• (Th 7-26) I submitted final grades this morning. The median overall percentage was about 76%. Since the people at that level exhibited both competence and diligence, I set that as a 3.2. You can see your grade on Catalyst.

    Thanks for a good A-term, and hope you have a great summer! Stop by the office (C-34) to say hi if you are ever in Padelford.

  • (T 7-24) Your final exam scores are visible on Catalyst. The median was 68/100, and here is a histogram of the scores. I will post final grades within a few days. Feel free to drop by the office if you'd like to see your exam (just email me in advance).

  • (M 7-16)
    • I will have extra office hours tomorrow, T 7-17, from 3:00-4:30ish.
    • Please bring a scientific calculator to the final. There are a couple of questions where it will help.
  • (F 7-13)
    • I am in the office today from 1-2 if you have questions.
    • Tomorrow is BYOC (bring your own coffee). I'll bring coffee again for the final.
    • Don't forget about course evaluations. The deadline for completing these is Tuesday night.
    • Regarding the final:
      • The final will cover everything we've done, with an emphasis on 6.1 and 6.2. But you will, of course, still need to be comfortable with key topics from before, like determinants, subspaces, bases, linear transformations, Unifying Theorem categories, solving systems, homogeneous equations, linear independence and span.
      • I expect you to be familiar with the geometric meaning of the determinant, as stated in Theorem 5.20, p.239. This was not on the homework but we discussed it in some length in class.
      • There will be two "baby proof" questions, where I ask you to prove something fairly simple, such as Theorem 5.15, p.229. These will not be worth a huge amount of points.
      • Your note sheet may be two sides of one 8.5x11 page. It must be hand-written by yourself, and, as before, may have theorems, definitions, and algorithms. But you cannot have worked-out problems or proofs. You will hand in your note sheet and I will deduct points from your exam if you violate these rules.
      • I think excellent preparation is to work through the exams on Kristen DeVleming's archive, beginning with the most recent. On each you will need to ignore problems talking about orthogonality, the normal equations, norms and projections (in short, if a problem has notation or vocabulary you've never encountered in class, it's not relevant). But other that that, do all the problems on a given exam to give yourself broad exposure.
  • (W 7-4) Your midterm grades are posted on Catalyst. The median (3.0-3.2 range) was 34.5/50. Here is a histogram of the scores.

  • (T 7-3) Here is the midterm we took on Monday, and here are solutions.

  • (Th 6-28) Here is another large bank of practice exams. The ones just labeled ''Midterm'' most closely approximate the correct material.

  • (T 6-26)
    • I will be in the office tomorrow morning from 8:30-9:30. Please feel free to come by if you have questions. Tentative new office hours are below on the syllabus.
    • Our midterm is the second half of class on Monday. It will cover 1.1 to 4.1.
      • You may bring one side of one 8.5x11 page of hand-written notes. You may write theorems and definitions, but you may not have worked-out problems or proofs. You will hand in your note sheet and I will deduct points from your exam if you violate these rules.
      • The only calculator is allowed is the Texas Instruments TI-30X IIS.
      • Here is the midterm and solutions from my class last summer. Here are two other midterms: Practice 1, solutions; practice 2. These are not from A-term, so the material covered is not perfect (not enough in the first, slightly too much in the second).
      • We will review during the second-half of class on Friday. Bring your questions!
      • Good things to review: warm-up questions, the tests, key theorems, homework problems, and these videos.
      • I am happy to do an extra office hour Friday from 1:30-2:30 if there is demand.
  • (T 6-19) I moved the 2.2 HW to be due on Saturday (along with the 2.1 HW, which is fairly simple). I expect this to help in two respects: first, it will help (or force!) you to keep up with some important new ideas. Secondly, it will make next week's HW load less crazy.

  • (Th 6-14) Welcome! Please read the syllabus below.

