MAT 310: Linear Algebra

Fall 2016

Department of Mathematics
SUNY at Stony Brook




Course Description: This course will focus on mathematical proofs as well as on computations. Some of the topics we will cover are: matrices and operations on matrices; determinants of matrices; vector spaces and subspaces; linear transformations and linear operators: kernels and images; bases for vector spaces and the dimension of a vector space; eigenvalues, eigenvectors; the diagonalization of linear operators; the Cayley-Hamilton Theorem; the Jordan canonical form; the minimal polynomial.

Textbook: Linear Algebra, 4th edition, by Stephen Friedberg, Arnold Insel and Lawrence Spence, Prentice Hall, 2003. Amazon orders FAQ.

Prerequisite: In order to take this course, you must have passed MAT 211 (Introduction to Linear Algebra) or 305 (Calculus IV) or 308 (Differential Equations with Linear Algebra) or AMS 210 (Applied Linear Algebra); you must have passed MAT 200 (Logic, Language, and Proof) or have permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Mark Andrea De Cataldo, Math Tower 5-108, Office Hours: TuTh 11:30am-1:00pm, Email: mark.decataldo AT

Recitation Instructors: Cristian Minoccheri, Math Tower 2-115, Office Hours: in his office Th 5-6pm and in the MLC, Tu 5-6pm and We 10-11am, Email: cmin AT; Hang Yuan, Math Tower S-240A (MLC), Office Hours: MLC Monday 1pm-2:30pm & Wednesday 4pm-4:30pm; also in office Wednesday 4:30pm-5:30pm. Email: hang.yuan AT

Class schedule: TuTh 1-2:20pm, Earth&Space 131

Recitation schedule: 01 Minoccheri) Tu 4:00-4:53pm, Heavy Engineering 201 (changed from Library W4530); 02 Hang) M 10:00-10:53am, Library W4525

Homework: Homework is a fundamental part of this course and will account for 25% of the total grade. Each homework consists of ten problems and is worth 25 points. When we assign the final grade, we count only the ten best scores. (We can only assign so much homework: you should try most of the other un-assigned problems on your own and feel free to discuss them with us). You will have to work hard on the assigned problems in order to succeed. Assignments will be posted on the course website on Wednesdays, and will be due on Wednesday of the following week at 8pm. A box or envelope will be placed outside the office of your recitation instructor, where you may turn in your homework before the deadline. Graded homework will be returned during recitation, the following weeek. Late homework will not be accepted.

Syllabus (subject to change): (students will read 1.1 on their own), 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6; 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6; 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4; 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4; 4.5, 5.1, 5.2; 5.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3.

Midterm I (Th 10/6, in class) - Covers all material in sections 1.1-2.2, except: section 1.7, and Lagrange interpolation (end of section 1.6). There will be 6 problems. Some have multiple parts. They resemble actual problems/proofs/examples in the book. They will be graded using partial credit. Here is the first page of the test with some instructions. Arrive at least 5 minutes early: test starts at 1pm sharp and ends at 2:20pm. Once you are given the test, do not look at it until you are told to start working on the test. We cannot provide extra time for late arrivals. The graded exams will be graded on Tuesday and Wednesday October 11 and 12 and they will be returned the week after that during recitation. Grades will be posted on blackboard as soon as possible after the grading is completed. The tentative curve for midterm I is: 175 <=A range; 140<=B range <175 ; 110 <= C range <140; 90<= D < 110 range; F range < 90. The exam with solutions will be posted here..

Midterm II (Th 11/3, in class) - Covers all material in sections 2.3-3.3, except section 2.7 (no ``Application" at the end of sections 2.3 and 3.3). The tentative curve for midterm I is: 180 <=A range; 150<=B range <180 ; 100 <= C range <150; 80<= D < 100 range; F range < 80. The exam with solutions will be posted here.

Exams: There will be two in-class midterms as well as a final, each respectively accounting for 20%, 20%, and 35% of the total grade (homework is 25%). The final exam will take place on Monday, Dec. 19, 5:30pm-8:00pm, and the two in-class midterms will occur on Th, October 6 and Th, Nov 3. Make sure to resolve any conflict the first week of class. There will be no make-up exams.

FINAL: Monday, Dec. 19, 5:30pm-8:00pm, in-class. It covers all the material covered during the semester: see the syllabus above. More precisely: all material in sections 1.1-2.2, except: section 1.7, and Lagrange interpolation (end of section 1.6); all material in sections 2.3-3.3, except section 2.7 (no ``Application" at the end of sections 2.3 and 3.3); all material in 3.4-5.4 (in 5.2 no differential equations and no direct sums; no 5.3; in 5.4: only up to the Corollary to Cayley-Hamilton for matrices (included)); 7.1-7.3. Office hourse will have the usual schedule the week before the final. There will be no office hourse the day of the final. There will be a review session for each section: Yuan: Th 12/15/16, MAT P-131, 2pm-4pm; Minoccheri: Fr 12/16/16, Physics, P-116, 2pm-4pm. The final test has 10 questions. Do the last one last. To get an idea of the length do the following 10 sample problems: 1.3: 8.c; 1.6: 9; 2.5: 5; 2.6: 5; 3.4: 2.h; 4.5: 18; 5.1: 4.c; 5.2: 3.c; 5.4: 6.a; 7.1: 2.c.
The curve for the final: A: 290/350 or more; C: 180 or more. There is no tentative curve for the final, since the curve for the final letter grade appears below.

Grades: Here is the curve for the final LETTER gradeA (830 or more);  A- (790-830) ; B+ (765-790) ; B (715-765) ; B- (675-715); C+ (625-675) ; C (550-625) ; C- (510-550) ; D+ (480-510) ; D (450-480) ; F (450 or less). Please read about grades.

Help: The Math Learning Center (MLC) is located in Math Tower S-240A, and offers free help to any student requesting it. It also provides a locale for students wishing to form study groups. The MLC is open 10am-7pm Monday through Wednesday, 10am-6pm Thursday and 10am-2pm on Friday. A list of graduate students available for hire as private tutors is maintained by the Undergraduate Mathematics Office, Math Tower P-143.

Some ``hand-outs": Some symbols to know well. Solutions to problems in section 1.1.

Disability Support Services (DSS)
If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, room 128, (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations, if any, are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential. Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information go to the following website:
Academic Integrity
Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instances of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. Faculty in the Health Sciences Center (School of Health Technology & Management, Nursing, Social Welfare, Dental Medicine) and School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at
Critical Incident Management
Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, or inhibits students' ability to learn. Faculty in the HSC Schools and the School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures.