Problem of the Week
Hilton Memorial Lecture
(*): To send an email to your instructor, click on the link in the Email column of the table.
If a section has its own detailed syllabus webpage, a link to that page will be provided under the Instructor column of the table above.
Below is a partial syllabus with information for all sections that you should know. Your instructor may have a more detailed syllabus about how your section will be run.
Binghamton University follows the recommendations of public health experts to protect the health of students, faculty, staff and the community at large. Safeguarding public health depends on each of us strictly following requirements as they are instituted and for as long as they remain in force. Health and safety standards will be enforced in this course.
Current rules require everyone to wear a face covering that completely covers both the nose and mouth while indoors (unless they are eating or alone in a private space like an office). A face shield is not an acceptable substitute. Classroom safety requirements will continue to be based on guidance from public health authorities and will be uniformly applied across campus. If these requirements change, a campus-wide announcement will be made to inform the University.
Instructors and students must follow all applicable campus requirements for use of face coverings. The University recommends and supports swift action and clear consequences since a student’s non-compliance risks the safety of others. Instructors will immediately notify students of any in-class instance of inadvertent non-compliance. Any in-class instance of deliberate non-compliance after warning will result in the student being asked to leave the class immediately. Work missed because of ejection from class for non-compliance may only be made up later with the instructor's permission. All students are responsible for bringing a mask to class in order to comply with campus requirements. If you forget your face covering or it does not meet the requirements, you will be asked to leave the room immediately. You may not return until you meet the requirement.
If a student does not comply with the requirements or the instructor’s direction, the instructor will immediately cancel the remainder of the class session and inform the dean’s office, which will work with the Student Records office to issue a failing grade (“F”) for the course regardless of when in the semester the incident occurs. The dean’s office will also inform the Office of Student Conduct. If a student’s refusal to comply is a second offense, the Office of Student Conduct may recommend dismissal from the University. If the rules for health and safety measures change, the campus will be notified and the new requirements will take effect.
``Linear Algebra” by Jim Hefferon, Fourth Edition, available as a free download here:
Linear Algebra by Jim Hefferon.
On can buy a cheap printed version and access more free resources at the textbook's official website.
Here are also some additional books that students and instructors may find helpful.
A First Course in Linear Algebra by Robert A. Beezer
Elementary Linear Algebra by K.R. Matthews
Linear Algebra by D. Cherney, T. Denton, R. Thomas, and A. Waldron
Exam 1: The week of February 21
Exam 2: The week of March 28
Exam 3: The week of May 2
Final Exam: Tuesday May 17, 8:05 - 10:05 PM (a night exam!) in GW-69EX (West Gym).
The course total will be determined as follows:
Quizzes: 20% (Quizzes should be given approximately once per week except in weeks when an exam is given.)
Exam 1: 15%
Exam 2: 15%
Exam 3: 15%
Final Exam: 30%
WebWork Homework (common for all sections): 5%
Quizzes are important for students to keep up with the progress of the course and to provide timely feedback on how the material is being absorbed. By September 27 (designated as ``Assessment Day” by the Administration), enough quizzes should have been taken to evaluate each student's progress and make a risk assessment for early warning about problems.
At the end of the course, your grade in the course will be determined by your instructor based on your course total and the following approximate scale. (Borderline cases will be decided by other factors such as attendance or participation.)
A 90%, A- 85%, B+ 80%, B 75%, B- 70%, C+ 65%, C 55%, C- 50%, D 45%
Online homework will be done using WebWork. The server address is
For students, your WebWork account username is the pre@ portion of your binghamton.edu e-mail account. Your initial password is the same as the username. For example, if your Binghamton e-mail account is email@example.com then your username is: xyzw77 and your initial temporary password is: xyzw77
Make sure to change your password as soon as possible to a secure password, and save that choice where it will not be lost.
Important: Besides the WebWork homework sets, you should do problems from the book, as selected by your instructor, see an approximate schedule below. This part of the homework will not be graded, but it will be important to your success in the course.
You are expected to spend about 12.5 hours per week on average for this class, including in-class lectures, watching instructional videos, solving homework problems (graded and ungraded), reviewing the material, and preparing for the tests. Expect the work load to be higher than average in the weeks before the exams.
During classes all students are expected to participate in a way that maximizes their learning and minimizes disruptions for their classmates. If you have any concerns, limitations, or circumstances, please communicate with your instructor to find the most appropriate solution.
For all graded assignments and exams, you are not allowed to use any help not explicitly authorized by your instructor. This includes, but is not limited to, problem-solving websites, notes, help from other people, etc. All instances of academic dishonesty will be investigated, penalized, and referred to the appropriate University officials for maximal possible punishment. Cheating will not be tolerated.
If you fall behind in class, or need extra help to learn the material, talk to your instructor as soon as you can. They should be able to help you and also point you to other resources. We also encourage you to talk to your classmates, and, in particular, to form informal study groups to prepare for the exams.
