Spring 2018: Linear Algebra II (Math 316)


Instructor Dr. Armin Straub
MSPB 313
(251) 460-7262 (please use e-mail whenever possible)
Office hours MW, 9:00am-noon, or by appointment
Lecture MWF, 8:00-8:55am, in MSPB 410
Midterm exams The tentative dates for our two midterm exams are:
Friday, February 16
Wednesday, March 21
Final exam Monday, April 30 — 8:00am-10:00am
Text Linear Algebra with Applications,
by Jeffrey Holt (W. H. Freeman, 2013)
Online grades USAonline
Syllabus syllabus.pdf

Lecture sketches and homework

To help you study for this class, I am posting lecture sketches. These are not a substitute for your personal lecture notes or coming to class (for instance, lots of details and motivation are not included in the sketches). I hope that they are useful to you for revisiting the material and for preparing for exams.

After most classes, homework is assigned and posted below.

  • You should aim to complete the problems right after class, and before the next class meets.
    A 15% penalty applies if homework is submitted after the posted due date.
  • Homework is submitted online, and you have an unlimited number of attempts. Only the best score is used for your grade.
    Most problems have a random component (which allows you to continue practicing throughout the semester without putting your scores at risk).
  • You are the first to test, and hopefully benefit from, this system, which I have written myself over the break. Please report any issues to make it as useful as possible!
  • Collect a bonus point for each mathematical typo you find in the lecture notes (that is not yet fixed online), or by reporting mistakes in the homework system. Each bonus point is worth 1% towards a midterm exam.
Date Sketch Homework
01/08 lecture01.pdf Homework Set 1: Problems 1-5 (due 1/17)
01/10 lecture02.pdf Homework Set 1: Problems 6-8 (due 1/17)
See lecture notes for the full details on the diagonalization of the matrix from class.
01/12 lecture03.pdf complete the previous homework (due on Wednesday!)
01/19 lecture04.pdf Homework Set 2: Problems 1-3 (due 1/29)
01/22 lecture05.pdf Homework Set 2: Problems 4-5 (due 1/29)
01/24 lecture06.pdf Homework Set 3: Problems 1-4 (due 2/7)
01/26 lecture07.pdf Homework Set 3: Problems 5-6 (due 2/7)
01/29 lecture08.pdf Homework Set 3: Problems 7-9 (due 2/7)
01/31 lecture09.pdf Homework Set 4: Problems 1-2 (due 2/16)
02/02 lecture10.pdf Homework Set 4: Problem 3 (due 2/16)
02/05 lecture11.pdf Homework Set 4: Problem 4 (due 2/16)
02/07 lecture12.pdf Homework Set 4: Problems 5-7 (due 2/16)
02/09 lecture13.pdf start preparing for the midterm exam next week on 2/16:
midterm01-practice-lecture.pdf (compiled from lectures)
Online practice problems (compiled from homework)
midterm01-practice.pdf (solutions below)
02/12 lecture14.pdf Happy Mardi Gras!
02/14 review get ready for the midterm on Friday!
02/19 lecture15.pdf review midterm:
02/21 lecture16.pdf Homework Set 5: Problems 1-2 (due 3/14)
02/23 lecture17.pdf Homework Set 5: Problem 3 (due 3/14)
02/26 lecture18.pdf Homework Set 5: Problem 4 (due 3/14)
02/28 lecture19.pdf new homework next class
03/02 lecture20.pdf Homework Set 5: Problem 5 (due 3/14)
03/05 lecture21.pdf Homework Set 5: Problems 6-7 (due 3/14)
03/07 lecture22.pdf new homework next class
03/09 lecture23.pdf Homework Set 6: Problems 1-2 (due 3/21)
03/12 lecture24.pdf Homework Set 6: Problems 3-6 (due 3/21)
03/14 lecture25.pdf Homework Set 6: Problem 7 (due 3/21)
03/16 lecture26.pdf start preparing for the midterm exam next week on 3/21:
Online practice problems (compiled from homework)
midterm02-practice.pdf (solutions below)
03/19 review get ready for the midterm on Wednesday!


As part of this course, we will explore the open-source free computer algebra system Sage to assist with more involved calculations.

If you just want to run a handful quick computations (without saving your work), you can use the text box below.
(The pre-entered code shows how to solve Example 44 in lecture07.pdf.)

Here are some other things to try:

  • Sage can compute QR decompositions. For instance, we can have it do Example 68 (see lecture12.pdf) for us:
    A = matrix(QQbar, [[0,2,1],[3,1,1],[0,0,1],[0,0,1]])
    The result is a tuple of the two matrices Q and R. If that is too much at once, A.QR(full=false)[0] will produce Q, and A.QR(full=false)[1] will produce R. (Can you figure out what happens if you omit the full=false? Check out the comment under "Variations" for the QR decomposition in lecture12.pdf. On the other hand, the QQbar is telling Sage to compute with algebraic numbers (instead of just rational numbers); if omitted, it would complain that square roots are not available.)
  • Sage can also compute singular value decompositions. For instance, Example 111 (see lecture23.pdf) can be done (numerically) as follows:
    A = matrix(RDF, [[2,2],[-1,1]])
    The result is a tuple of the three matrices U, Σ and V. If that is too much at once, A.SVD()[0] will produce U, A.SVD()[1] will produce Σ, and A.SVD()[2] will produce V. (The RDF is telling Sage to compute with real numbers as floating point numbers with double precision; for other fields such as QQbar, the SVD is not currently implemented.)

An easy way to use Sage more seriously is by creating an account at This free cloud service does not require you to install anything, and you can access your files and computations from any computer as long as you have internet. To do computations, once you are logged in and inside a project, you will need to create a "Sage notebook" as a new file.

Exams and practice material

There will be two in-class midterm exams and a comprehensive final exam. Notes, books, calculators or computers are not allowed during any of the exams.

Our (tentative) exam schedule is:

The following material will help you prepare for the exams.