Penn State - Spring 2014

Linear Algebra (MATH 436)


M W F, either 12:20PM – 1:10PM or 2:30PM-3:20PM
322 Sackett

Arriving late to class, leaving class early, or disrupting class in any way will not be tolerated. Cellphones must be silenced during lectures.


Mathieu Stienon <>

Please, always include “436” in the subject of your email messages. You can expect to get an answer by the end of the next business day.

Office hours: Thursdays from 2pm to 3pm in 325 McAllister.


REQUIRED: Sheldon Axler, Linear Algebra done right (2nd edition), Springer 1997
SUGGESTED: Morton L. Curtis, Abstract Linear Algebra, Springer 1990
SUGGESTED: Peter Petersen, Linear Algebra, Springer 2012
(available in PDF from the University Libraries)


1: Vector Spaces
2: Finite-Dimensional Vector Spaces
3: Linear Maps
4: Polynomials
5: Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors
6: Inner-Product Spaces
7: Operators on Inner-Product Spaces
8: Operators on Complex Vector Spaces
9: Operators on Real Vector Spaces
10: Trace and Determinant


  1. Weekly homework (worth 25% of your course grade)

  2. Mid-term examination on Wednesday March 5th (worth 25% of your course grade)

  3. Final examination (worth 50% of your course grade)

Homework assignments will be posted on ANGEL.

Homework must be handed in directly to the instructor. Late homework dropped in the instructor's mailbox will be returned ungraded.

All electronic devices must be turned off and stowed away during examinations. Unauthorized use of any electronic device will result in a zero score on the examination, no exceptions.

Grade scale: A ≥ 90% > B ≥ 80% > C ≥ 70% > D ≥ 60 % > F. Plus or minus grades will be given at the instructor's discretion.

NO extra credit will be offered. Grades will NOT be curved.

The final examination will be given during the week from May 5 to May 9, 2014. The final examination may be scheduled on any day during the final examination period. Do not plan to leave University Park until after Friday, May 9, 2014. Students who miss or cannot take the final examination due to a valid and documented reason, such as illness, may be allowed to take a makeup final examination. Personal business, such as travel, employment, weddings, graduations, or attendance at public events such as concerts, sporting events are not valid excuses. Forgetting the date, time or room of an examination is not a valid excuse. Students who have taken the original final examination are not permitted to take a makeup examination.

Ethics and honorable behavior:

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, the University's Code of Conduct states that all students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts.

Academic integrity includes a commitment by all members of the University community not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating of information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of other students. For any material or ideas obtained from other sources, such as the text or things you see on the web, in the library, etc., a source reference must be given. Direct quotes from any source must be identified as such.

Each student in this course is expected to work entirely on her/his own while taking any exam, to complete assignments on her/his own effort without the assistance of others unless directed otherwise by the instructor, and to abide by University and Eberly College of Science policies about academic integrity and academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty can result in assignment of "F" by the course instructors or "XF" by Judicial Affairs as the final grade for the student.

All Penn State Policies regarding ethics and honorable behavior apply to this course.

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs.

If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic adjustments in this course, contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) at 814-863-1807 (V/TTY). For further information regarding ODS, please visit the Office for Disability Services Web site at

In order to receive consideration for course accommodations, you must contact ODS and provide documentation (see the documentation guidelines at If the documentation supports the need for academic adjustments, ODS will provide a letter identifying appropriate academic adjustments. Please share this letter and discuss the adjustments with your instructor as early in the course as possible. You must contact ODS and request academic adjustment letters at the beginning of each semester.