Fall 2015: Math 221: Matrix Algebra (All Sections)

Instructors: Dr. Daniel Coombs, Dr. Justin Tzou and Dr. Miljan Brakocevic.

Math department tutoring centre is located in LSK.

  • Text: Linear Algebra and its Applications by David C. Lay. Third custom edition for UBC.

    Links to Section Web Pages

  • Section 102 (Dr. Justin Tzou)
  • Section 103 (Dr. Daniel Coombs)
  • Section 104 (Dr. Miljan Brakocevic)

    Important Dates:

  • First class: Weds, Sept 9.
  • Quiz 1: Fri, Sept 18.
  • Quiz 2: Fri, Oct 2.
  • Quiz 3: Fri, Oct 16.
  • Quiz 4: Fri, Oct 30.
  • Quiz 5: Fri, Nov 13.
  • Quiz 6: Fri, Nov 27.
  • Final exam: TBA

    Grading and policies

  • Term marks may be scaled up or down on a classwide basis, depending on performance on the final exam. This is to ensure fairness across all sections of the course.
  • You have to submit only your own homework, own quizzes, own clicking, etc. Although you are welcome to study together and discuss the homework with other students, the work you submit (electronically, on paper, or via clickers) must be your own. UBC policies on cheating and plagiarism are extremely strict. If in doubt, enquire before submitting.
  • Missing a quiz or submitting work late normally results in a mark of 0. Exceptions may be granted in two cases: prior consent of the instructor or a medical emergency. In the latter case, the instructor must be notified within 48 hours of the missed item, and presented with a doctor's note immediately upon the student's return to UBC. No make-up quizzes will be given.


    There will be in-class quizzes every second Friday, as scheduled above. Preparatory questions will be posted here in advance of the quiz. You must work all problems in advance of the quiz in order to be prepared.
  • Topics, readings and practise questions for Quiz 1.
  • Solutions to some practise questions from Quiz 1 preparation sheet.
  • Quiz 1: [Individual-sections 103/104] [Individual-section 102] [Group-sections 103/104] [Group-section 102]
  • Quiz 1 Solutions: [Individual-sections 103/104] [Individual-section 102] [Group-sections 103/104] [Group-section 102]
  • Topics, readings and practise questions for Quiz 2.
  • Quiz 2: [Individual-sections 103/104] [Individual-section 102] [Group-sections 103/104] [Group-section 102]
  • Quiz 2 Solutions: [Individual-sections 103/104] [Individual-section 102] [Group-sections 103/104] [Group-section 102]

    Extra notes

  • Full course notes from Math 152 (Linear Algebra for Applied Science) [PDF]. Will be used for suggested reading and practice problems. Courtesy Brian Wetton and Richard Froese.
  • Useful notes on 2x2 matrices from Math 223 (Linear Algebra). [PDF-1] [PDF-2] [PDF-3] [PDF-4] [PDF-5] [PDF-6] Courtesy Richard Anstee.

    Computer lab assignments

  • Download computer lab 1 here: [Lab one]. This lab must be submitted via Connect by Friday, Sept 25th at 5pm.
  • Download computer lab 2 here: [Lab two]. This lab must be submitted via Connect by Friday, Oct 9th at 5pm.

    Practise midterm

    A practise midterm (not to be turned in, not for credit) will be available in late October.

    Final Exam

    Information related to the final exam (common to all sections) will be posted here.
  • Previous math exams. Note that different topics receive more or less emphasis in different years.
  • UBC Math Exam Resources wiki.
  • UBC Math club. Will sell you some previous exams with solutions. Carefully note their opening hours.

    Computer lab work information

    Getting the needed software

  • Here are three options for obtaining software needed for the computer labs.
  • (1) A basic student "unbundled" version of Matlab can be purchased and downloaded from Mathworks, Inc: www.mathworks.com for $49. You do not need any additional toolboxes for this class.
  • (2) You can install Octave. Octave is a free program that is quite similar to Matlab so that most programs are easily portable from one to the other. Installation of Octave on Windows and Linux is fairly simple (in fact if you have a recent Linux distribution, Octave might already be installed). However on Mac computers, installation can be a bit trickier. We will not help you install software on your personal computer.
  • (3) You can use the Mathematics undergrad computer labs, located in LSK 121 and LSK 310. The labs are open from 8am-5pm Monday to Friday. LSK 310 is also where the TA help will be available (either on a lab computer, or take your laptop). To use the lab computers you will need to login using a user account. Follow the instructions that will be sent to you by email (ask the TAs for assistance if needed).

    Lab TA hours:

    TAs will be available in LSK 310 at the following times (subject to change through the semester, please check back for updated hours):
  • Monday: 2pm-5pm.
  • Tuesday: 12pm-2pm.
  • Wednesday: 10am-12pm.
  • Thursday: 12pm-1pm, 3pm-5pm.
  • Friday: 9am-11am (9am-10am when there is a quiz the same day), 2pm-5pm.
    Please be patient during the first week of labs.

    Matlab and Octave resources

  • UBC Math Matlab/Octave resources page.
  • Matlab is used by lots of people worldwide. The Mathworks help site is a good place to look for help, but often you will also find an answer by directly using Google or another search engine.
    Daniel Coombs / Department of Mathematics / University of British Columbia

    Last modified: Mon Oct 21:11:09 UTC 2015 by coombs