Math 223, Linear Algebra
Section 201, Spring 2020 (Winter 2019)

D'Arcy Thompson
General Information
Time: MWF 10:00-11:00
Place: LSK 460

Instructor: Kai Behrend
Office hours:
  • Mondays: 13:00-14:00, Math 227
  • Wednesdays: 11:00-12:00, Math 227

    TA: Nathan Lawrence


    Homework Assignments

    Exam Information


  • Piazza
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    We will use piazza for communication. If you have questions about any of the material, or any of the homework problems, please post them to piazza. (You can post anonymously, if you like.) Please answer questions posed by your fellow students. It is OK to edit each other's answers to improve them. Please be careful to assign your questions and discussions to the correct folder. Ask your question on piazza, rather than emailing the instructor.

    The Textbook
    Author: Klaus Jänich
    Title: Linear Algebra
    Series: Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics
    Publisher: Springer-Verlag
    Year: 1994

    An electronic copy of the textbook is available at the UBC Library.
    We will follow the textbook closely, and will hopefully cover it completely. The homework problems will be taken mostly from this book.

    Other books:

    Author: Paul R. Halmos
    Title: Finite-Dimensional Vector Spaces
    Series: Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics
    Publisher: Srpinger-Verlag
    Year: 1974

    This is a classic book, which covers the material in much greater depth than is possible in a one-semester course. If you are interested to go further, this book is recommended. The library has an electronic version.

    Author: Charles W. Curtis
    Title: Linear Algebra, an introductory approach
    Series: Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics
    Publishes: Springer-Verlag
    Year: 1974

    A more elementary book than Halmos, and with more detail than our official textbook. It may be a good supplementary text. The library has an electronic version.

    Math 223 vs. Math 221
    Math 223 is the honours version of Math 221. There is a large overlap in material covered in the two courses, but Math 223 is significantly faster, harder and more theoretical. Math 221 teaches you problem solving techniques, Math 223 puts the emphasis on theory, and you will be expected to write formal proofs. In Math 223 we cover additional subjects, and go into more depth than 221. Homework problems in Math 221 are mostly routine, whereas problems in Math 223 will require independent thought and hard work.

    If you are interested in an applied subject matter, Math 223 is not for you, you should be taking Math 221.

    You can switch down from Math 223 to Math 221 even after the initial 2 weeks add/drop period, althouth this requires permission of the undergraduate chair, and is ultimately subject to the Dean's approval. The earlier you switch down to Math 221 the better.

    Your mark will be based on homework assignments, two midterm exams and one final exam, weighted as follows:
    • Homework:   20%
    • Midterm I:   15%
    • Midterm II:   15%
    • Final Exam:   50%
    When calculating your homework score, your two lowest scores will be dropped. No late homework will be accepted.

    The performance of this section in Math 221 level problems on the final exam will be used to scale up the marks of the whole section, so that, on average, you will not be penalized for taking the more difficult Math 223, rather than 221. Still, if you are having trouble with Math 223, you should switch down to Math 221 in order to avoid getting lost, in which case the rescaling will not help you.

    The midterm exams are scheduled as follows:
    • Midterm I:   Wednesday, February 5.
    • Midterm II:   Friday, March 13.
    There will be no notes, books, calculators or "cheat sheets" allowed on any of the midterms. This holds also for the final exam.

    No makeup exams will be given. If you miss a midterm due to a valid emergency, your final exam will count for 65% of your grade.

    Adjustments for Covid Response
    Because the university closed on the day of the second midterm exam, the second midterm exam does not count towards your grade. Per directions from the Faculty of Science, your final exam will count for 30% of your grade. To reach 100%, the contributions of the first midterm and the homework will be doubled. Thus, the new grading scheme is:
    • Homework:   40%
    • Midterm I:   30%
    • Final Exam:   30%
    The final exam will take place at the previously scheduled time. If you do not have a suitable place to sit the exam at that time, please let me know.

    You will be expected to sign a pledge that you will take the exam by yourself, without any outside help, and without the help of computers or calculators. You will be allowed to use your notes, formula sheets, and consult the textbook, but you have to sign a pledge that you will use no online sources.

    These conditions may still be adjusted, but I hope they will are workable.

    Remember that your homework scores, as well as your final exam scores will be adjusted to account for the higher difficulty of Math 223 as opposed to Math 221.