Colorado State University, Pueblo
Math 207 — Matrix and Vector Algebra with Applications
Spring 2008

Here is a shortcut to the course schedule/homework page.

Lectures: MWF (14 Jan to 21 Mar!) in Phys/Math 110, 2-2:50pm      Office Hours: M-F 9-9:50am or by appointment

Instructor: Jonathan Poritz     Office: PM 248     E-mail:
Phone: 549-2044 (office — any time); 337-1210 (cell) and 473-8928 (home) (both for emergencies only, please)

Text: Elementary Linear Algebra (9th ed.), by Howard Anton. We will cover much of Chapters 3, 1, and 2 (in that order), and possible other, supplementary topics, as time and interest allow. [Please note: it does not matter if you get the "standard" edition or the "applications" edition -- for the part of the book we will cover, they are identical.]

Content/objectives: To introduce students to the geometric and algebraic ideas behind, and techniques for working with, matrices and vectors. Where possible and relevant, we will also discuss applications of these ideas and techniques in other fields, including physics, engineering, computer science and other parts of mathematics.

The Textbook: is not too bad, but I will frequently deviate from it in content and examples presented in class (perhaps sometimes supplemented with handouts). Nevertheless, I will assume in class that students have actually read the text sections (or handouts) I assign on the HW/schedule web page, usually before we cover them in class, but certainly the same week.

Homework: will generally be due each Monday. You will probably enjoy it more, and learn more from it, if you work with your classmates, so I encourage you to do so. However, you must each turn in your own write-up of the solutions, and I will sometimes ask students to present HW solutions in class. There may be a quiz or two and/or classroom worksheets which can be turned in and which will count as part of your homework grades. There will also be various opportunities for extra credit during the course.

Exams: We will have two midterm exams: the first, covering Chapter 3, in class on Monday, February 4, 2008; the second, covering Chapter 1, in class on Friday, February 29, 2008. The final will include some material from both of these chapters but will have a special emphasis on Chapter 2. It will be given in two parts, on Wednesday, March 19, 2008, and Friday, March 21, 2008, in class.

Grades: I will drop your lowest homework score. After that, the various parts of the course will be weighted as follows:
                                        Homework: 30%
2 Midterms: 20% (each)
Final Exam: 30%

Only 10 weeks! This is a 2 credit course given with lectures MWF — therefore it will meet only for the first ten weeks of the term. Hence all important dates (drop/add, finals, etc.) are somewhat compressed: see the course schedule for details.

Office hours: Feel free to come to my office to talk about anything during my above-specified office hours. In fact, most any time you can find me in my office I am happy to talk to you, unless I am on my way to a meeting or to another class -- the point of the official office hours is that in those times I will always be sure to be there and to be available to you. Note please, however, that I sometimes have to change the official hours partway into the term, if it becomes apparent that many more students would be able to come at a different time; the version on my office door and website will always be current, though.

Academic integrity: Aside from the collaborative homework efforts I mentioned above, everything you submit to me must be entirely your own, or else you must give complete and accurate attribution to the true source. Deviation from this will result in all involved parties being given a final grade of F. Similarly, late or missed homeworks or exams will receive a zero, unless either a major emergency occurs at the last moment or we have discussed the situation in advance and I have accepted your reasons. Please also always provide me with some paper documentation to support your needs for special treatment.

A request about e-mail: E-mail is a great way to keep in touch with me, but as a consequence I get a lot of e-mail. So to help me stay organized, please put your full name and mention the course name or number somewhere in all of your messages to me.

Students with disabilities: The University abides by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulate that no student shall be denied the benefits "solely by reason of a handicap." If you have a documented disability that may impact your performance in this class for which you may require accomodations, please see me as soon as possible to arrange these accomodations. In order to receive this assistance, you must be registered with, and provide documentation of your disability to, the Disability Services Office, which is located in the Pschology Building, Room 232.

Trinity: I know why you're here, Neo. I know what you've been doing... why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. [...] It's the question that drives us, Neo. It's the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.
Neo: What is the Matrix?
Trinity: The answer is out there, Neo, and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.


Morpheus: Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.
  from The Matrix, (1999), written and directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski, Warner Bros.

  from Toothpaste for Dinner, webcomic by "Drew",