Linear Algebra, MATH 330, Fall 2017

This is the home page and first day handout for MATH 330, meeting MW from 10:00am -- 11:15am in TBE-B172.  My name is Dr. Arthur Baragar, my office is CDC 1016, and I can be reached at 895-0378. Important information announced in class will also be posted on WebCampus. The prerequisite for this course is MATH 182 (Calculus II).

Syllabus: The main goal of this course will be to learn how to diagonalize matrices.  To do so, we will have to learn about matrices and why we use them, how to solve systems of linear equations, how to take determinants, how to invert matrices, how to identify uninvertible matrices and find their null space, and how to change bases.  We will also learn about general vector spaces, linear transformations, inner products, and some applications of linear algebra.  We will cover most of Chapters 1 – 8.  

Text:  Howard Anton, Elementary Linear Algebra, 10e, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, 2010. Some electronic resources will be posted on WebCampus.

Grading Scheme: This is the grading scheme for this course:

  • Homework: 10%.
  • Quizzes: 10%.
  • Exam one, Wednesday, October 4th: 17%.
  • Exam two, Wednesday, November 1st: 17%.  
  • Exam three, Wednesday, November 29th: 16%.
  • Final, Monday, December 11th, 10:10 -- 12:10: 30%.

There is no preset correlation between numerical grades and letter grades.  A letter grade (without + or -), a report card, if you like, will be posted on WebCampus after every exam. Quizzes will be conducted during the recitation sessions. Please keep your homework in a notebook or binder and bring it with you to the recitation sessions. Daniel (our GA) will inspect them during those sessions (probably during quizzes).

Office Hours: If you need to see me, please look for me during the office hours posted below, or please make an appointment. Office hours begin the second week of classes.

  • Monday and Wednesday, 11:30 pm – 12:30 pm,
  • Tuesdays, 10:00am 11:00 am,
  • ... or by appointment.

Breakout sessions: There are two breakout sessions conducted by Daniel Lautzenheiser on Fridays, 8:30 9:45, in CBC C219; and 10:00 -- 11:15 in CBC C115. Daniel will inspect the homework and conduct the quizzes; he can be reached at 702-895-0364, or by email at (preffered/more reliable); his office is CDC 704; and his office hours are:

  • Wednesdays, 12:30 pm 2:00 pm,
  • Fridays, 2:30 pm 4:00 pm.

Other Important Dates:  (See the UNLV calendar for more details.)

  • August 28th: Instruction begins.
  • September 4th: Labor Day (Monday).
  • October 27th: Nevada Day (Friday). 
  • November 3rd: Last day to change to audit or withdraw.
  • November 10th: Veteran's Day recess (Friday). 
  • November 23rd: Thanksgiving.

University required announcements:

Academic Misconduct – Academic integrity is a legitimate concern for every member of the campus community; all share in upholding the fundamental values of honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility and professionalism. By choosing to join the UNLV community, students accept the expectations of the Student Academic Misconduct Policy and are encouraged when faced with choices to always take the ethical path. Students enrolling in UNLV assume the obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with UNLV’s function as an educational institution. An example of academic misconduct is plagiarism. Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of another, from the Internet or any source, without proper citation of the sources. See the Student Academic Misconduct Policy (approved December 9, 2005) located at:

Copyright – The University requires all members of the University Community to familiarize themselves with and to follow copyright and fair use requirements. You are individually and solely responsible for violations of copyright and fair use laws. The university will neither protect nor defend you nor assume any responsibility for employee or student violations of fair use laws. Violations of copyright laws could subject you to federal and state civil penalties and criminal liability, as well as disciplinary action under University policies. Additional information can be found at:

Disability Resource Center (DRC) – The UNLV Disability Resource Center (SSC-A 143,, 702-895-0866) provides resources for students with disabilities. If you feel that you have a disability, please make an appointment with a Disabilities Specialist at the DRC to discuss what options may be available to you. If you are registered with the UNLV Disability Resource Center, bring your Academic Accommodation Plan from the DRC to the instructor during office hours so that you may work together to develop strategies for implementing the accommodations to meet both your needs and the requirements of the course. Any information you provide is private and will be treated as such. To maintain the confidentiality of your request, please do not approach the instructor in front of others to discuss your accommodation needs.

Religious Holidays Policy – Any student missing class quizzes, examinations, or any other class or lab work because of observance of religious holidays shall be given an opportunity during that semester to make up missed work. The make-up will apply to the religious holiday absence only. It shall be the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor no later than the end of the first two weeks of classes, January 29, 2016, of his or her intention to participate in religious holidays which do not fall on state holidays or periods of class recess.  For additional information, please visit:

Incomplete Grades - The grade of I – Incomplete – can be granted when a student has satisfactorily completed three-fourths of course work for that semester/session but for reason(s) beyond the student’s control, and acceptable to the instructor, cannot complete the last part of the course, and the instructor believes that the student can finish the course without repeating it. The incomplete work must be made up before the end of the following regular semester for undergraduate courses. Graduate students receiving “I” grades in 500-, 600-, or 700-level courses have up to one calendar year to complete the work, at the discretion of the instructor. If course requirements are not completed within the time indicated, a grade of F will be recorded and the GPA will be adjusted accordingly. Students who are fulfilling an Incomplete do not register for the course but make individual arrangements with the instructor who assigned the I grade.

Tutoring – The Academic Success Center (ASC) provides tutoring and academic assistance for all UNLV students taking UNLV courses.  Students are encouraged to stop by the ASC to learn more about subjects offered, tutoring times and other academic resources.  The ASC is located across from the Student Services Complex (SSC). Students may learn more about tutoring services by calling 702-895-3177 or visiting the tutoring web site at:

UNLV Writing Center – One-on-one or small group assistance with writing is available free of charge to UNLV students at the Writing Center, located in CDC-3-301. Although walk-in consultations are sometimes available, students with appointments will receive priority assistance. Appointments may be made in person or by calling 702-895-3908. The student’s Rebel ID Card, a copy of the assignment (if possible), and two copies of any writing to be reviewed are
requested for the consultation. More information can be found at:

Rebelmail – By policy, faculty and staff should e-mail students’ Rebelmail accounts only. Rebelmail is UNLV’s official e-mail system for students. It is one of the primary ways students receive official university communication such as information about deadlines, major campus events, and announcements. All UNLV students receive a Rebelmail account after they have been admitted to the university. Students’ e-mail prefixes are listed on class rosters. The suffix is always Emailing within WebCampus is acceptable.

Final Examinations – The University requires that final exams given at the end of a course occur at the time and on the day specified in the final exam schedule.  See the schedule at:

Learning outcomes: This is required by the University, but is way down here because I do not believe including it adds any value to the first day hand out. The lazy way of including learning outcomes is to add action verbs to the syllabus. So, "The student will learn how to diagonalize matrices..." etc. Feel free to pencil in your own action verbs above. Another favorite: "The student will learn how to think critically and analytically." But learning outcomes should not be about my expectations. They should be about yours. In a famous reply to a question raised by a student: "Do not ask what I will cover, ask yourself what you will discover." (Sorry, I don't remember who said that.)

The point is, what you learn is up to you. I, like any of your professors, am just a guide. To overwork an old cliche, I am guiding you up a mountain. You can choose to stare at your feet the whole way up, and when you get back down, proudly wear the T-shirt "I made it up Mount Linear Algebra." Or you can choose to look around and take in the beauty of this subject. Opt for an education, not just a degree.

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