MAT 215, Linear Algebra, Noyce 2517


Professor: Jeff Blanchard, Noyce 2516, 269-3304, email prefix: blanchaj

Text: Linear Algebra by Joseph R. Mileti. (Available in Pioneerweb.)

Office Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00-11:30
Tuesday, Thursday: By appointment from 9:00-11:00
By appointment; please email me to set up a time. See my weekly schedule.

Learning Goals:

The course is an introduction to the computational and conceptual aspects of linear algebra with an emphasis on mathematical language, notation, and proof. The course also has supplementary learning goals regarding problem solving skills, interacting with technical and quantitative material, and working with peers. The learning goals for this course are:


This class will meet approximately three hours per week. To accomplish the course learning goals students should expect to spend at least nine additional hours per week completing assignments and studying course material.


There will be regular (daily) homework, due at the beginning of class each day. Homework will be posted on Pioneerweb after each class. A subset of the problems will be graded. Late homework will not be accepted.

There will be two types of graded homework assignments: Problem Sets and Writing Assignments. In addition to the graded homework, students should read the textbook associated with the class schedule. The reading should be completed prior to the associated class period.


A significant course goal is developing the skills to work in a group toward a mutual comprehension of the material. Students will be randomly assigned a daily partner. Please read the note on partnerships.

Seating assignments will be updated at 5:03 pm the evening prior to each class period. Bookmark the following page and refresh the page to see your seat assignment prior to each class session.

Midterm Exams:

There will be three in-class, midterm exams tentatively scheduled for: These midterm exams will test the material covered since the previous exam.

Final Exam:

The final exam is three hours and will be comprehensive. Do not make arrangements to leave campus prior to the final exam. Such situations will result in the loss of a letter grade on the final exam. The final exam is scheduled for:
Course Grade:
Problem Sets: 14%
Writing Assignments: 14%
Midterm Exams: 42% (14% each)
Final Exam: 25%
Participation: 5%

Academic Honesty:

All students must be aware of and comply with the Grinnell College Academic Honesty policy.

In this course students may collaborate on homework assignments provided they submit their own work and identify their collaborators. It is acceptable to collborate with any student currently enrolled in any of the three sections of MAT 215. Any resource (other textbooks or online) must be cited. It is expressly forbidden to look for solutions online, in textbooks, or from other students. It is also an academic honesty violation to solicit assistance from any online forum.

All midterm exams and the final exam are closed notes, closed book, and the student may not consult any resource not provided with the exam.


Absences permitted by the college (athletics, performance, religious observation, etc.) must be coordinated prior to the class period in order to make arrangements for the missed homework or exams. This coordination must be done in person prior to the absence.


If you are in need of specific learning accommodations, please let me know early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. If you have not already done so, you will need to provide documentation to the Coordinator for Disability Resources, Autumn Wilke, located on the 3rd floor of the Rosenfield Center (x3702) and discuss your needs with her.

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