Course Summary

Math 103 introduces students to linear algebra and its many applications. The course begins by investigating techniques for solving systems of linear equations, in turn paving the way for an abstraction to matrices and matrix operations. Exploring the properties of matrices will translate our initial algebraic questions into geometric ones, a dictionary which will ultimately provide most of the interesting applications in the subject.

Although we will cover a large portion of the text in our short time together, the concepts we will focus on will remain fairly concrete. Students who hold on to a geometric understanding of the material should find the topics we cover quite natural and easy to remember. That said, linear algebra is usually a student's first introduction to the abstraction that comes along with post-calculus mathematics. You will find that the course requires you to learn a new language, and you will not be able to succeed unless you spend time learning the new vocabulary and syntax.

Specific topics which will be covered include, but are not necessarily limited to, solutions to systems of linear equations, Gaussian elimination, matrix algebra, linear transformations, dimension theory, the Gram-Schmidt algorithm, least squares, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, discrete and continuous dynamical systems, and the singular value decomposition.

Course Instructor and Assistant

The course is taught by Andrew Schultz. His office is in the basement of the math building, room 380-G. You can contact him by email at aschultz@stanford (of course, you'll want to append a '.edu'). His office hours are yet to be determined, but should be posted soon.

The course assistant and grader is Baosen Wu. His office is in the basement of the math building, room 380-R. You can contacthim by emailing bwu@math.stanford. His office hours are Mondays and Thursdays from 3 to 4:30.