end of the add period. Your prompt attention to this matter will not only help protect your record, but will ensure that spaces become available for students who require this course for graduation.

Please check the exercises page and this course web page regularly for announcements and updates.