James Cook's Introduction to Linear Algebra Page
James Cook's Linear Algebra Homepage:

Welcome. This webpage contains many resources I have created for linear algebra. The current semester work is found in Blackboard, thanks!
  1. Course Planner test dates, homework assigned, etc...
  2. You Tube Playlist for Spring 2017 Linear Algebra I try to post each Lecture here soon after it is given
  3. You Tube Playlist from Linear Algebra of Spring 2016 (based on Curtis' text in part)
  4. Homework is due about every week, there will be about 130 total problems assigned. Each problem is worth 2pts, however, only certain problems will be graded generally. The wise course of action is to work ahead and ask questions in office hours. You can work together, but in the end your solution must be your own.
  5. I'm here to help. Please make wise use of my office hours when you get stuck. Also, in lecture, if I write something obviously wrong. Please politely interupt me before I burn 5 minutes of class on a bogus calculation. Do not wait until the end of class to tell me as we exit, you wrote linearly independent but meant linearly dependent. I have no patience for corrections! I want them immediately.
  6. Someone will be unable to make it to my office hours. It's inevitable in a given semester. Therefore, if you are such a person, it especially important for you to work with a study group which has at least one person who can make it to office hours.
  7. Homework will initially be posted in Blackboard. I don't remind you when it is due since the Course Planner (see above) has the due dates. Late work is not generally accepted.
  8. relax, it's just algebra!
General Advice: When confronting many "proof" problems in this course (and in more advanced abstract math courses) as a starting point you ought to ask yourself:
  1. What am I asked to prove ?
  2. Can I define the words used ?
It is not usually the case that you will find the same proof in my notes or the text. Definitions are key, I cannot emphasize this enough. Past this, you should consider using theorems, propositions etc. which we have developed. However, beware of proof by synonym. A common beginners mistake is to simply restate the claim in slightly different words as to prove the claim by invoking an entirely equivalent theorem. I usually write an arrow pointing back to itself to warn you of the circularity of such logic. Anyway, enough about what not to do, you can learn what is a good method of proof simply by following lectures and paying mind to study the structure of our arguments in each lecture. We do solve problems in this course, but, our more over-arching goal is to understand the structure of linear algebra.

Spring 2017 Lecture Notes:

  • Lecture Notes (updated 1-20-17, many errors not yet corrected)


  • Useful Materials and Links:
    This course is similar in spirit to previous offerings, however, I am making several significant modifications in format.
    1. The websites linked below provide various matrix calculations online:
    2. Previous versions of my notes are found below. The fourth version of the 321 notes is what I expect you to read this semester along side the required text. I will post the notes as I write them throughout the semester (in Blackboard, I will announce when an update is made)
    3. The solutions below are from a previous semester.
    4. An interesting example: the mapping T(A)=BAB has rank 4 despite the fact B has rank 2. See this row reduction which is in response to Part 2 of Lecture 20 of Linear Algebra 2015.
    Spring 2015 Course Materials:
    The content of 2016 and 2015 is more or less identical, however, I follow a somewhat different path. In particular, I have structured the quizzes to cover material in series rather than in parallel with the major tests. In any event, there is still value in last year's Lectures, but, I do hope this year is an improvement.

    Spring 2015 Lectures, Quiz and Test Solutions:
    Spring 2015 Lectures:


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    Last Modified: 1-20-2017