The instructor is Dr. Jason Grout, Howard 235, (515) 271-3113,

Office hours are

  • MWF 9-9:50, Howard 235 (my office)
  • MW 12:20-1:10, Howard 235 (my office)

If you would like to see me and the above times don't work, please schedule an appointment.

Meeting with students one-on-one or in small groups during office hours is one my favorite parts about being a teacher. Often we can address topics more individually or in greater depth than we can during class. On the other hand, one of the hardest things is seeing a student that is struggling that won't come in for help. Please come in if you have questions or want to talk.


Our primary textbook is the free open-source book Linear Algebra by Ben Woodruff. You can download the first two chapters here. I will be editing the last few chapters before we get to them, so I will post other chapters later. Here is the whole textbook if you want to peek at it anyway, though chapters 3-6 may change by the time we get to them.

Optional texts

There are also several other textbooks that I recommend if you want access to other resources as well.

  • A First Course in Linear Algebra by Rob Beezer. This is free open-source textbook that is very comprehensive and is used in many places.
  • Schaum's Outline of Beginning Linear Algebra, by Seymour Lipschutz (ISBN 0070380376, ISBN-13 978-0070380370). You can buy it on or any number of other places for something like $13. There are several thousand worked-out problems and lots of explanation about linear algebra.
  • Linear Algebra by David Lay. The current edition (4th edition) sells for around $115, but the previous edition is [[|on]] for around $20 used. This is a very nice book that is used many places.


We will cover the material following the book by Ben Woodruff. This text presents the topics in a way that is designed to help you understand the material quickly and deeply.

We plan to cover 6 units:

  1. Arithmetic
  2. Applications
  3. Patterns
  4. Inner Products
  5. Linear Transformations
  6. Changing Bases

Time Management

An average college student in this class should expect to spend an average of 2-3 hours in classwork outside of class for every hour in the classroom (i.e., for this class, plan on 5-7.5 hours of work per week outside of class). You may need to spend more time to earn an A.

Late Assignments

Late work will not be accepted, except possibly in extreme circumstances.

Exams and Final

I plan to have an exam after chapter 2 and another exam after chapter 4. These should occur roughly 1/3 of the way through the course and 2/3 of the way the course.

The final will be comprehensive and will be designed to test the limits of your understanding in the course. According to Drake's Final Exam Schedule, our final is Wed, May 9, 12:00 noon - 1:50 pm.


The grades will be determined as follows:

Component Percentage
Class/Home work and Quizzes 30%
Exams 40%
Final 30%

There may be a curve applied at the end of the semester, so the standard percentage grade breaks (90%, 80%, etc.) may be adjusted either up or down.


Academic Honesty

“Academic dishonesty is an all-encompassing term involving any activity that seeks to gain credit for work one has not done or to deliberately damage or destroy the work of others.” See for details of what constitutes cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty. For example:

  • Plagiarism is the misrepresentation, either by intent or negligence, of another’s ideas, phrases, discourse, or works as one’s own.
  • Cheating is the act, or attempted act, of giving or obtaining aid and/or information by illicit means in meeting any academic requirement, including examinations.

Cases of academic dishonesty will result in at least a failing grade on the assignment and may also result in a failing grade in the course. Cases will also be reported to appropriate university officials.


If you have a disability and will require academic accommodations in this course, I would be happy to discuss your needs. Accommodations are coordinated through Student Disability Services (first floor Old Main). Please contact Michelle Laughlin, Director of Student Disability Service, at 271-1835 or


This syllabus is subject to change. Changes will be communicated via at least one of the course website, email, or in class.

Page Tools