Math 221 (Section 205): Matrix Algebra, Spring 2018
Lecture: MWF 9:00-10:00, Chemistry Building Room D200
Additional help is available at the Math
Instructor: Samuel Bach
Office Hours: Wednesday 12-13, Thursday 13-14 in LSK Room 300
Textbook: Linear Algebra and its Applications by David C. Lay (revised
custom edition for UBC); we will cover nearly all of the book. Other editions of the book will have more chapters and different section numbering!
Grading: Grades in this class will be computed from homework (see
below), two in-class midterms, and a final exam. Your grade will be whichever
of the two numbers below are higher:
- 10% Homework, 20% Midterm 1, 20% Midterm 2, 50% Final exam
- 10% Homework, 20% Best midterm score, 70% Final exam (If you miss one
midterm for any reason this will be the method used)
Homework: Homework in this class will be online, through the WeBWork system. One
assignment will be posted each week, due the following week as noted on the
Note that the textbook also has many practice problems with answers in the
back. It is recommended that you try all these problems, so that you may track
- You may attempt each question as often as you like until you solve the
problem. There is no penalty for a wrong answer. This is to help you correct
your own mistakes, and to get instant feedback on your attempts.
- The questions are generated randomly, and the numbers are different for
- Please try to do the problems by yourself, and without the use of other
calculators or software. Since calculators and software are not allowed in
the exams, you should practice working without them.
- If you really get stuck, you can request help by clicking the email
instructor button. However, it may take some time to get a response, so
please don't wait till the last minute.
- In general, its a good idea to start the assignments early rather than
waiting till the last minute. The deadlines are enforced by the system, and
it will shut down automatically when time is up, so give yourself plenty of
extra time in case of problems.
Midterm 1 is on Wednesday February 7. It will cover the
material in Chapter 1 of the textbook (until Lecture 11); exercises within the lecture notes are good
preparation, especially Lecture 7. Here is a past midterm for
practice, and its solutions. Here is a more difficult one without solutions. It also covers a little bit too much.
Midterm 2 is scheduled for Wednesday March 21. It will be on
the material we've covered in Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of the book. Here is a past midterm for practice, and its solutions.