\( \newcommand{\sech}{\operatorname{sech}} \) \( \newcommand{\inverse}[1]{#1^\leftarrow} \) \( \newcommand{\<}{\langle} \) \( \newcommand{\>}{\rangle} \) \( \newcommand{\vect}{\mathbf} \) \( \newcommand{\veci}{\mathbf{\hat ı}} \) \( \newcommand{\vecj}{\mathbf{\hat ȷ}} \) \( \newcommand{\veck}{\mathbf{\hat k}} \) \( \newcommand{\curl}{\operatorname{curl}\,} \) \( \newcommand{\dv}{\operatorname{div}\,} \) \( \newcommand{\detThree}[9]{ \operatorname{det}\left( \begin{array}{c c c} #1 & #2 & #3 \\ #4 & #5 & #6 \\ #7 & #8 & #9 \end{array} \right) } \) \( \newcommand{\detTwo}[4]{ \operatorname{det}\left( \begin{array}{c c} #1 & #2 \\ #3 & #4 \end{array} \right) } \)

MA 237

Linear Algebra- 2019 May

Course Information

  • Semester: 2019 May
  • Title: Linear Algebra
  • Sections: MA 237-111
    • MTWRF 9:00am-11:46am
    • MSPB 360
  • Office Hours
    • MTWR 11:46am-1:30pm
    • MSPB 314

Course Content

The course is split into five Modules, each of which is split into several Standards of learning.

Textbook and Resources

Much of the material for this course will be provided on the course website or uploaded to Google Drive.

The textbook carried in the univeristy bookstore is available for reference, but will not be required. A free online respository of notes and homework exercises will be provided instead.

The use of any calculator is allowed on assessments, as long as it does not support communication functionality or internet connectivity. Students will need a calculuator that supports computing reduced row echelon form (“RREF”), or may use a provided table of RREFs.


Grades in this course are determined based upon your mastery of the Course Standards. Each time you successfully demonstrate mastery of a Standard by correctly completing a relevant exercise, you will earn a Mastery Mark ✓. Up to two per Standard will be awarded for the 24 standards, for a maximum of 48 . Two additional may be earned on the final exam for answering questions related to applications of linear algebra discussed at the end of the course.

Letter grades are assigned based on how much content was learned by each student, measured by how many were earned.

  • A: 46✓
  • B: 41✓
  • C: 36✓
  • D: 31✓

Student Data

Grade data will be provided to students via regular printed progress reports. Students are also highly encouraged to opt-in to using the Gradescope platform to receive instant notficiation of assignment results via email and the web.

Active/Inactive Students

By default all students are considered Active in the course. However, students that meet any of the following criteria may be designated as Inactive:

  • Accumulating two or more unexcused absences.
  • Failing a Readiness Quiz.
  • Receiving excessive negative feedback on a Peer Evaluation Survey (or neglecting to complete it).

When a student meets any of these criteria, they will receive an email from the instructor with a list of requirements to maintain their Active status, along with a deadline. Inactive status may be returned to Active status only at the discretion of the instructor.


Teams will be organized near the beginning of the semester. Much of our class meetings will be spent in teams completing activities related to the material, allowing students to master the course standards in an environment where they may discuss topics and ask questions freely with their peers and the instructor.

If any student from the class submits a request to the instructor by email to do so, a Peer Evaluation Survey will be conducted to allow teammates to provide anonymous feedback to each other.


Attendance will be taken daily. Generally, only absences that have been previously approved by the instructor or that are related to a medical issue (with accompanying documentation from a medical professional) will be considered excused. All excused absences must be documented via email with the instructor.

Readiness Assurance

Periodically throughout the course, students will be given a list of materials for review. Preparedness will then be assessed on a multiple-choice Readiness Quiz, first individually and then as a team. High scores reflect sufficient preparedness for the module, while low scores demonstrate a need for further review. A 70% average of both quizzes is required to pass this quiz. Students who do not pass the quiz will be given an opportunity to submit a full-response retake of the quiz to the instructor.

Class Activities

Students will be led through each Standard by a sequence of team activies designed to break down each concept. These should be completed by each team on the provided whiteboard, showing all details. Photos of this work will then be uploaded to Google Drive.

Mastery Quizzes

During most class days, Active students will be able to complete a short Mastery Quiz. Each standard covered in class will appear on up to three Mastery Quizzes. A schedule of which standards are covered on each quiz is available on the Calendar. Inactive students will not receive credit for these quizzes.

In addition, during the last week of class all students (Active and Inactive) will be offered a full-class Comprehensive Mastery Quiz and Final Exam that include exercises for every standard covered in the class to that date.

Quizzes are randomized and personalized for each student based upon their current progress; standards that have already been completely mastered by a student will not be assigned on the personalized quiz.

Marking Quizzes

Each submitted solution will be marked as follows:

  • Mastery Mark ✓: The solution demonstrates complete mastery of the given standard.
  • Revision Mark ✱: The solution might demonstrate mastery of the given standard, but needs to be revised for clarity/accuracy.
  • Issues Mark ⓘ: The solution demonstrates partial understanding of the given standard, but has one or more issues that suggest that further study is required to develop complete mastery.
  • : The solution demonstrates negligible understanding of the given standard.

Only affect a student’s letter grade for the course; all other accumulated marks will be ignored at the end of the semester. So, a student who earns 37 and 3 throughout the semester will earn the same grade as a student who earns 37 and 300 .

Revising Solutions

A student may improve a solution marked as to by completing a Revision Form outside of class and promptly submitting it within two class days of the quiz.

This submission will be marked as usual, with at most one additional re-revision allowed in the case of a very minor mistake.

Office Reassessments

During office hours, Active students may take advantage of Office Reassessments. Students that meet the requirements given on the Office Reassessment Form will be given the opportunity to solve a new exercise for credit.

Students may earn at most one in this way each day, resulting in about ten maximum for the course.

Missed Quizzes

Students that miss one or more Mastery Quizzes due to excused absences will be given extra time on the Final Exam.

Final Exam

The Final Exam is the same format as a Comprehensive Mastery Quiz, except that no revisions will be allowed. Instead, up to five marks earned on the Final Exam will be automatically upgraded to .

Suggested Daily Schedule

Due to the very quick pacing of the course, I recommend you follow a daily schedule similar to:

  • 8:30-9:00am: Review for daily Mastery Quiz
  • 9:00-11:46am: Class
  • 11:46am-01:00pm: Lunch (while instructor grades quizzes)
  • 1:00-2:30pm: Office Hours (Reassessments and instructor questions)
  • Afternoon/Evening: Practice homework exercises

Academic Honesty

Academic Honesty is defined in USA’s Student Academic Conduct Policy. Any student who is caught cheating will immediately lose credit for all earned throughout the entire semester, will become permanently Inactive in the course, and will have to take the remaining assessments by appointment in the instructor’s office. In addition, the incident will be reported to the university.

Any student who is caught cheating twice will automatically receive an F letter grade for the course.

USAOnline and USA Course Policies

The official syllabus for this course is available on USAOnline. USA’s Course Policies apply to this course.