Math 110, Linear Algebra, Fall 2011.

In this course, we will learn some of the most basic concepts in linear algebra. This class overlaps with Math 54 in material, but with a different emphasis: proofs. We will gain a deeper level of understanding, and be well-prepared for other upper-division math classes. Along the way, we will study some new topics as well, such as singular value decomposition and spectral methods.

This information document covers the following subjects: how to contact the staff, Prerequisites, textbook, handouts, course work and grading, real and sample exams, homework assignments, and exam dates.

Section enrollments are entirely done online. So if you are waitlisted, check online often to see if you can enroll. Students must go to the section in which they are assigned, with no exceptions. If you have more questions about enrollment, please contact me.

If you have a general question about something that is NOT covered here, or if you wish to talk with the GSIs or me, the easiest way is to come during office hours. Otherwise, please make an appointment by sending electronic mail.


Instructor Prof. Ming Gu
Office: Evans 861
Office Hours: MF 1:30-2:30PM, W 4:00-5:00PM or by appointment.
Phone: 642-3145
Email: mgu@math



Math 54 or equivalent. Note that we discuss relatively little about differential equations. So if you have only taken a lower-division level linear algebra class outside of Berkeley, it could be sufficient. Please contact me if you have any concerns.


Our textbook is We will try to cover everything in the book, including some of the sections labeled with an *.


No handouts will be distributed in the class; they are all instead on the class home page at

Course Work and Grading

Homework: Students are allowed, but not encouraged, to do homework in small groups. But everyone must write his/her own solutions and not copy them from anyone else or a solution book. Only some of the problems from each homework will be graded.

Grades: There are a total of 100 points you can earn toward your final grade in the course. There will be two midterm exams. The better of the two is worth 25 points and the worse 15 points. The final exam is worth 30 points. All exams will be graded by the GSIs and myself. Only the best 10 homeworks will be counted towards the final grade, with each worth 3 points. Homeworks are due on Wednesdays in discussion. See below for the list of exam days.

The students are allowed, but not encouraged, to skip one midterm. In such a situation, the midterm will be worth 30 points and the final 40. If you skip both midterms or the final, you fail the class.

Exam Dates

The exams will be cumulative. We will have a review session and provide sample exams before each of the three exams. There will be no make-up midterm exams. We will give no credit for written homework turned in after the due date. The only exception to this policy is for proven medical or personal emergencies.

There will be no grade curves. Your final letter grade will be determined based on your own performance. I hope everyone will excel in this course.

Sample and Real Exams

Homework Assignments

Grades of Incomplete will be granted only for dire medical or personal emergencies that cause you to miss the final, and only if your work up to that point has been satisfactory.