MA 405, Introduction to Linear Algebra, Nathan Reading

Prerequisites Prerequisite: MA 241 (MA 225 recommended); Corequisite: MA 341 is recommended.
Credit load3 credits
InstructorNathan Reading
OfficeSAS 4118
Telephone919-515-3261. This is an office desk phone that does not accept text messages. Email is a much better way to reach me than phone.
Emailreading AT math DOT ncsu DOT edu
Course website You are responsible for material on this site. You will be notified by email or in class when new information is posted on the site (except for regularly occurring changes like posting of assignments and solutions).
Class email list You are responsible for any information emailed to the class email list. You are expected to check your ncsu email account daily.
Class Sessions Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 12:50-1:40 pm in SAS 2235.

Classroom Guidelines

MA 405 and you

Office hours Mondays 1:50-2:50, Wednesdays 9:15-10:15, and Fridays 11:40-12:20, or by appointment.

Scheduled office hours are a "drop-in" service. No need to tell me whether you are coming. (EXCEPTION: For the Friday 11:40-12:20 office hour, if nobody has come by 12:00, I will go have lunch, so I don't have to rush. If you want to arrive between 12:00 and 12:20, please let me know in advance.)

To make an appointment, email me. I discourage students from simply dropping by my office without an appointment outside of scheduled office hours.

These office hours may be changed (with notice) during the semester if my schedule changes or if other hours seem to be better for students.
Text Introduction to Linear Algebra, with Applications by DeFranza and Gagliardi.
You will need to have this book for the course.

There is only one edition of the book. There are used copies (and a few new ones) available published by McGraw-Hill and there are new copies (and a few used ones) available published by Waveland Press. The two are the same book, and you should buy whichever edition you can get most easily/inexpensively.

The book is also on reserve at the library:
Details on reserve copies in the library
Homework Homework will be assigned weekly. Homework will not be collected, but it is nominally "due" every Wednesday. The homework will not be collected, but you will take a quiz on the homework on the due date. The choice of homework problems will be an indication of what I expect students to learn. It is expected that students will do every problem in every assignment and will seek help from the instructor, from classmates and/or from others when they have trouble with a problem. You are allowed to work in groups on the homework. However, if you do not put in your own effort on each problem, you may find that you are less prepared for quizzes and exams than you would like to be.

Here are the homework assignments.
Quizzes On Wednesdays when homework is due, there will be a quiz on the homework assignment due that day. The purpose of the quiz will be to test your understanding of the assigned homework problems. It will be my intention to write a quiz that students will do well on, if they have mastered every homework problem. If you find that your performance on quizzes is not what you would like it to be, then you probably should be putting more effort into homework. I may also occasionally give "pop" quizzes.
I will not be dropping the lowest quiz grade.
Reading Assignments, Lecture Schedule and Tests  Students are expected to read the text in addition to attending lectures. Here is the most up-to-date schedule for the class. This schedule (except for test dates) is subject to change as the course progresses.
Midterm exams  There will be three midterm exams in class. The dates are: Wednesday, February 13, Friday, March 8, and Wednesday, April 17.

Final Exam  The final exam is Monday, May 6, 1:00--4:00 p.m., in the usual room.
Comments, answers, review sheets, etc.  Comments, answers, review sheets, etc..
Grading  The student's numerical score will be determined by weighting exams and quizzes as follows: 20% for quizzes, 15% each for the three exams and 35% for the final. The numerical score will be a number from 0 to 1000, and final grades will be determined on the scale below. Precise cutoffs for + and -- grades will be determined after the final. These gradelines may be adjusted slightly but only in a way that improves the letter grades assigned. Please don't have unrealistic expectations about the gradelines being adjusted. They will probably not be adjusted, or will be adjusted by only a very few points.
  900-1000  A-, A, A+
  800-899  B-, B, B+
  700-799  C-, C, C+
  600-699  D-, D, D+
Wolfware  I will be keeping track of your grades on Moodle (Wolfware), so you will be able to see them as soon as they are posted.
Succeeding in this course  I would expect an average student to spend 6-9 hours per week outside of class on this course. This amount can vary: In the past, I have had students who are not well-prepared for the class complain that they spend more than 10 hours a week and aren't able to complete the assignments. You are advised to get most of the weekly assignment done early to allow time for you to get your questions answered (perhaps in office hours). Starting the assignment the weekend before it is due will probably not be a good strategy. It will also be to your advantage to spend some time each week making a first pass through the material from the text that we plan to cover in class that week, so you can get your questions/confusions clarified in class.

If you are working hard and still struggling, please get in contact with me and we can talk.
N.C. State Polices, Regulations, and Rules Students are responsible for reviewing the NC State University polices, regulations, and rules which pertain to their course rights and responsibilities:

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy Statement with additional references at
Code of Student Conduct
Grades and Grade Point Average
Credit-Only Courses
Policy on Attendance and Make-ups  Attending every lecture and recitation section (in its entirety) is considered part of the course requirement. No provisions will be made for students to make up missed work or tests except as spelled out in the University's attendance regulation available at} .
Policy on Incompletes  Incompletes are not offered except in cases where special circumstances (such as outlined in the attendance regulation mentioned above) make it impossible for a student to complete the course. Even in these special circumstances, incompletes will not be offered unless the student was in a position to pass the class before the special circumstance arose. In particular, incompletes cannot be used as a way to "bail out" when a student feels that they cannot pass the course or feels they cannot do all the work they put off until the end of the semester.
Statement for students with disabilities  Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with the Disability Services Office at Suite 2221, Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 919-515-7653. For more information on NC State's policy on working with students with disabilities, please see Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Regulation (REG02.20.01) .
Academic Integrity  Students are expected to conform to standards of academic integrity as described in the Code of Student Conduct, which can be found in the Code of Student Conduct. The student, by signing or writing their name on a homework assignment or test, affirms that they have neither given nor received unauthorized aid. (See "Homework Assignments" above for guidelines on acceptable collaboration on homework.)
NCSU Counseling center: The Counseling Center offers confidential counseling to NC State students experiencing personal, academic or vocational problems. Check out
Help for students in distress: Although the counseling center is a great help, sometimes it's hard to recognize when we need help. So we need to look out for each other too. Occasionally, you may come across a fellow student whose behavior worries you. You can and should report worrisome behavior to the NC State's Students of Concern website: Although you can report anonymously, it is preferred that you share your contact information so they can follow-up with you personally.