If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, please contact both your instructor and the Services for Students with Disabilities office (119 University Union, 607-777-2686) as early in the term as possible. Note: extended time for the examinations may require special scheduling.
The table below contains suggested problems from sections of our textbooks (Heffron or Matthews) in the format “Chapter:Section.Subsection.ProblemNumber”. Your instructor may suggest other problems or exercises. These problems are for practice only and are not to be turned in. There will be graded homework assignments given through WebWork which should be done in the order indicated by your instructor. Instructional videos linked below are supplementary material, not intended to replace the regular lectures. The order in which material is presented in class meetings will be determined by your instructor, and may not precisely follow the order in our textbooks.
|Introduction, preview, examples; linear combination||Ch. 1, I.1||1:I.1.17,19,21|
|Gaussian elimination (reduction)||Ch. 1, I.1||1:I.1.22,24,27,32|
|(Augmented) matrix of a system, solution set||Ch. 1, I.2||1:I.2.15,16,17,18,21,25|
|Basic logic: statements, connectives, quantifiers||Appendix|
|Set theory, general functions||Appendix|
|Homogeneous and non-homogeneous systems (no formal induction in Lemma 3.6)||Ch. 1, I.3||1:I.3.15,17,18,20,21,24|
|Points, vectors, lines, planes||Ch. 1, II.1||1:II.1.1,2,3,4,7|
|Distance, dot product, angles, Cauchy-Schwarz and Triangle Inequalities||Ch. 1, II.2||1:II.2.11,12,14,16,17,21,22|
|Gauss-Jordan reduction, reduced row echelon form||Ch. 1, III.1||1:III.1.8,9,10,12,13,14,15|
|Linear combination lemma, uniqueness of RREF (no proofs of 2.5, 2.6)||Ch. 1, III.2||1:III.2.11,14,20,21,24|
|Matrix operations, including the transpose. Linear system as a matrix equation||Matthews 2.1||3:III.1.13,14,15,16|
|Linear maps (transformations) given by matrices||Matthews 2.2||3:III.1.19; 3:III.2.12,17,30|
|Vector spaces: definition, examples||Ch. 2, I.1||2:I.1.17,18,19,21,22,29,30|
|Linear maps between vector spaces||Ch. 3, II.1||3:II.1.18,19,20,22,24,25,26,28|
|Subspaces. Span||Ch. 2, I.2||2:I.2.20,21,23,25,26,29,44,45|
|Linear independence||Ch. 2, II.1||2:II.1.21,22,25,28|
|Properties of linear independence||Ch. 2, II.1||2:II.1.29,30,32,33|
|Basis of a vector space||Ch. 2, III.1||2:III.1.20,21,22,23,24,25,26,30,31,34|
|Dimension of a vector space||Ch. 2, III.2||2:III.2.15,16,17,18,19,20,21,24,25,28|
|Column space, row space, rank||Ch. 2, III.3||2:III.3.17,18,19,20,21,23,29,32,39|
|Range space and Kernel (Null space)||Ch. 3, II.2||3:II.2.21,23,24,26,31,35|
|Invertible matrices: definition, equivalent conditions; inverse matrix||Ch.3, IV.4||3:IV.4.13,14,15,16,17,18,19,26,29|
|Elementary matrices. Row reduction using elementary matrices||Ch. 3, IV.3; CDTW Ch. 2, 2.3||3:IV.3.24,25,32|
|Determinant of a matrix, properties||Ch. 4, I.1, I.2||4:I.1.1,3,4,6,9; 4:I.2.8,9,12,13,15,18|
|More on Determinants||Ch. 4, II.1, III.1||4:III.1.11,14,16,17,20,21,22|
|Matrix of a linear transformation, matrix of the composition, inverse||Ch. 3, III.1, IV.2||3:III.1.13,17,18,19,21,23|
|Change of basis, similar matrices||Ch. 3, V.1, V.2; Ch. 5, II.1||3:V.1.7,9,10,12; 5:II.1.5,8,11,13,14|
|Complex numbers||Matthews 5.1–5.6||Matthews 5.8.1,2,5,6,7,9|
|Eigenvectors, eigenvalues, eigenspaces for matrices and linear operators. Characteristic polynomial||Matthews 6.1, 6.2; Ch. 5, II.3||5:II.3.23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31|
|Diagonalization of matrices||Ch. 5, II.2, II.3||5:II.3.22,33,36,46|
|Orthogonal and orthonormal bases of $R^n$ and its subspaces; orthogonal matrices||Ch. 3, VI.1, VI.2||3:VI.1.6,7,17,19; 3:VI.2.10|
|Orthogonal complement of a subspace, orthogonal projection||Ch. 3, VI.3||3:VI.3.11,12,13,14,26,27|
|Gram-Schmidt process; orthogonal diagonalization of matrices||Ch. 3, VI.2||3:VI.2.13,15,17,18,19,22|
The syllabus for Math 304 in Fall 2021 is available through this link:
The syllabus for Math 304 in Spring 2021 is available through this link:
The syllabus for Math 304 in Fall 2020 is available through this link: