Welcome to Intersession 2003 of Linear Algebra I: Mathematics 136.130.
You will find this to be a course that rewards regular work; the only way to learn linear algebra is to do the work -- so keep up on weekly homework and ask questions as soon as you realise you need help. See your instructor during office hours or ask questions in class or lab; the Department of Mathematics also makes the services of the Mathematics Help Center, found in Machray 318, available to students in this course. See the Help Center door for hours.
The discussions in this forum are open to all students in this course, and discussions from past terms are archived here as well. If you wish to discuss something new, begin a new "converstion" (by using the button provided); if you wish to continue a discussion that has already been started, type in the box "add a message", and click the button below it to post your message.
See the first topic on the board (which should appear at the bottom), on formatting mathematics, if you wish to make your "math typing" (and other typing) look good in your messages. Also check out the documentation in the accompanying folders to this site (see the bar on the left) to learn some more advanced things you can do.
I will be visiting this discussion regularly, as will your professors, and we will try to reply promptly to any questions that need responses.
Linear Algebra is a beautiful subject to study for its symmetry and elegance; it is also one of the most practical of the mathematical sciences, supporting more current technological developments than even Caclulus, which has been traditionally viewed as "the main" applied field of mathematics.
While this course spends much time developing theory and basic techniques, it should be clear that it is leading to some practical tools and big ideas. Many courses of study, particularly in science and engineering, require the tools of this course, so you will not be left wondering for long whether you will ever "use" what you learn in this course.
Hopefully, however, you will find the material of this course more than merely useful, but also interesting. It is, unfortunately, a course in the basics, so the big ideas will be seen only in outline, but Linear Algebra is the place where we learn about the meaning of space and dimension, and what these mysterious things called vectors are really all about. We learn about a new kind of arithmetic, with objects called matrices, instead of just numbers. There is plenty for the philosopher to chew on, but you must be alert to notice it, since the course majors on skills and tools, not on exposition of ideas.
Enjoy the course!