MTH 309 X

Introduction to Linear Algebra

Spring 2018

Course Information


309 X TuTh 12:30-1:50pm NSC 222


309 X1 Thursdays 9:00-9:50am Park 145
309 X2 Tuesdays 4:00-4:50pm Cooke 127A
309 X3 Thursdays 10:00-10:50am Park 145


First class: Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018.

Last class: Thursday, May 10, 2018.

Final exam: Thursday, May 17, 2018.

Monday, Feb 5 is the last day to add the class, or to drop it with no record on your transcript. Friday, Apr 20 is the last day to resign from the course (with an R on your transcript).

Instructor: John Ringland. Office: 206 Mathematics Building. Phone: 645-8773. E-mail: ringland at - please be sure to put "309" in the Subject line. Office hours: Wednesdays and Fridays, 1-2pm, and by app't.

T.A.: Aparna Upadhyay. Email: Office hours: Tuesdays 11:30am-12:30pm and 2:00-3:00pm. Office: 136 Math Bldg. Phone: 645-8821.

Textbook: D. Lay, S. Lay, J. McDonald, Linear Algebra and its Applications, 3rd custom UB edition. 3rd custom UB edition is the same as the standard 5th edition, but cheaper. Greeks and Sneaks may be cheaper than UB Bookstore.

Website: Bookmark it and check it regularly! We will not be using UBLearns, except for turning in some assignments.

Syllabus: here


Homework, recitation activities, class participation: 25%

Two midterms: 25% each

Final exam: 25%

Recitation: These weekly sessions will be conducted by the TA. Sometimes there will be structured activities, and attendance is mandatory. Recitations begin in the 2nd week of classes. Take your laptop to every recitation unless told otherwise.

Homework: Homework assignments will be frequent. Homework will be a mixture of pencil-and-paper assignments and online assignments using the Webwork system. Your Webwork username is your UBIT username, and your initial password is your UB person number.

No late homework of either type will be accepted. Solutions will be available on the website. The lowest pencil-and-paper homework score will be dropped in the computation of the final grade.


Midterm Exam #1 Thursday March 1 7-9pm Knox 20
Midterm Exam #2 Thursday April 12 7-9pm Knox 20
Final Exam Thursday May 17 8-11am NSC 210

Exams will be closed-book.

Discussion forum: Feel free to post and answer questions on Piazza. Please give helpful hints or explanations in response to other students' questions, not complete answers to problems. Do not use Piazza for matters that pertain to you specifically (your grade etc.): e-mail me directly with such issues.

Prescription for success: Sustained steady effort: starting today! Make full use of the human resources available to you: me (in class, during office hours, and by appointment), the TA (in recitations, during office hours, and by appointment), and last but definitely not least your fellow students! Start homework assignments early! Get a study-group together! Also make appropriate use of digital resources such as Wikipedia and Youtube.

Computer software: Anaconda distribution of Python (3.6). No prior experience with Python is expected.

Use of electronic devices: Using electronic devices such as computers, phones, etc. during class is strictly prohibited, except when I say it's ok during a mid-class break. Each infraction will cost you 1/3 of a letter grade on your overall course grade.

Students with disabilities: If you have a diagnosed disability (physical, learning or psychological) which will make it difficult for you to carry out the course work as outlined, or requires accommodations such as recruiting note-takers, readers, or extended time on exams and/or assignments, please advise me during the first two weeks of class so we may review possible arrangements for reasonable accommodations.

Making up Incompletes: To make up an Incomplete you must see me immediately. Do NOT register for this class!