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Course:  Math 20F   (Course Catalog)

Title:  Linear Algebra

Credit Hours:  4  (Credit not offered for both Math 20F and Math 31AH)

Prerequisites:  Math 20C with a grade of C- or better.

Catalog Description:  Matrix algebra, Gaussian elimination, determinants, Linear and affine subspaces, bases of Euclidean spaces. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors, quadratic forms, orthogonal matrices, diagonalization of symmetric matrices. Applications. Computing symbolic and graphical solutions using Matlab.

Textbook:  Linear Algebra and Its Applications, (5th Edition), by David C. Lay, Steven R. Lay, and Judi J. McDonald; published by Pearson.

Material Covered:  We will cover parts of chapters 1-6 of the text. A list of topics scheduled to be covered each day can be found on the  Course Calendar.

Paper-and-Pen Homework:  Homework is a very important part of the course and in order to fully master the topics it is essential that you work carefully on every assignment and try your best to complete every problem. Paper-and-pen homework will be assigned on the course homework page and will be due at 3:00pm on the indicated due date.  Please turn in your homework assignments in the dropbox in the basement of AP&M. Make sure you put your homework in the correct box!  Late homework will not be accepted.  It is allowed and even encouraged to discuss homework problems with your classmates and your TAs, but your final write up of your homework solutions must be your own work.

  • No homework scores will be dropped at the end of the quarter.
  • The drop box for MATLAB is NOT the same as the drop box for paper-and-pen homework assignments. They are both located in the basement of AP&M.

Submitting Paper-and-Pen Homework:   Homework is to be turned in by means of a drop box in the BASEMENT of AP&M.

  • Late assignments will not be accepted.
  • This course has a grader who is responsible for grading all the homework papers and inputting the grades in Ted. To assist the grader, you should keep all problems in the same order as the assignment list and ordered vertically on your page. All pages must be stapled together.
  • Homework will be returned in discussion section.
  • The grader is under no obligation to grade messy or disorganized homework.
    (This includes homework that has not been stapled together.)
  • The upper right corner of each assignment must include:
    • Your name
    • Your discussion section (A01, A02, etc.). If you attend a different section from the one in which you are enrolled, specify which is which on your assignment. For example you may write "I am enrolled in A01 but I attend A05"
    • Homework assignment number

Course Readings:  Reading the sections in the textbook that correspond to what we are discussing in class is a very important part of learning the subject. Lecture time is very limited and not every subject can be fully covered in the time allotted for lecture. Consequently, it is in your own interests to read the related chapters in the textbook.

Lectures:   Attending the lecture is a fundamental part of the course; you are responsible for material presented in the lecture whether or not it is discussed in the textbook. You should expect questions on the exams that will test your understanding of concepts discussed in the lectures.
I may take attendance. Missing more than three lectures (for any reason), will result in an automatic "F" in the course regardless of your exam grades (if you miss more than three lectures, then your course letter grade will be F). If you arrive late more than three times, you will receive F in the course. Also please see "Grading" below.

Pop Quizzes:   Some pop quizzes may be given without notice in advance. Quizzes may be given at the beginning of class, during class, or at the end of class. No notes (or books) or calculators will be allowed during the quizzes.There will be no make-up quizzes; please be on time for class. Each quiz covers only the material of the preceding lecture. If your answer is correct, you get 1/5 point extra credit (which will be added directly to your final quarter grade). If your answer is wrong, 1/5 point will be subtracted from your final quarter grade. If you miss some of the quizzes, for each quiz that you miss, 5 points will be subtracted from your final quarter grade (this means your final percentage grade will be lowered by 5%).

Problem Sessions:   I will hold problem sessions every Friday from 6:00 pm to 7:10 pm in SOLIS 107. We will not cover new material. I will just do extra examples.

Make-Up Lectures:

  • The university is closed on Monday, May 30. Instead of having a problem session, we will have a make-up lecture from 6:00 to 7:10 pm on Friday, Apr 8 in SOLIS 107.

Labs:   This course has an independently managed MATLAB component. It has separate homework, and will count for 4% of the grade. The MATLAB assignments are a required part of the course. Assignments are to be turned in to the dropboxes in the basement of AP&M by 3:00PM of the indicated due date. The assignments can be found here:

There will be MATLAB tutors available in AP&M B432 to help you with your assignments.

  • The drop box for MATLAB is NOT the same as the drop box for paper-and-pen homework assignments. They are both located in the basement of AP&M.
  • There is often confusion about attending MATLAB lab sections because students are automatically assigned "lab sections" scheduled for the same time as their discussion sections, but on a different day. These lab sections have no meaning. Students are free to work on the assignments on their own schedules , provided they meet the assignment deadlines.
  • Your MATLAB score will be based on only the first four MATLAB assignments; Students enrolled in Lecture A will not need to turn in the fifth MATLAB assignment.

