This course is meant for  students who wish to pursue a Master of Arts in Mathematics (MAM). Please contact me  in order to find out whether this course is suitable for you and/or your degree plan.
For further info about MAM, please visit
and follow the link to MAM.

Very important: If you are not  enlisted in the MAM program, or if you are taking MAM courses as a PB student, then make sure that our MAM courses apply towards  your degree program.  If you take MAM courses as a PB student,  only a limited number  of MAM courses can be  applied. If you wish to get into the regular masters program, none of the 5000-level courses can be applied. If in doubt, you should get in touch  with our graduate advisor Neha Valji at, or PGH 713-743-3517.

Office Hours (607 PGH):  TTH 12-13,  You can always send email to

TA1: Pei Yang
TA2: Peng Zhang

 Book: Linear Algebra Using MATLAB, Selected material from the text Linear Algebra and Differential Equations Using Matlab by Martin Golubitsky and Michael Dellnitz.
Professor Etgen extracted from the Golubitsky-Dellnitz book the chapters that are relevant for this course. The (reduced) text  will made available to enrolled students free of charge. Students  don't have to buy the full text.
In order to get the book, just email a request to Tai McAlister at

Software: Scientific Note Book (SNB) 5.5  (available for $79 through MacKichan Software, )
Students don't need MATLAB. There is no need for students to read any MATLAB sections of the book. No Computer Exercises will be assigned. In many cases students can check their solutions of Hand Exercises with

Syllabus: Chapter 1 (1.1, 1.3, 1.4), Chapter 2 (2.1-2.5), Chapter 3 (3.1-3.8), Chapter 4 (4.1-4.4), Chapter 5 (5.1-5.2, 5.4-5-6), Chapter 6 (6.1-6.4), Chapter 7 (7.1-7.4), Chapter 8 (8.1)

Project: Applications of linear algebra to demographics. To be completed by the end of the semester as part of the final.

Course Description: Solving Linear Systems of Equations, Linear Maps and Matrix Algebra, Determinants and Eigenvalues, Vector Spaces, Linear Maps, Orthogonality, Symmetric Matrices, Spectral Theorem

Students will also learn how to use the computer algebra portion of SNB for completing the Project.

Organization of the course: You will receive occasionally additional reading assignments together with  weekly  homework.
All  homework has to be submitted   by e-mail, as a ScientificNotebook (SNB)   file. All Homework must be submitted to  in form of  an e-mail attachment. The
subject line should read: Your name, HW#. For example, Joe Smith, HW1. The  file name then  should be: smith_HW1 with  extension .tex Thus the file will be  smith_hw1.tex  In order to count, I  must receive all homework by the deadline.

In order to start a new document, that  is,  to start a new file, you should pick from the various options for Shell Directories and Shell Files: "General" and "Blank Document" and then start typing. (In order to see  the math symbols, you have to go to View-Toolbars and make your selections.  You should try out  the Symbol Cache. )

Tests: There will be two tests and the Final

Grading: Tests count for 90% (25%+25%+40%), HW for 10%

On homework  assignments
All of our 5000 level course assume that you have been exposed to the material before. In case that you have forgotten everything about linear algebra and need a geometric introduction A primer in Linear Algebra might be helpful. These are very old notes.

HW 1 (due Monday, September 1):
4,6,7,10; 1.3: 1,2,3; 1.4: 2,6,8,10
1,2,3, 6; 2.2: 1,2,3,4; 2.3: 1,2,3,4,8; 2.4:1,2,3,10,11

HW 2 (due Monday, September 8)
1,2,3; 3.1: 3,7; 3.2: 4,8; 3.3: 6,7,8,9; 3.4:1,2,3

HW 3 (due Monday, September 15
1,2,3,4,9; 3.6:1,5; 3.7: 2,3,5,7,8,9

Practice Test 1 (may change) .      I will be available for a Q&A session,  PGH 646, Wednesday , September 17,  from 6-8 pm


Test 1, Saturday,  September 20, 11-12:30 o'clock, Room: SEC 206
You need to bring a bluebook and picture ID.


HW 4 (due Monday, September 22)
1,2,4; 4.1: 1,2,3, 10, 11; 4.3: 3,4,5

HW 5 (due Monday, September 29)
1, 2, 3, 4-10, 17, 18

HW 6 (due Monday, October 6)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

HW 7 (due Monday, October 13)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7; 5.5: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7

For the final section of Chapter 5 I have prepared some Notes on span, bases and linear systems

HW 8 (due Monday, October 20)
1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8

HW 9 (due Monday, October  27
1, 2, 6: 6.2: 1, 2, 3;  4; 5

Test 2 Prepsheet, Practice Test 2 (may change)     I will be available for a Q&A session,  PGH 646, Wednesday , October 29,  from 6-8 pm

Solutions of 6.1 #1 and 6.2 # 5

Test 2, Saturday,  November 1,  11-12:30  o'clock, Room: SEC 206
You need to bring a bluebook and picture ID.

HW 10,  (due Monday, November 3)
1, 2; 7.2: 1, 2, 3; 7.4: 1, 2;

HW 11, (due Monday, November 10)
1, 2, 3, 6,9,10

Project on Leslie matrices.tex,  Leslie matrices.pdf to be turned in at the day of the Final.

Practice_Final.pdf (may change)  I will be available for a Q&A session, PGH 646, Wednesday, December 3, from 6-8pm

Final,  Saturday, December 6, 11-14 o'clock, Room: SEC 206
You need to bring a bluebook and picture ID.

 Taking tests off-campus:
UH DE request that students provide at least three institutions near them. In turn, UH DE will contact those institutions and confirm if they have proctoring services and gather any other important details students need.
DE students wishing to have their exams proctored must contact
Tim Bretzke

However, if possible you should take tests on campus. Online graduate courses are not meant to save you time and gasoline. Living in nearby cities, like Katy, Humble, Sugarland or the Woodlands should not be a reason to take tests off campus. If you have to take the tests off campus, then certain WebCT Testing Center Policies must be obeyed:

1. Introduce yourself to the proctor and be prepared to show a valid photo id.
2. Once you have started a test, you cannot leave the testing room for any reason. If you decide to leave the testing room, you have to turn in your test, and the proctor should not allow you to continue the test.
3. You should take a test at the scheduled day. If this is impossible, then you have to ask me for permission to take it a couple of days earlier or later.

I don't recommend  buying one of the "upgrades" of SNB namely  Scientific Word (SW) or Scientific Workplace (SWP).  SW is only a front-end for LaTeX. It does not compute math expressions, something SWP does.  If for some reason you wish to get a full TeX program, there are better  choices. SW as well as SWP offer only limited compatibility with regular LaTeX.

Why don't we use MS Word with the Equation Editor? Because  this is an awful combination and sooner or later I would be forced to accept handwritten HW.  It just would take you too long to get any math typed. And there are many other reasons why we should not use Word for documents that contain  a non-trivial amount of mathematical formulas.

Can I use SNB for my other math courses? Yes. SNB provides you with decent looking hardcopies. But even if your instructor accepts HW as e-mail attachments, SNB files can be opened by LaTeX which is available to every faculty. And you might enjoy the math capabilities of SNB for courses which have a numerical component, like Linear Algebra.

Can I save SNB files in PDF? Yes, but only if you have access to the Adobe Acrobat,  or an equivalent program.