# Elementary Linear Algebra Autumn 2008

**Course Overview:**

Solving systems of equations is an important and difficult
problem in

mathematics. Even figuring out if a single equation has any nontrivial solutions
(e.g. Fermat’s

Last Theorem) can be extremely difficult. If the system consists of linear
equations, there is

an algorithm to find it’s solutions. In this course, we will study this
algorithm, which will

help us solve many problems in both algebra and geometry.

The techniques we develop apply not only to solutions of
linear systems, but also to many

different mathematical systems, e.g. complex numbers, real valued functions,
lines through

the origin in the plane, etc. When we abstract the properties that allow us to
apply our

techniques to these systems, we get what is called a vector space. The benefit
of working with

vector spaces is that everything we deduce about them automatically applies to
all the diverse

systems we want to understand. In the latter part of the class we study vector
spaces.

**Course Objectives:** The successful student will
demonstrate:

1. Ability to translate between systems of linear
equations, vector equations, and matrix

equations, and perform elementary row operations to reduce the matrix to
standard forms.

2. Understanding of linear combination and span.

3. Determination of the existence and uniqueness of a system of linear
equations in terms

of the columns and rows of its matrix.

4. Ability to represent the solution set of a system of linear equations in
parametric vector

form and understand the geometry of the solution set.

5. Understanding of linear dependence and independence of sets of vectors.

6. Understanding of linear transformations defined algebraically and
geometrically, and

ability to find the standard matrix of a linear transformation.

7. Understanding and computation of the inverse and transpose of a matrix.

8. Understanding and computation of the determinant of a matrix and its
connection with

invertibility.

9. Understanding of the notions of a vector space and its subspaces and
knowledge of their

defining properties.

10. Knowledge of the definitions of a basis for and the dimension of a vector
space, and

ability to compute coordinates in terms of a given basis and to find the change
of basis

transformation between two given bases.

11. Ability to find bases for the row, column, and null spaces of a matrix,
find their dimensions,

and knowledge of the Rank Theorem.

12. Ability to find eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix.

13. Knowledge of all aspects of the Invertible Matrix Theorem.

14. Knowledge of the Diagonalization Theorem and ability to diagonalize a
matrix.

The achievement of these goals will be measured by three exams and a final.

**Homework:** For each section of the text, I have
posted problems at the URL:

**http://myweb.facstaff.wwu.edu/nymana/204Fall08/204hw.htm**

Most problems are odd numbered so that you can check your answer in the book.
After

a section is presented in class, you should attempt to solve the corresponding
problems.

Homework is a major part of the learning process in Mathematics and it is
absolutely essential

to your success that you do the homework.

**The homework will not be collected!**

I will set aside time Thursday and as needed
to go over homework problems that you need

help with.

**Exams:** There will be three fifty
minute exams and a final: the first exam is on Friday, Oct.

10, the second exam is on Tuesday, Oct. 28, and the third exam is on Tuesday,
November 18.

The final exam is on Friday, Dec. 12, 8:00-10:00 am.

**Grading:** Your grade will be based on
the exams and the final, as follows:

• exams: 65 %

• final: 35 %

**Makeup Policy:** There will be no
make-up, early or late quizzes or exams. If some health

or family emergency prevents you from taking an exam, you should contact me
immediately

before the exam. If you must miss an exam due to an emergency, see me and we can
make

other arrangements.