Course Calendar

Date Content Comments Graphics
M 6-18 1.1,1.2: Systems of linear equations and how to solve them
W 6-20 2.1,2.2,2.3: Vectors, their span and linear independence 1.1-1.2 HW due Th 6-21
F 6-22 2.3,3.1: Linear independence, cont., linear transformations 2.1, 2.2 HW due S 6-23
M 6-25 3.1-3.2: Linear transformations and matrix algebra 2.3, 3.1 HW due T 6-26
W 6-27 3.2, 3.3: Matrix algebra, cont., inverses 3.2 HW due Th 6-28
F 6-29 3.3, 4.1: Inverses, subspaces; review for MT1 3.3, 4.1 HW due S 6-30
M 7-2 4.1, 4.2: Basis and dimension;
W 7-4 Independence Day, no class (or office hours)
F 7-6 4.2, 4.3, 4.4: Row and column space; change of basis 4.2 HW due
M 7-9 4.4, cont., 5.1, 5.2: Change of basis; determinants and their properties 4.3 HW due, 4.4 due T 7-10
W 7-11 5.2, 6.1: Determinant properties, eigenvalues and vectors 5.1, 5.2 HW due Th 7-12
F 7-13 6.1, 6.2: Eigenvalues, vectors and diagonalization 6.1 due S 7-14
M 7-16 6.2: Diagonalization, cont., review for final 6.2 HW due
W 7-18 Final exam
Back to top


Instructor: Tim Mesikepp
  • Office: PDL C-34
  • Office hours: M 1-2, W 8:30-9:30, 1:30-2:30, Th 10:30-11:30, or by appointment
  • Email: mesiket (at)
Warning: This course will be extremely compressed. We cover all the material from the entire quarter in 4.5 weeks. This will be a frenetic, drinking-from-the-firehose pace. You will need a lot of effort and time outside of class to digest the material. If you cannot or are not willing to invest so much effort, then you should switch to a regular-length section.

Course content and textbook: See the math department's 308 syllabus. If you don't want/need a physical copy of the book, you can just buy WebAssign access for the quarter (the $64.95 option). When you log into WebAssign you will have access to the ebook.

Homework: Homework is online through WebAssign. The first problem set (1.1-1.2) is due Thursday, 6-21, and then homeworks are due subsequent T, W, Th and/or Sat. You need to get access to WebAssign as soon as possible and login to see your assignments. (WebAssign customer service will be visiting the Math Study Center Tue, 7-19 from 11-3. This is a great opportunity get technical questions addressed.)

Exams: There will be one midterm and a final exam. There are no make-up exams. In order to pass the course you must take both the midterm and the final. Schedule your travel and obligations around these dates, or otherwise do not take this class.
  • Midterm: Monday, July 2
  • Final: Wednesday, July 18 (the final day of A-term class - no finals week!)
Grading: I will curve the final grades, placing the median in the 3.0-3.2 range. Last summer, the median of 75.5% got a 3.1. Weighting:
  • Homework: 20%
  • Midterm: 35%
  • Final: 45%
Some things you are responsible for:
  • Knowing the policies in this syllabus.
  • Knowing when homework is due. This will always be visible on WebAssign and above on our course calendar.
  • Announcements I make in class and post above in announcements. So you should come to class and periodically check this site.
Resources for help:
  • You! Your drive, perseverance, and study. Your lecture notes, your creativity and your ideas. Most of your learning for this class will have to take place outside of class (!) as you reflect on and digest what we discuss in lecture.
    • Do your best to pay attention in class. I would ask you to consider not using a laptop or phone during class, because these are districting to yourself and fellow students, especially in such a small room. Multitasking - like checking your email or Facebook while in class - is not helpful. It is rather remarkably detrimental. "When you try to multitask, in the short-term it doubles the amount of time it takes to do a task and it usually at least doubles the number of mistakes." - Dr. JoAnn Deak. (Similar summaries of research: NY Times, NPR - "The research is almost unanimous, which is very rare in social science, and it says that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They're basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking.")
  • The book.
  • The homework.
  • Your classmates.
  • The internet.
  • The Math Study Center (priority for 100-level courses). Their summer hours are 11-5, M-Th.
  • Me - ask questions in class, come to my office hours. You are paying for my time, so why not use it?
Some advice
  • Do your best not to fall behind.
  • Come to class every time and be engaged: ask questions, do the in-class problems, talk to your classmates, ask me questions afterwards.
  • Do some math everyday. Regular practice and exposure is much better than cramming.
  • Review your notes after every class. Research has shown that this significantly increases retention.
  • Have fun! Math is exciting and enjoyable. "Understanding is a kind of ecstasy" - Carl Sagan.
Back to top