Concerning grades: Grades will be based on two fifty minute in-class exams (100 points each), a composite homework/quiz grade (100 points) which is described further below, and the final exam (200 points, thought of as two equal grades of 100 points). The worst of these five scores will be weighted half, so that course grades will be based on totals out of a possible 450 points. The tests will be relatively straightforward, and I intend to use absolute scores, not a curve. Thus, on a given exam, A+ is >= 97.5%, A is >= 92.5%, and A- is >= 90%, etc., so that, for example, B+ is >= 87.5%, C- is >= 70% and D- is >= 60%. If I feel that an exam was too hard I may lower these lines slightly, but I will not change them if the exam was too easy.
Each week either homework will be collected or there will be a quiz. Late homework will not be accepted, and there will be no make-ups for quizzes. Instead, a certain number of the worst grades (I will specify how many at the end of the course), will not count, and these, for most people, will compensate for missed homeworks and quizzes. If your ten best homework/quiz grades were the ones counted and you averaged 80% on those homeworks but had zeros on all the rest, your homework grade would be 80 (out of 100).
The assignments will be from Bretscher's book. Your homework solutions should always show work and explanations, not just an answer. If you have access to and know how to use a suitable computer program, such as Matlab, that does linear algebra, you may use it to check your work. But since you are expected to understand the internal operation of the algorithms we use, doing homework problems with a computer or calculator will not help you to learn what you need to know for the exams. There will be no use of calculators on quizzes or exams. Quiz and exam questions will be designed so that relatively little calculation is needed.
Try the homework problems before they are due, so that you can ask about the ones you don't understand in class. The ones that are bracketed are to be turned in. The others are for practice and discussion.
The first hour test is planned tentatively for Wednesday, February 7.
The Final Exam will be Thursday, April 19, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
These problems are not to be turned in. The skills they represent will be tested by quizzes on Wednesday, January 10 and Wednesday, January 17.