Math 309
Matrix Algebra

Mohan Kumar






Topics. Theory of matrices and vector spaces from a concrete, computational point of view. Topics include row reduction (pivotal method), rank and dimension, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, diagonalization of symmetric matrices. Some related computational computer software may be used.

Prerequisites. Math 132

Time. Classes meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday, in Mallinckrodt 305. Section 2 meets from 12 to 12.50 pm and section 3  from 1 to 1.50pm. The class room can only accommodate 24 students and thus the overflow will have to take the classes remotely, which will be live-streamed.

Text. The lectures will follow Lay, Linear Algebra and its Applications, fifth edition, Pearson, 2016.

Homework. Assignments will be posted online on WeBWorK. Expect two or three short assigments per week. Access this site via Canvas using your WUSTLConnect ID, under the "Assignments" heading for this course.

Quizzes. Short hand-graded tests will be assigned for every two weeks of material. These will be available and should be completed on CrowdMark.


Quiz assignments:



Tests. These will be take-home, administered on CrowdMark. There will be two midterm  after the review dates, most probably during the weekend after. There will be a cumulative final examination that will emphasize later course material. It will be due by 11:01 pm on Monday, January 4th, 2021.

Grading. One grade will be assigned for homework (3 lowest scores dropped), one for the quizzes (best 6 of 7 scores), one for the midterm examination, and one for the final examination. These three will contribute as follows to the course grade: HW 50%, Quizzes 30%, Midterm 10%, Final 10%.
Letter grades, computed from the course score, will be at least the following:

Course score at least:





Letter grade at least:





Students taking the Cr/NCr or P/F options will need a grade of D or better to pass.
Students auditing the course will need to show evidence of attending least 36 of the 42 lectures in order to receive a succesful audit grade.



Computing. Students are encouraged to use computers for both symbolic and numerical computations.

Octave and MATLAB are two very similar computer applications for matrix algebra calculations. They use the same language and perform the same functions.

Octave is free, open source software. Installers for various computers are at these URLs:

Any recent version will do.

Any recent version of MATLAB may also be used. Wash U students have access to MATLAB at this portal.

Office Hours. These will be on Zoom,  Tuesdays 2-4 pm and if there is more demand, we will try to extend this.


Some calculations

Sections 1.1,1.2

sec 1.3,1.4


Zoom Recordings

Wed Sep 16, sec 2

Mon Sep 14, sec 2


Wed Sep, 16, sec 3

Mon Sep 14 sec 3



Fri Sep 16, sec 2


Fri Sep 16. Sec 3


Questions? Return to Mohan Kumar's homepage for contact information.