Trent University, Summer 2014
Mathematics 1350H
Linear algebra I: matrix algebra

MATH 1350H is a first-year linear algebra half-course emphasizing basic concepts and computational techniques. It is normally followed up by MATH 2350H Linear algebra II: vector spaces.

Prerequisite: Any Grade 12U mathematics course with at least 60%, or equivalent. Anyone who wants to take MATH 1350H without having the prerequisite should contact the instructor.

Some useful general tips for first-year mathematics students are given in the pamphlet (in PDF format) Enjoying Math!

Instructor | Text | Marking | Meetings | Content | Honour & Help | Inspiration | Handouts & Work | Other sources


Stefan Bilaniuk
office: GCS 337
hours: Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-12:50, or by appointment, or just drop by.
phone: 705 748-1011 x7474
home phone: 705 742-7862 [Do not call between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. unless it's an emergency.]
e-mail: sbilaniuk{at}trentu{dot}ca or, preferably, sbilaniuk{at}gmail{dot}com
[E-mail sent to my Trent address sometimes just vanishes. If it's important, call!]


Linear Algebra: A Modern Introduction (Third Edition), by David Poole,
Thompson Brooks/Cole, 2006, ISBN-10: 0-538-73545-7, ISBN-13: 978-0-538-73545-2.


The course will run during the first six-week summer session (S61: 12 May - 19 June), 13:00-15:50 on Tuesdays and Thursdays in GCS 111 ESB 319. Normally, the first half-hour or so of each three-hour period will be used as a seminar, followed by a quiz on the material in the previous lecture, and the rest will be used as lecture time.

Marking Scheme

There will be at least nine quizzes, at least five assignments, a test, and a final examination. Quizzes will normally be written in the lectures and last between ten and twenty minutes apiece. The assignments will usually be handed out and collected on Tuesdays. The test will last fifty minutes and will probably be written during the lecture period on Tuesday, 3 June. The final examination will last three hours and will be written during the examination period (20-21 June). These will weigh as follows in the final mark:

Best 8 quizzes (4% each) 32%
Best 4 assignments (5% each)     20%
Test 15%
Final Examination 33%

Students who miss the test or more than one quiz for reasons beyond their control should contact the instructor as soon as possible to arrange to write a make-up. Assignments will not normally be accepted after the due date; students unable to hand in the assignments in time for reasons beyond their control should contact the instructor as soon as possible. Note that there is no attendance requirement per se, but the consequences of missing classes are ultimately the students' responsibility to deal with.

This scheme may be modified for students in exceptional circumstances, such as a lengthy absence due to illness. Any such modification will require the agreement of both the student and the instructor.


MATH 1350H is an introductory linear algebra course, with an emphasis on the geometrical and computational aspects of the subject. We will cover the core material from Chapters 1--4 of the text, namely:

Please note that where the material covered is concerned this schedule is a polite fiction: no lesson plan survives contact with actual students unchanged! Additional material, including material not in the text, may be covered on assignments and in class, and other sources may be used to augment the text in a couple of places.

Honour & Help

The obligatory statement concerning academic integrity reads as follows:

Academic dishonesty, which includes plagiarism and cheating, is an extremely serious academic offence and carries penalties varying from a 0 grade on an assignment to expulsion from the University. Definitions, penalties, and procedures for dealing with plagiarism and cheating are set out in Trent University's Academic Integrity Policy. You have a responsibility to educate yourself -- unfamiliarity with the policy is not an excuse. You are strongly encouraged to visit Trent's Academic Integrity website to learn more -- .

For clarity, the following guidelines will apply in MATH 1350H:

You are permitted and encouraged to work with others and ask anyone willing (especially the instructor!) for explanations, hints, and suggestions on the assignments, and to consult whatever sources you wish. However, all work submitted for credit must be written up entirely by yourself, giving due credit to all relevant sources of help and information. For the quizzes, test, and final exam, you may not give or receive any help, nor use any aids except for a calculator (any that you like) and one letter- or A4-sized aid sheet with whatever you want on (all sides!) of it, except with the instructor's express permission.

Access to instruction

It is Trent University's intent to create an inclusive learning environment. If a student has a disability and/or health consideration and feels that he/she may need accommodations to succeed in this course, the student should contact the Student Accessibility Services Office (SAS), Blackburn Hall Suite 132, 705 748-1281, For Trent University in Oshawa Student Accessibility Services Office contact 905 435-5102, ext. 5024. Complete text can be found under Access to Instruction in the Academic Calendar.


No doubt but magic may do much in this;
For he that reads but mathematic rules
Shall find conclusions that avail to work
Wonders that pass the common sense of men.

Robert Greene (from Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay)

Handouts & Work

Mostly in PDF format:

Stuff from previous years to practice on...

Other sources

There is fair bit of material available online about linear algebra; a very brief selection follows:

Some linear algebra notes and texts available online

Some other linear algebra references and resources online

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Maintained by Stefan Bilaniuk. Last updated 2014.05.13.