Math.310.001 Linear Algebra
Textbook and Software Information


Textbook:  Linear Algebra and its Applications, regular or updated 3rd Edition by David Lay

Cover of the book

We will use the (discontinued) 3rd Edition of the text.  That means it is no longer available from the publisher and may not be available in our campus bookstore, but you can find copies on the internet.  This third edition comes in two versions, one of which is "Updated".  Either of those versions is acceptable for our course.  The Updated version comes with a CD, but we won't be using that.  In any case, please note:

Don't Buy Any Edition of Lay's Linear Algebra Book Beyond the 3rd Edition

no matter what you see at the book store or its website. 

All students should order copies of the text online as soon as possible.  Everyone should have a copy of the text by the first day of class.  Just to be on the safe side, the sections we will cover in the first chapter have been posted as course documents on blackboard.  These can be used by anyone whose book is late arriving.  PLEASE do not share these files with anyone or post them anywhere on the internet.

You can use any of the versions of the text shown at the following websites:

http://www.amazon.com/Linear-Algebra-Its-Applications-3rd/dp/0201709708/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.amazon.com/Linear-Algebra-Applications-Updated-CD-ROM/dp/0321287134/ref=sr_1_2_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325091882&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Linear-Algebra-Its-Applications-David/dp/1405835311/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

You can also search for the book by ISBN number. The isbn numbers are provided at the amazon pages linked above.


Software:  Freemat

Most of the techniques and processes of linear algebra are tedious to carry out by hand.  It is important that you understand how these techniques work, and why they are valid.  But when you apply the techniques it is often much more efficient to use computer software than to try to do all the steps by hand.  For this reason, we will be seeing many examples carried out using a general purpose matrix calculator called Free Mat.  This is free software that you can down load that from the Free Mat website:

http://freemat.sourceforge.net/

Please install this software before the start of classes. We will take some class time to work through a tutorial on Free Mat.  Instructions will be handed out in class.  For reference, the tutorial instructions are also available here.

We will also be using some special purpose interactive webpages to explore certain concepts in the course.  For row operations, we will use this webpage:  http://www.dangries.com/Flash/RowReducer/RowReducer.html.  Other websites of interest can be found on the course's page of links.