Math 2240
Dr. Sarah J. Greenwald

Where to Get Help

  • Office Hours TBA 326 Walker Hall 262-2363
    I am always happy to help you in office hours. An open door means that I am on the floor somewhere, so come look for me.
  • Check this often for homework and for access to the other class web pages.
  • The WebCT Bulletin Board is the easiest way to ask a math question outside of class and office hours. You are responsible for reading all posts from me. I prefer that you use office hours since it is easier to discuss material in person, but if you can not make them, then the newsgroup is a great alternative. I usually check the newsgroup numerous times every day including the weekends.
  • Summer Mathlab hours: 2:30-4:30 M through F in 302 Walker. Faculty and students answer questions.
  • Required Resources

  • Elementary Linear Algebra by Larson and Edwards. Houghton Mifflin 2000
  • LAMP Linear Algebra Modules for Interactive Learning Using Maple 6 by Herman
  • Graphing Calculator
  • loose-leaf notebook to organize handouts, notes and your work
  • printouts of your work - see for information about ASU charging for print services and media cards.
  • access to a web-browser and to Maple 6 and LAMP on the file server and/or at your own computer -- mac or pc is fine (on-campus access if sufficient as long as you have the time to work on campus while the labs are open -- see for summer lab hours.)
  • Course Goals

  • An introduction to linear algebra, via selections of Chapters 1-7 of the textbook and Maple modules
  • Be exposed to theory and proofs
  • Learn about applications of linear algebra
  • Math 2240 has been designated as a computer designated course. We will be using Maple to satisfy the designator.
  • Topics and Objectives

    Systems of Linear Equations
    Matrix operations and inverses
    Vector geometry in 2 and 3 dimensions
    Vector spaces, dimension, rank of a matrix
    Linear transformations
    Eigenvalues, eigenvectors and diagonalization


  • Participation 10% Attendance is required. You are expected to contribute to discussions, read the WebCT bulletin board, and complete practice problems. You are also expected to actively engage the material in class and lab. This means that when we are doing a calculation, you must also do this, and you are expected to take notes since the book does not contain everything you need to know. These kinds of baseline activities will result in a participation grade of 8/10. Other activities can increase or decrease this grade. Asking and answering thought provoking questions, coming up with creative ways of thinking about the material, and explaining the material to others are some examples of positive participation that will increase your grade. On the other hand, doing work or holding conversations unrelated to the class, sleeping in class, letting your cell phone ring in class, talking to your neighbors instead of engaging the material, challenging authority instead of looking for answers within yourself, leaving the classroom, refusing to engage in the baseline activities and performing other activities that detract from the professional classroom environment will result in a lowered participation grade.
  • WebCT Literacy Quizzes 10% These are quizzes on basic skills (hand calculation, technology, calculation, and proof writing) which are necessary for success in the course. You may repeat them as many times as necessary until the deadline. Your grade is the highest of your tries, so I encourage you to keep doing retakes until you are confident with the material.
  • Projects and Problem Sets 35% Work will not be accepted without explanation and must also be turned in on or before the due date. If there is some reason you must miss a class, then obtain the assignment from the web pages. The lowest project will be dropped - save this for emergencies. Every other project will be equally weighted regardless of the total number of points.
  • Late Problem Sets If there is some reason you must miss a class, then obtain the assignment from the web pages. One late problem set allowed over the course of the semester - save this for computer or other emergencies and turn in your work BEFORE solutions are posted. If all of your work is turned in on time and you have received at least 50% credit for all work, then you will receive +1/100 added on to your final average.
  • Major topic exams 30% No make-up exams will be given. May occur during the last week of class. You should view exams primarily as a learning experience. This means that exams are not only an opportunity for you to demonstrate your mastery of the material, but are also an opportunity for you to be challenged with new material in order for you to make new connections. To encourage exams as a learning experience some extra points will be granted for test revisions.
  • Final project presentations Thursday June 27 15% No make-ups allowed.
  • Attendance This class does not follow the standard lecture format. There will be days when the activities are designed to be completed during class. Thus, attendance is required at ALL classes. Each class counts as 2 credit hours. It is better to come late (or leave early) than not at all. Save your absences for emergencies! If the university is open and you miss part or all of a class, then that counts as an absence. You will receive (-.5*credit hours of absences + 1)/100 added on (or subtracted from) your final average.
  • Extra credit Extra credit points will be granted if you answer someone else's math question on the WebCT bulletin board. There will be other extra credit opportunities during the semester for which points will accumulate. When final grades are given, extra credit points are taken into account in the determination of -,nothing or + attached to a letter grade.

  • Other Policies

    Material is covered very quickly. Do plenty of exercises, more than those that are assigned. Plan to spend at least 1.5-2 hours outside of class for each credit hour in class. Attendance and participation are expected and required. Please try to be punctual in attending, as I try to start each class on time. If you must be late to a class, or must leave early, then do still attend, although you can expect that the portion of the class that you miss will be deducted from your attendance allowance. Attendance is required at ALL lecture and lab periods. You are responsible for all material covered and all announcements and assignments made at each class, whether you are present or not. You are also responsible for announcements made on the web pages, so check them often.

    Certain homework or assignments will require use of a computer with web access and Maple, as this is a computer intensive designated course.

    When writing up work, be sure to give acknowledgment where it is due. Submitting someone else's work as your own (PLAGIARISM) is a serious violation of the University's Academic Integrity Code.


    A beginning linear algebra student may feel overwhelmed by the large number of definitions to master. To help keep track of and review these definitions, see p. 483-489 of the LAMP book. Highlight each new term as you encounter it and study your "vocabulary list" regularly. Another useful reference is the list of Theorems on p. 490-496 of LAMP.

    Asking questions, and explaining things to others, in or out of class, is one of the best ways to improve your understanding of the material. This course is to be an environment in which everyone feels comfortable asking questions, making mistakes, offering good guesses and ideas, and is respectful to one another.

    You should explore each problem and write out your thinking in a way that can be shared with others. Focus on your own ideas. Turn in projects or prepare to present problems even if it they are not complete, even if only to say, "I do not understand such and such" or "I am stuck here." Be as specific as possible. Conjecture.

    In this course, you will be challenged with problems that you have never seen before. I do not expect you to be able to solve all the issues immediately. Instead, I want to see what you can do on your own. Out in the real world, this is important, since no matter what job you have, you will be expected to seek out information and answers to new topics you have not seen before. This may feel uncomfortable and frustrating. I understand this and want to help you through the process. It helps to remember that there are no mathematical dead-ends! Each time we get stuck, it teaches us something about the problem we are working on, and leads us to a deeper understanding of the mathematics.

    In the real world though, you are not expected to face your work alone. You will be allowed to talk to other people and you may even be expected to work with other people. In this class, you are also not expected to face your work alone. I encourage you to talk to me often in class, office hours, and the bulletin board, and group work will also be encouraged.

    I am always happy to help you in class, during office hours (or by appointment), or on the WebCT bulletin board, and will try to give you hints and direction. At times though, to encourage the exploration process, I may direct you to rethink a problem and to come back to discuss it with me again afterwards. This occurs when I believe that the struggle to understand is imperative for your deep understanding of the material.