MA311 Linear Algebra

for SP 2007

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MA 311 Linear Algebra


SP 2007 HO


McCandless, Peter


Associate Professor of Mathematics


Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis in math education
M.A., Mathematics
M.A., Educational Research and Psychology

Office Location

Natural Sciences Building, Room 002

Office Hours

Monday, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.; Wednesday, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.; Thursday, 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Daytime Phone

(816) 584-6831


Web Page

Semester Dates

January 16, 2007 - May 11, 2007

Class Days


Class Time

10:10 - 11:25 AM


MA 211

Credit Hours



Elementary Linear Algebra, 9th Edition. Anton, Howard. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2005. ISBN: 0-471-66960-1

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
Topics include the general methods of solving systems of equations, determinants and matrices, vector spaces, linear transformations and introduction to simplex algorithms. PREREQUISITE: MA 211 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

My goal in teaching mathematics is three-fold: to make clear mathematical concepts, to help students acquire mathematical skills, and to encourage and inspire them to continue their study of mathematics in a way that supports their goals in life. As the teacher of a course, it is my responsibility to set and maintain the standards of the course – what is to be taught and how students’ performance is to be assessed. The goals of the course are specified in a manner that affords me the flexibility to adapt to students’ needs: a careful balance must be achieved between the topics to be covered in the course of a semester and the ability of students to learn those topics. The pursuit of this balance is dynamic. I am never totally comfortable with my performance as I continually try to find a better way to achieve the same goals. The learning of mathematics is and has been a humbling experience for me. I have never pushed my mind as hard as in the pursuit of learning this wonderfully challenging subject. It is difficult in words to describe the joy of finally grasping some concept that has long eluded me, or completing a difficult proof. The frustration associated with studying mathematics can be equally severe. As a teacher of mathematics, I rely heavily on this experience. It allows me to empathize with the struggling student, yet to encourage him or her, demanding performance just a little beyond what is often comfortable. It convinces me that many, many students never achieve their potential. For me, teaching this subject embodies four roles that I thoroughly enjoy integrating: coach (the encourager); parent (the demander); friend (the sustainer); and instructor (the clarifier). As a teacher of mathematics, I am challenged to provide the highest quality instruction I can for students from all backgrounds. My ultimate goal for each student is to find the experience of taking a course from me to be enriching in one way or another, regardless of their final grade.  

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Solve a system of linear equations using Gaussian elimination.
  2. Perform arithmetic operations on matrices.
  3. Use the properties of invertible matrices to solve systems of linear equations.
  4. Use the determinant of a matrix to tell whether a system of equations has a unique solution or not
  5. Apply the properties of vectors in Euclidean n-space and provide a geometric interpretation where appropriate
  6. Apply the properties of linear independence, basis, and dimension
  7. Perform the Gram-Schmidt process
  8. Demonstrate what it means to say that two vectors are orthogonal
  9. Apply the properties of inner product spaces

Core Assessment:
  • Periodic assignments
  • Quizzes
  • Tests

Class Assessment:

There will be two tests during the semester and a final exam during final exams week. There will be several homework assignments.


Homework Assignments collectively constitute 25% of the grade. Test 1 and Test 2 each constitute 25% of the grade, and the final exam constitutes the remaining 25% of the grade. All homework assignments are weighted equally. The lowest homework assignment score will not be included in the homework average. The final exam score will replace the lower of Test 1 or Test 2, provided that it is higher than at least one of them. Each homework assignment will be given a score of 4, 3, 2, 1, or 0.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Each homework assignment must be turned in on the due date announced. Late homework will not be accepted, except under an extreme situation. Similarly, tests must be taken on the date they are given in class. If the instructor determines that an extreme situation prevented the student from turning in a homework assignment on time or from taking a test, the student may be given additional time or allowed to make up a missed test; it is not automatic, however. In all such cases, the instructor’s decision on whatever allowance, if any, is to be given, is final.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Cellular phones, beepers, and other communication devices are not to be used in class. Disruptive behavior (as deemed by the instructor) such as loud talking, snoring, sleeping, coming to class late, leaving class early (except in emergencies) will not be tolerated. Multiple disruptions over the semester will lead to withdrawal of the student from the class by the instructor.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Chapters 1 through 8, time permitting.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .
Students with disabilities should contact the instructor as soon as possible.  The instructor and the institution must be notified of disabilities before appropriate remedies, requests, and/or actions can be taken. The instructor assumes no responsibility for providing medicine or first aid of any kind for any student. Students whose disability or condition has the potential for requiring medicine or first aid during class should make appropriate preparation through another student or person to provide such in case of emergency and/or contact health care professionals.


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Last Updated:1/16/2007 9:51:00 AM