Ma 1b Practical:  Linear Algebra (Winter 2015-16)


Section Request



This course is about vector spaces and matrices. We will introduce these two important concepts in companion with discussing systems of linear equations. Other topics include determinants, eigenvalues and eigenspaces, inner product spaces, Jordan canonical form.




MWF 10:00 - 10:55
119 KRK


Yi Ni
251 Sloan


Section 1 - Jim Tao
Office Hours:  Saturday 7-8, Kellogg 307
Thursdays, 09:00 - 09:55
257 Sloan
Section 2 - Pooya Vahidi Ferdowsi
Office Hours:  Friday 5-6, Sloan 280
Thursdays, 09:00 - 09:55
119 Downs
Section 3 - William Chan
Office Hours:  Sunday 7-8, 160 Sloan
Thursdays, 10:00 - 10:55
119 Downs
Section 4 - Xiao (Luciena) Xiao
Office Hours:  Saturdays, 4 - 5 PM, 155 Sloan
Thursdays, 10:00 - 10:55
11 Downs
Section 5 - Karlming Chen
Office Hours:  Sunday 4-5, 158 Sloan
TBA, 626-395-4373
Thursdays, 13:00 - 13:55
107 Downs
Section 6 - Ruiyuan (Ronnie) Chen
Office Hours:  Sunday 8-9, Sloan 382
Thursdays, 10:00 - 10:55
22 Gates
Section 7 - Nathan Lawless, (Head TA)
Office Hours:  Friday 4-5, 280 Sloan
Thursdays, 14:00 - 14:55
11 Downs



Thursday 1:30-2:30pm, 251 Sloan, or by appointment.



Roughly 40% homework, 30% midterm, and 30% final. Typically, the pass-fail line has been approximately 60%. Those with high scores on the homework and midterm will be excused from the final. In the past those with about 90% of the possible points on homework and midterm have been excused.

Homework Policy

Students may work together on homework problems but must write up their own homework in their own words and hopefully understand the solution.

Homework will be due on Monday at 2pm in your section homework box outside room 253 Sloan. At most one late homework set will be accepted, and only at your TA's discretion, if arrangements have been made in advance with your TA, and if the work is less than a week late. Other than in exceptional circumstances, homework will not be accepted more than a week after the deadline.

Graded homework sets will be handed back in your section (and will be available during TA Office Hours). Solutions will be posted on the web.

Many of the problems which will be assigned this year in Math 1b, also were assigned in previous years in Math 1b. Do not consult the solution sets from previous years in working.


Go to the recitations! Some weeks, a portion of the recitation may be dedicated to introducing some computational (or even theoretical) aspect which the Instructor will not have time to present in class. In general, get to know your TA and bug him/her to death (figuratively speaking) with your questions, and try to fill in all the holes in your understanding of the subject.




Linear Algebra Done Wrong, by Serge Treil


Date Description
1/4 - 1/8 Basic concepts: matrices, systems of linear equations, vector spaces, subspaces, linear combinations, bases, linear transformations, matrix multiplication
1/11 - 1/15 invertible transformations/matrices, row reduction, solving a linear system
1/20 - 1/22 Dimension, generating set
1/25 - 1/29 General solution of a linear system, fundamental subspaces, change of basis
2/1 - 2/5 Determinant
2/8 - 2/12 eigenvalues, diagonalization, direct sum of subspaces
2/17 - 2/19 applications of diagonalization, inner products on real vector spaces
2/22 - 2/26 orthonormal bases, orthogonal projections, least square solution
2/29 - 3/4 orthogonal matrices, inner products on complex vectors spaces, adjoint matrices, unitary matrices
3/7 - 3/9 symmetric and Hermitian matrices, Cayley-Hamilton Theorem, Jordan canonical form


Due Date Homework Solutions
1/11 HW1  
1/19 HW2  
1/25 HW3  
2/1 HW4  
2/16 HW5  
2/22 HW6  
2/29 HW7  
3/7 HW8  


Midterm is available for picking up in 253 Sloan on Feb 3, and due on Feb 9.


Final is available for picking up in 253 Sloan on Mar 9, and due on Mar 15.