Math 54, Spring 2016

This is the homepage for the Spring 2016 Math 54 discussion sections 110 and 114.

Instructor: Kyle Miller
E-mail: kmill at
Meeting times:
    For 110, TH 3:30-5 pm in 81 Evans
    For 114, TH 5-6:30 pm in 71 Evans
Office hours: M 4 pm and F 1 pm in 1066 Evans, or by appointment. On May 5, I will be holding a review session in 4 Evans from 3:30pm to 6:30pm.
Course website:

The math department publishes a rough course overview. There is also a collection of some past exams.

1. Exams

2. Quizzes

Both quizzes will be given at the beginning of section. There will be no make-up quizzes.

3. Homework

Homework is listed on the professor’s website (above). These are due on Tuesdays, either in section or on the bulletin board of 1066 Evans. Three problems will be selected by me and each graded on a 0-3 scale. The lowest two homework scores will be dropped.

Late homework will be given the floor of s/2n, where s is the score you would have received, and n is the number of days late it was.

4. Worksheets

The department publishes worksheets on the Lower Division Course Outlines page, Math 54 Worksheet (pdf).

5. Extra

  1. Jan 18. The Most Common Errors in Undergraduate Mathematics (external). For getting some mathematical maturity, consider looking at A Concise Introduction to Pure Mathematics by Liebeck (I have a copy if you want to look at it).
  2. Jan 22. Especially for CS students: is a naive implementation in Python of algorithms to compute (reduced) row-echelon form. Exercise: make it (much) more efficient.
  3. Feb 18. Discussion section notes.
  4. Feb 29. Quiz 1 review.
  5. Mar 4. Interactive basis toy.
  6. Mar 9. Quiz 1 (solutions).
  7. Mar 16. Interactive transformation toy.
  8. Mar 16. Interactive basis change toy.
  9. Mar 29. Another solution for midterm 2’s problem 4.
  10. Mar 31. Schur factorization.
  11. Apr 7. Quiz 2 syllabus and phase diagrams.
  12. Apr 12. Quiz 2 (solutions).

6. How to study

Step 1. Read the book, go to lecture, section, and office hours, solve examples. Check your understanding.

Step 2. Solve homework problems. If you get stuck, you did not complete Step 1, so go back and figure out exactly what you still need to understand.

Mathematics does not end with words written on a page, rather an answer is an artifact or byproduct of understanding. Furthermore, you are trying to convice the reader that you are correct: thus revise! It is your responsibility to make your answers clear. In fact, if on a quiz or exam the grader does not notice you are “right,” this is your fault, and you will lose points for it.