Other handouts (list updated
11/20/98)

## What this course is about

A theme that runs through almost every field of mathematics is *
linearity *. Often one finds that the same concepts and the same
arguments arise when learning differential equations, studying vectors
in Calculus 3, solving simultaneous linear equations, in many other
mathematical settings, and in the mathematics specific to almost every
field of science and engineering. In this course we will study both
the abstract concepts relating to linearity and some practical
applications.
To study the essence of linearity we introduce objects called *
vector spaces * and related concepts such as * linear
transformations *. At first these notions may seem very abstract,
but the power of abstraction is that in the end one is able to solve a
host of problems by understanding a very small number of concepts.

In addition to the abstract side of linear algebra, we will be
studying the computational side: matrix manipulation and solving
systems of equations. However, this course should ** not ** be
confused with MAS 3114, Computational Linear Algebra, which is far
less theoretical. In MAS 4105 we will emphasize theorem-proving and
spend less time on computation. We will do little, if any, computer
work. In MAS 3114 by contrast there is less theorem-proving, and
instead an emphasis on using the computer for mathematics. ** Make
sure you are in the right course for your needs. **

** Workload: ** Expect to put in at least eight hours
of work per week outside of class. Some weeks the workload may seem
lighter; other weeks heavier. In weeks where the workload seems
lighter, either start reading ahead and doing homework early, or get
ahead in another class, so that if the workload is heavier the next
week you don't fall behind.

This page was last modified by D. Groisser on Sept. 8, 1998.