Department of Mathematics

Linear Algebra I, MTH 314-001

Instructor: Mark Iwen
Time and Place: MWF 11:30 am -- 12:20 pm, in 151 COM
Office: C342 WH
Office Hours: Th 11:00 am -- 12:00 pm,
F 10:00 am -- 11:00 am, and by appointment

Course website for MTH314-001:

The course website is mandatory reading for the course. On it you will find the course schedule, the syllabus, and supplementary reading. Homework assignments will be posted on the schedule.


Introduction to Linear Algebra, Fourth Edition, by Gilbert Strang.
Wellesley-Cambridge Press, ISBN 978-0-9802327-1-4

This book has a lot of great supporting resources that you should look at, including: video lectures(!), some homework solutions, example exams, and more. You should check out the MIT OpenCourseWare website and see for yourself!

Additional Math Help:

Additional help can be obtained at the Math Learning Center. The specific hours when linear algebra help is guaranteed in Wells Hall are here (see the hours for MTH 317H).


In reality, it is good enough to be very familiar with regular old middle school algebra. If you can correctly find the intersection of two arbitrary lines, can determine when two lines are parallel, and can manipulate strange looking fractions like a pro, you are ready to start this class.


You will never get good at anything without practice. Ergo, you will never get good at linear algebra without practice. Homework provides practice. Homework will be assigned on the course website for each section we cover. It will neither be collected nor graded. However, quiz and test questions will be modified versions of the assigned homework problems. If you do not do the homework, you will fail the associated quizzes and tests. If you fail too many quizzes and/or tests, you will fail the class. Ergo, you must do the homework to pass the class.


You will be given a total of 15 surprise, in-class, closed notes/book quizzes during the semester. The quizzes will be given at the beginning of class on randomly chosen days. Each quiz will consist of two or three homework problems which will have been assigned at least 36 hours prior to the quiz. Your lowest three quiz grades will be dropped.


You will be given one in-class midterm exam on Monday, October 21st. There will also be a cumulative final exam on Thursday, December 12th, from 10:00 am -- 12:00 p.m. (noon).


Please ask questions and make constructive comments during lecture. This course is for you: get the most out of it.


Your final course percentage will be determined by averaging your quiz, midterm exam, and final exam percentages with the following weights: Quizzes (40%), Midterm Exam (20%), and the Final Exam (40%). The result of this weighted average will then be rounded to the nearest integer.

Your final grade will be assigned using your final course percentage as follows:

90% -- 100% A 4.0
85% -- 89% A-/B+ 3.5
80% -- 84% B 3.0
75% -- 79% B-/C+ 2.5
70% -- 74% C 2.0
65% -- 69% C-/D+ 1.5
60% -- 64% D 1.0
0% -- 59% F 0.0

The instructor reserves the right to alter this grading scale in favor of the students when necessary.

Academic Integrity:

You are expected to complete quizzes and exams on your own, without collaboration or the use of outside resources. Any violation of this rule will be treated according to the MSU policies on academic integrity. Please familiarize yourself with these policies if you have not already. You are encouraged to work with your peers on homework assignments. Math is a collaborative discipline and two or three minds are often better than one. If you do work together, take the time to sit by yourself and write the homework up in your own words.