It is expected that students attend all classes. Bring the text to each class.
Homework will be assigned at the end of every class. Turn in the homework at the start of the next class. Late assignments will not be accepted, except in genuine emergency situations.
You are encouraged to work with other students in solving the homework problems. However, for the sake of better learning, as well as honesty, please adhere to the following guidelines:
Write up your solutions yourself.
Acknowledge in writing anyone with whom you work and any assistance you receive.
Acknowledge in writing any revisions of your work based upon solutions given in class.
Failure to indicate collaboration, assistance or sources will be construed as plagiarism.
Your solutions should be written clearly and carefully, as described below.
Quizzes and Exams:
All quizzes and exams will be in class, closed book.
Quiz #1: Tue., Feb. 13
Quiz #2: Tue., Feb. 27
Midterm Exam: Thur., Mar. 15
Quiz #3: Tue., Apr. 10
Quiz #4: Thur., Apr. 26
Final Exam: Tue., May 22
What is Math 242
This course will cover the basics of linear algebra in n-dimensional Euclidean space, including vectors, matrices, systems of linear equations, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, as well as applications of these concepts to the natural, physical and social sciences.
The prerequisite for this course is Calculus II (Math 142), or permission of the instructor.
If you are unsure whether Math 242 is an appropriate course for you, please speak with the instructor.
If you have any problems with the course, or any questions about the material, the assignments, the exams or anything else, please see the instructor about it as soon as possible.
If you cannot make any of the scheduled office hours, please make an appointment for some other time. To make an appointment, or to discuss anything, talk to the instructor after class, or send him an email message, or just stop by his office.
Mathematics Study Room
The Mathematics Study Room is open Sunday-Thursday, 7:00pm-10:00pm, in RKC 111.
The Mathematics Study Room is staffed by undergraduate mathematics majors who are available to answer your questions. You can go to the study room to work on your homework, and then ask for help as needed.
If you need additional help beyond office hours and the Mathematics Study Room, you can meet with a tutor. This service is provided by the Bard Learning Commons.
If you want to meet with the tutor assigned to this course, you can either go to the tutor's office hours, or email the tutor to set up an individual appointment, or both.
Tutor: Eric Zhang Office hours: Monday, 6:00-7:00, Mathematics Common Room (third floor of Albee). Mathematics Study Room hours: Tuesday, 7:00-10:00, RKC 111. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grades will be determined primarily by the quizzes and exams. Homework assignments and class participation will be taken into account positively, especially in cases of borderline grades.
Grades will be determined by work completed during the semester, except in cases of medical or personal emergency. There will be no opportunity to do extra credit work after the semester ends.
This course is graded using letter grades. If you want to take the course Pass/Fail, you must submit a request to do so to the Registrar's Office by the end of the Late Drop period.
Students with documented learning and/or other disabilities are entitled to receive reasonable classroom and testing accommodations. If you need accommodations, please adhere to the following guidelines:
Discuss your needs with the instructor at the beginning of the semester.
Provide documentation as appropriate.
Contact the instructor at least one week prior to each quiz, exam or instance of accommodation.
If you need to miss a class for any reason (sports team, religious holiday, etc.), it is your responsibility to contact the instructor and find out about the material and assignments you missed.
Calculators, Computers and Electronic Devices
For most of the course, pencil and paper will suffice.
A scientific calculator (which has trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions) will be needed for some problems. Free scientific calculator apps are available for smartphones, tablets and computers. Programmable and/or graphing calculators are not required.
We will occasionally use the free online computer mathematics system Sage, as will be discussed in class.
Electronic devices, including cell phones, tablets and laptop computers, may not be used during class, other than as calculators or to read the text.
Everyone makes honest mathematical mistakes, but there is no reason to get in your own way by writing your homework carelessly. Mathematics must be written carefully, and legibly, no differently from any other writing.
Please adhere to the following guidelines when writing homework assignments:
Write your homework assignments neatly and clearly.
Distinguish between scratch work and the final draft. Expect to do scratch work on separate paper prior to writing the final draft.
Your final draft should stand on its own; check your solutions by reading them as if they were written by someone else.
For each problem, write every step of your calculation, and do so in a logical order from beginning to end. Numerical answers without justification, or equations on the page in random order, are not be acceptable for the final draft.
Use verbal explanations whenever needed. Formulas and calculations are not always sufficient.
Be very careful with "=" signs. You must write "=" between things that are equal, and not write "=" between things that are not equal.
Please see the instructor if you have questions about writing -- or doing -- the homework assignments. If you are not sure if you have written a homework assignment properly, bring a draft with you to office hours for discussion.
Important Academic Dates
Wed., Feb. 7: End of Drop/Add period.
Wed., Feb. 28: End of Late Drop period; last day to request Pass/Fail.
Mon., Mar. 19 - Fri., Mar. 23: Spring break.
Mon., Apr. 30 - Tue., May 1: Advising days (no classes).
Tue., May 1: Last day to withdraw from a class.
Wed., May 2: Senior projects due.
Tue., May 22: Last day of classes.
The Sage Program:
Sage is a very powerful free open source computer program for mathematical calculations. It is useful in calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, and much more; it does numerical and symbolic calculations, and both 2D and 3D graphics.
Sage, which is a cloud-based program, can be accessed from any computer via a web browser. There are two ways to use Sage: the quick version and the full version.
To use the quick version of Sage, which is good for simple computations and which does not require setting up an account, simply go to the website
Although you don't need any prior knowledge of computer programming to use Sage, one of the advantages of Sage is that it is based upon the Python programming language, which is the language taught in Bard's Object Orient Programming course (CMSC 141).
Each of the following Sage demonstrations can be accessed via its own webpage. Brief instructions are given for each demonstration.
If you find any errors or problems with these demonstrations, please let me know.