Math 20F (Linear Algebra) - Winter 2004

Important links:   What is Linear Algebra?
        Schedule and Homework       Lab Homework

Professor: CRISTIAN D. POPESCU   ¤  Lectures: MWF 8:00-8:50am, in CENTR 115
    Office Hours: Mo. & We. 9:00-10:30am,  in  AP&M 6256.
Office: AP&M 6256; Phone: 858-534-6297; E-mail:
Tuesday discussion sections (A01-06) meet in WLH 2114, 8:00am - 1:00pm.
Your Thursday lab section meets in AP&M - B432 (A50-51) and respectively CLICS - NW MEZZ (A52-55), at the same time as your Tuesday discussion section.



 Lab Room


 Office Hours
  Anthony Shaheen
   A01 (8:00am); A06 (1:00pm)          
   WLH 2114
A50 (8:00am)AP&M(B337)
  AP&M 2202
  T 2:10-3:40;  Th 2:10-3:40.
  Caleb Emmons
   A03 (10:00am); A04(11:00am)
   WLH 2114
  AP&M 2202
  M 12:30-2:30; W 10:30-12:00.

TEXT:  Steven J. Leon, Linear Algebra with Applications, 6th ed. (Prentice Hall)
You are expected to read the text BEFORE each lecture.



Help with Mathematical Problems:

Help if Personal Problems Affect Work:  Talk to the professor or, if appropriate, your college provost.

Prof. Strang, who has written a text on linear algebra, has a variety of material from his MIT course on linear algebra here.


Linear algebra is a collection of ideas and methods related to linear equations.  It is an important tool in mathematics and statistics and in many areas of science and engineering.  In some areas, linear algebra is more important than calculus and, in others, it is intertwined with calculus. It seems to be a fact of life that widespread application requires abstraction in mathematics (even "number" is an abstraction---"things" exist but numbers don't) and science (compare modern physics with physics in the time of Kepler and Galileo).  Linear algebra is no exception: Its concepts and methods are rather abstract.  This requires you learn the language involved.  You will probably find that over half the battle with most 20F problems is understanding what is being asked.  Because of the new concepts, this course appears to move at a faster pace than the calculus courses. To really understand tools, we must use them to work problems.  All but the smallest linear algebra problems require considerable calculation.  Thus, computers are an essential adjunct to linear algebra.  That is why we have the Matlab sessions on Thursdays.

A Few of the Many Applications of Linear Algebra
 Subject Area  Application
 philosophy  modelling the concept of space (and time)
 physics  laws for elementary particles
 economics  input-output analysis (used in planning)
 software  computer graphics
 engineering  Fourier series
 pure math.  approximating curved manifolds
 applied math.  numerical solution of partial differential equations