MATLAB Quiz:   For students enrolled in Lecture A, MATLAB score will be determined solely based on the first four MATLAB assignments. There will be NO MATLAB quizzes. Please disregard any emails you may have received from the math department regarding the MATLAB quiz.

Discussion Sections:  Discussion sections will meet on Thursday. Please note that there is no discussion section on Thursday, March 31. Attendance is not strictly mandatory, but is highly recommended.

Exams:  There will be two midterm exams and a final exam. Check the  Course Calendar  for the exact dates of the midterm and final exams. Note that midterm exams are in the evening. You will not be permitted to use a calculator or any other electronic devices during the exams. You may use one 8.5 x 11 inch page of handwritten notes (both sides are okay, but no photocopies are allowed). This "cheat sheet" may contain anything you deem useful, with the exception of solved problems or examples. You must turn in your cheat sheet with your blue book. You may not use any other notes or books. Please bring your student ID to the exams.

Grading:  If you do not miss more than two lectures, your cumulative average will be the best of the following two weighted averages.

  • 6% Homework,   4% MATLAB Assignments,   25% Midterm Exam I,   25% Midterm Exam II,   40% Final Exam
  • 6% Homework,   4% MATLAB Assignments,   25% Best Midterm Exam,   65% Final Exam
Your grade will be computed using both methods and then the better grade will be used. If you miss more than two lectures, your cumulative average will be computed using both methods and then the lower grade will be used. Also please see "Pop Quizzes" above. After your weighted average is calculated, letter grades will be assigned based on the following grading scale:

A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C-
99 96 94 91 88 84 81 78 74

There will be no curve. Also please note that there are no D grades in the Math 20 sequence.

Regrades:  Homework, quizzes, and midterm exams will be returned in the discussion sections.   If you believe there might be an error in the grading and wish to have your homework or exam regraded, you must observe the following rules:

  1. Return your homework or exam immediately to your TA. Regrade requests will not be considered once the homework or exam leaves the room.
    • If you disagree with the TA's answer to your regrade request, you may ask for the instructor to review it. In order to do this, you must:
      1. Return your homework or exam immediately to your TA and,
      2. ask that they forward your homework or exam to the instructor.
      Instructor review requests will not be considered once the homework or exam leaves the room.
  2. Retrieve your homework and exam during discussion section or arrange to pick it up from your TA within one week after it was made available for pickup (i.e., returned) in section. In order to be considered, regrade requests must be submitted within one week after being returned in section.

Grade Recording Errors:  This course will have a page on Ted; your homework and midterm grades will be recorded on Ted. Please always make sure that your grades have been inputted and inputted correctly. Keep all of your returned exams and assignments. If there is any mistake in the recording of your scores, you will need the original exam or assignment in order for us to make a change. In particular, if there is any mistake in the recording of your homework scores, you must notify your TA within one week after the score was posted to Ted (otherwise your request will not be considered).

Late Homework:  Late homework will not be accepted under any circumstances. (Notice that this is the third time that this statement appears in the syllabus)

Make-up Exams:  Make-up exams will not be given. You cannot take any exam early or late. In particular, it is your responsibility to ensure that you do not have a schedule conflict involving the midterm exams or the final examination; you should not enroll in this class if you cannot take the midterm exams or the final exam at the scheduled times.

Extra Credit:  Each homework assignment contains some questions marked in bold. You will get extra credit if you come to my office hours on Friday or Saturday* and explain your solutions to the bold questions of the week on the board. For each successful presentation you will earn 1/2 point extra credit which will be added directly to your final quarter grade.
*Note: During Weekends all building entry doors will be locked 24/7. Make sure to bring your UCSD photo ID card; you need to swipe your UCSD photo ID card at an OMNILOCK access control device near either north/south center lobby glass doors to unlock.

Be on Time:  Please arrive on time; in fact, whenever possible, arrive early for class. Also please do not leave class early. Entering and leaving during class can be disruptive. Disruption interferes with the learning environment and impairs the ability of others to focus. If you cannot arrive on time or must always leave early because of a class or work conflict, please do NOT take the class.

Electronic Devices:   Please do NOT use devices such as laptops, tablets, cell phones for non-class-related purposes while in class. It is very distracting to students around you if you are using Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. during class. Also the use of electronic devices will NOT be permitted during exams.

Spend Sufficient Time on the Course:  According to the policy of UCSD's Academic Senate, "The value of a course in units … shall be reckoned at the rate of one unit for three hours' work per week per quarter on the part of the student." Since Math 20F is worth 4 credits, you should be willing to spend about 12 hours per week on the course.

Academic Dishonesty:  Academic dishonesty is considered a serious offense at UCSD.  Students caught cheating will face an administrative sanction which may include suspension or expulsion from the university.  Any indication of cheating will result in a failing grade with your name being turned in to the administration. It is in your best interest to maintain your academic integrity. (Click here for more information.)