Welcome To Linear Algebra!
Dear Linear Algebra students, welcome to Linear Algebra! You are about to embark on a journey into the most interesting, and most applicable mathematics ever invented! Not only that, but also, we are about to do so in a fresh new way that opens a revealing window to its inner structure and beauty. This is a new way of looking at linear algebra concepts; it is very different from the way a typical linear algebra text, or a professor approaches the teaching of the subject. The pioneer of the method is professor Pavel Grinfeld from Drexel University, who was a student of Gilbert Strang, who himself is the legendary MIT linear algebra professor, and a contributing mathematician to the subject. You go through the course by watching the videos in Lemma site, and taking notes. Then, you answer the questions that follow. Register for free to see the worksheets. You, also, do some readings from the free textbook provided in the contents modules. Here is the challenge: the textbook has two problems, almost all do, one is that it is written using mathematical formal language, which is a hindrance to learning the subject; another is the typical approach that all linear algebra textbooks take, which is starting with systems of equations and coordinates systems such as Cartesian. You’ll notice quickly that the approach in the videos, and my notes, is very different, to put it mildly! But, the result is the marvelous view of the mathematical structures of objects of linear algebra, and a clear understanding of what vector spaces are, and how they are used in modeling the world! So, reading the textbook may be a little confusing before you learn about matrices and coordinates systems; but once you understand the heart of the concepts, you’ll understand the concepts presented in the textbook. The homework is the problems that follow the videos, and problems and examples covered in my notes. The Blackboard discussion board is for you to discuss your questions. This is a revolutionary way of learning linear algebra, give it a try, you won’t be disappointed! Enjoy the ride!
Materials and Technology
I use a free textbook, the solutions to the exercises (you can save them in your computer as pdf files), my notes, Lemma site, and the Recitation videos from MIT site in this course. The official textbook can be used as a reference. We are going to use Lemma site to watch video clips of mini lectures, and answer all questions given after video lectures for homework. These problems have solutions that you can see by clicking on the little eye icon on the right side of the problem, and choosing show solution. But, you need to try to answer the questions yourself, then check to see if you did it correctly, the system keeps tracks of number of tries! The tests and final exam will rely on these kinds of questions and the notes. You need to turn in homework, and take your online tests in Blackboard Site. You can also watch Recitation videos from MIT site on some of the concepts covered in this course. You use the free program Geogebra, which you can download here. You can use the program on your smart phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. There are some activities linked in my notes files that are done using this program. This means that you need to download and start working with it. You also use a calculator in this course. Ti-83, 84, or similar calculators are okay to use with your homework and tests. There is a free program that can be installed in your phone or computer that emulates a Ti calculator. Please review all privacy policies to all external tools. All materials are intended for all users, but if there is an accessibility issue with any resource used, let me know, so that I can attempt to fix the problem. You are required to understand the sections that are covered in the first module before you move on to new ones! The activities required for each module need to be done using the appropriate technology; if you have questions about how to use technology, you need to answer them as soon as possible so that you don’t fall behind in your work. Here are links to how to use the Ti calculators and the Geogebra, and how to solve systems with geogebra. Another great online software, and free, is this link that you can use to do linear algebra computations online. To double check your matrix operations you can use this link(U of H); click info on the upper left to read what the site can do. Also, the little arrow by RREF, in the middle of the page, opens other operations you can do on the web site.
Privacy and Use Policies
For all disability issues please contact the Disabilities Services Counselor on the campus located in the Educational Planning and Counseling Centers:
Central Campus – 281-476-1888;
North Campus – 281-998-6150 Ext. 2317;
South Campus – 281-922-3444
I use a free textbook, the solutions to the exercises (you can save them in your computer as pdf files), my notes, Lemma site, and the Recitation videos from MIT site in this course. The official textbook is used as a reference.
Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 5th Edition, by David C. Lay.
Help And Support
You should manage your time to make sure you have at least 8 hours a week to study and do course activities in this course. You have to watch the video clips, answer all questions after each video, go over note files, ask questions if any, contribute to the discussion Board in Blackboard, and do all activities and assignments on time! Please make sure you understand the concepts before moving on to the next. It is crucial that all pertaining activities and assignments be done before you take a test. The 4 module exams assess your progress in the course. The final exam will be proctored.
The types of activities are given in the table below.
|Introduce Yourself||Post in Blackboard Discussion Board in the first week|
|Readings||Done throughout the course (not graded, but very
|Post Questions||Post questions, at least one per week, in Blackboard
|Homework||Done in Lemma site and from the textbook sections you
read. Homework grade is based on completion of the videos and problems
on Lemma site. You post a problem from the week work in Blackboard
Discussion board, and complete each module before the module exam day.
Completion means all videos for the model are watched, all questions are
answered, and you have posted one question per week about the work in
the discussion board.
|Critical Thinking Problem||please see the calendar|
|Unit 1 Exam||please see the calendar|
|Unit 2 Exam||please see the calendar|
|Unit 3 Exam||please see the calendar|
|Unit 4 Exam||please see the calendar|
|Final Exam|| Taken on campus at San Jacinto College-central campus, 8060
You can ask questions by posting in the Discussion Board in Blackboard, by sending e-mail, or coming to my office hours. It is very important to find out about your mistakes on a test, if any, and correct them! I’ll have the solutions posted after you take them. The final exam is comprehensive, and will include problems from most sections we cover in the course; in a DL course at San Jacinto College the final exam is proctored, and you must score at least 60 to get a D or better in the course.
The following are suggestions for positive and useful email communication: Please include your class, days, times along with your name in all e-mails. No sarcasm, confrontational language, use of profanity or #$%*! symbols to imply expletives!
You may email me (best way to reach me) at anytime, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call my office at anytime, 281-998-6150 ext. 3038.
No make ups! Homework completion has due date! You need to have the videos watched, questions answered, and discussion post done for every set of objectives. You can still continue working after the due date, but there will be a 5 points per day penalty. The critical thinking problem is worth 1 percent of your course grade; it must be answered in the Blackboard site; the instructions are given in the statement of the problem.
|Homework||4 Homework sets||14%|
|Discussion Board||Introduce yourself and 15 Discussion posts||5%|
|Exam||4 unit exams||50%|
|Critical Thinking problem||1 problem answered in Blackboard site||1%|
|Final Exam||1 proctored final exam at the end of the semester||30%|
Note: Homework is done when you are watching the video clips, answer questions that follow, and post in discussion board for very set of objectives. Practice is done by doing odd problems from the exercises from the sections you read in the textbook, going over the videos again, going over the notes, and reviewing the questions after the videos. Homework is not collected, but it is a completion grade. I track your progress in Lemma site, but full credit for homework means all videos for the each set are watched, all questions are answered, and you have posted one question per set about the work in the discussion board. You have to register (it is free!) with Lemma site in order to be able to see the worksheets with problems. On the top of the page in Lemma site for linear algebra, click on the little book icon to open the table of contents, then pick the level essential, and watch the videos with titles that I listed in the modules. Take notes! Answer all questions that follow the videos, some don’t have questions. Work gradually, and finish the required module work before you take an exam! Below is an example of what a problem looks like in Lemma site after you watch a video.
College Community Activities (optional)
You should participate in our clubs at our college. The one that I sponsor is called MaPHix, the Mathematical Physics Club. If there are enough student participants, We’ll meet on 3rd Monday of the month, and participate in some campus activities. Depending on the college activities we participate in there could be opportunity to make extra credit for participating; this is extra points on the top of regular work points, and not instead of normal course work! Join our club at