Math 340: Abstract Linear Algebra
Spring 2016

Instructor: Alexandru Chirvasitu

Class times and location: Office: C-417 Padelford
Office hours: Monday 1:15 - 2:15, Tuesday 4:45 - 5:45, or by appointment
Email: chirva AT

The course is intended to be your second exposure to linear algebra. We'll have a chance to explore some of the abstract theoretical underpinnings of the machinery you have been using in other courses such as Math 308 here at UW: matrices, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, diagonalization, bases, etc.

By its very nature, the course will be very much a proof-oriented one.


We're using Axler's Linear Algebra done right (3rd edition).

The goal is to cover roughly chapters 1-3, 5 and 8, possibly with additional preparatory material from other chapters thrown in.


It's essential that you do the reading. I won't have time to go over every relevant example in class, and you'll need a good grasp of the material in order to do the homework. In fact, I encourage you to regard the reading as part of your homework.

The labels in the table refer to sections in our textbook, such as 1.A, 2.C, 8.E, etc. Similarly, the page numbering is that of the 3rd edition of the book.

Due date Assignment Remarks
1 Wed March 30 1.A
2 Fri April 01 1.B
3 Mon April 04 1.C, before 'Direct Sums' (page 21)
4 Wed April 06 Finish 1.C
5 Fri April 08 2.A
6 Mon April 11 2.B
7 Wed April 13 2.C
8 Fri April 15 3.A We are not meeting that day!
Please do the reading to keep up.
9 Mon April 18 3.B
10 Wed April 20 3.C What we've covered so far
constitutes the midterm material.
11 Fri April 22 3.D
12 Mon April 25 Study for midterm
13 Wed April 27 Study for midterm some more
14 Fri April 29 3.E
15 Mon May 02 5.A We need a little background on polynomials in Chapter 5,
but just a little: you should just be aware that
every polynomial with complex coefficients has a complex root.
This is the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra (page 124 in Chapter 4 of our book).
16 Wed May 04 5.B
17 Fri May 06 5.C
18 Mon May 09 8.A
19 Wed May 11 8.B
20 Fri May 13 pages 121 - 128 of
Chapter 4
We need a little background on polynomials.
The Division Algorithm (page 121) might be
the part that's least familiar to you.
21 Mon May 16 8.C
22 Wed May 18 8.D

Supplementary material

On occasion, I'll post extra notes, comments, etc. in this space.

I will list the problems in the table below.

You have to turn in the assignment at the beginning of class, before the lecture. No late homework for any reason, but I will drop the lowest score.

Because of time constraints your TA will grade a couple of problems (tops) for correctness and the rest for completeness. I won't be telling you in advance which problems are graded for correctness though..

Due date Assignment Remarks
1 Wed April 06 1.A: 3, 11
1.B: 1, 2, 5, 6
1.C: 1, 5, 7, 8, 10, 15, 19, 24
In 1.C problems 7 and 8, give two examples instead
of just one.
2 Wed April 13 2.A: 7, 9, 10, 11
2.B: 3, 5, 6, 7
2.C: 5, 11, 14, 15
3 Wed April 20 3.A: 1, 4, 11, 14
3.B: 2, 6, 11, 22
3.C: 1, 2, 4, 14
No hw on April 27
because of the midterm
4 Wed May 04 3.D:1, 2, 10
3.E: 2, 7, 15
5.A: 8, 25, 33
5.B: 2, 4, 15
5 Wed May 11 5.C: 1, 6, 8, 12
8.A: 1, 2, 7, 17
8.B: 1, 3, 6, 10
6 Wed May 18 8.C: 1, 3, 5, 7, 11
8.D: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8
Last assignment


It's happening in class (usual time and place) Wednesday, April 27. The test is open book.


It's going to be in class, on the last day of the term, at the usual time:

Both the midterm and the final are open book exams. You get to bring your book, class notes, past homework, whatever.

As mentioned above, we'll drop the lowest homework score.

"Overloading" means allowing more students in class than the limit (which in our case is 40). Because 40 is also our room limit, there will be no overloading.
Disability Resources

If you need special accommodations please go to DRS (Disability Resources for Students) for more information. You should meet with a DRS counselor and get a letter attesting your need for academic accomodations. Once you have such a letter, please see me so that we can arrange for those.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me.

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