Mathematics 110
Spring, 2010
Tu Th 2:10-3:30 PM, 10 Evans Hall

Course control number 54443
Current Enrollment information
Matrices, vector spaces, linear transformations, inner products, determinants. Eigenvectors. QR factorization. Quadratic forms and Rayleigh's principle. Jordan canonical form, applications. Linear functionals.
Professor Kenneth A. Ribet
Telephone: (510) 642-0648
Fax: (510) 642-8204
Office hours (885 Evans Hall)
photo of Ken Ribet by Wen Shih


I have taught Math 110 four times before:

Each course page has links to problems and solutions for the exams in the course. Note that the honors class had shorter midterms (50 minutes instead of 80 minutes) and presumably harder questions than are typical for Math 110. The Fall, 2008 class used the Axler textbook instead of our textbook.


At Cal, we have settled on two textbooks for our Math 110 courses: Sheldon Axler's Linear Algebra Done Right and Linear Algebra by Friedberg, Insel and Spence. These are both excellent books. This semester, we are using the Friedberg book, fourth edition. Please see the authors' fourth edition page for information about changes between the third and fourth editions and for the errata for various printings of the fourth edition. (The later printings correct errors found in the earlier printings. On the other hand, they occasionally introduce new errors!)


Grades in this course will be based on a composite grade that includes the three exams and your homework scores. I am thinking of the following mix: 15% each midterm exam, 20% homework, 50% final exam. The last time I taught Math 110 in 10 Evans, I gave out around 32% As, 36% Bs, 16% Cs and 16% D-F-I. Some of the students who failed had probably dropped the course before the final exam. In Fall, 2008 (where there were only 34 students), the percentages were: 32% As, 35% Bs, 26% Cs, 6% D-F.

Syllabus and homework

The iCal calendar for our course will provide brief descriptions of each lecture in the semester as well as the homework assignments that will be due each week.

Online discussion

After some preliminary discussion by email, we have decided to carry out course-related discussions on the Math 110 google group:
Google Groups Math 110
Browse Archives at

I have attempted to add to the group all students who were registered for the course as of January 5, 2010. If you are not already registered for the group but wish to join, please navigate to Math 110 and sign yourself up. You can look at old postings to see the sort of issues that we discussed in past versions of the course. You might enjoy looking at the comments file for the honors course that I taught in fall, 2003.

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