The instructor is Dr. Jason Grout, 492 Carver, (515) 294-8170, For the first few weeks, office hours will be by appointment. After that time, office hours will be set based on the times that people have come in.

If you cannot come during an office hour, please make an appointment. One of the most frustrating things as a teacher is to see a student struggling, but not coming in to ask questions or get help.

The course website is accessible from


The text is the third edition of David Lay's “Linear Algebra and Its Applications.” We will be pretty much working straight through the book. We will probably get through chapter 5 or chapter 6.


Specific homework instructions will detailed on the course website. These instructions may change throughout the semester.

As a general guide, your written work should contain enough explanation so that one of your classmates would be able to easily understand what you have done. Generally, it is inadequate to merely write down a final answer to a problem. You are encouraged to study and work together on homework assignments, but you must submit your own assignment. Everything you turn in should be in your own words, and you should thoroughly understand everything you write down.

You are also encouraged to use technology to aid you (but not replace you or your learning). If you do assignments on the computer, please turn in a log of your work on the computer with appropriate comments and annotations explaining what you did and the reasoning behind your work. You should be able to correctly and efficiently do by hand all the things that the computer is doing for you. For example, once you have mastered doing Gaussian elimination and you need to use Gaussian elimination in the middle of another problem (that is covering a different concept), you can use the “rref” command of Matlab to quickly reduce a matrix. You may also find it very useful to use a computer to check all of your work.

Because a large part of your learning will come from working problems, I strongly encourage you to finish all homework assignments.


Quizzes will be given periodically in class. Each quiz will have two scores: an original score and a corrected score. Only correct solutions will receive credit. The corrected score defaults to the original score and can be raised to 100% by correcting the problems as outlined below.

  • You have two weeks from the time the quiz is given to submit corrections for the quiz.
  • Use a clean sheet of paper with your original quiz stapled behind your correction. Label each problem. Do not change anything on your original quiz. If you lose your original quiz, print out another one from the website and do all of the problems.
  • Before reworking a problem, describe in paragraph form the errors you made and what you will do to ensure that you don't make that kind of error again.
  • When doing corrections, you may use outside resources. However, remember that you are responsible for the material and that you cheat yourself and others if you do not understand the quiz correction.
Midterm and Final Exams

There will be a midterm exam before spring break. A final exam will be given at the end of the semester and will be cumulative.


Your course grade will be determined from the following (percentages subject to adjustment):

Component Percentage
Homework and other assignments 36%
Original Quiz Scores 8%
Corrected Quiz Scores 16%
Exams 40%
University Policies

Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the instructor early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Resources (DR) office, located on the main floor of the Student Services Building, Room 1076, 515-294-6624.

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