Math 0280 - Introduction to Matrices and Linear Algebra

Student Guidelines and Syllabus

About the course

The principal topics of the course include vectors, matrices, determinants, linear transformations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, and selected applications.


Math 0220 or equivalent, with a grade of C or better.


The text for this course is Linear Algebra, A Modern Introduction, 4th Edition by David Poole.

Course Objectives

Students who complete Math 0280 are expected to have mastered the fundamental ideas of linear algebra and to be able to apply these ideas to a variety of practical problems. More specifically, in Math 0280 you will be expected to:
- explore and learn the core concepts associated with systems of linear equations, manipulation of matrices, linear transformations, orthogonality, and eigenvalues/eigenvectors;
- begin to think abstractly about certain of these topics;
- understand how these ideas can be used to solve problems and compute things.

Homework/quizzes/written assignments

Each week, you will be assigned some problems to write up and hand in. These assignments will be graded and returned. In addition, you will be provided with a list of practice problems to do, even though they will not be handed in and graded. At the instructor's discretion there may be quizzes or written assignments.


Your course grade will be determined as follows: Some sections may deviate slightly from this formula. Any variations will be announced by your instructor at the beginning of the term.

Calculators Policy

Calculators are NOT allowed on the quizzes, midterm examinations and the final exam.

Final Exam Policy

All sections will take a departmental final exam at a time and place to be scheduled by the registrar. You MUST attend the final exam.

Final Grade Policy

Your course grade will not exceed your final exam grade by more than one letter grade.

Exam Dates

See the class schedule for the dates of the two midterm exams and the final. The room of the final exam will be announced by your instructor.

Getting Help


Walk in tutoring is available in the Math Assistance Center (MAC) in Room 215 of the O'Hara Student Center. See

Office Hours

Your instructor will announce the office hours.

Disability Resource Services

If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Office of Disability Resources and Services, 140 William Pitt Union, (412) 648-7890, DRSRECEP@PITT.EDU as early as possible in the term. See

Academic Integrity

Cheating/plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students suspected of violating the University of Pittsburgh Policy on Academic Integrity will incur a minimum sanction of a zero score for the quiz, exam or paper in question. Additional sanctions may be imposed, depending on the severity of the infraction.

On homework, you may work with other students or use library resources, but each student must write up his or her solutions independently. Copying solutions from other students will be considered cheating, and handled accordingly.