Mathematics 54
Spring, 2008
M W F 3:10-4 PM, 155 Dwinelle

CourseWeb page for this lecture
Enrollment information
Basic linear algebra; matrix arithmetic and determinants. Vector spaces; inner product spaces. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors; linear transformations. Homogeneous ordinary differential equations; first-order differential equations with constant coefficients. Fourier series and partial differential equations.
Professor Kenneth A. Ribet
Telephone: (510) 642-0648
Fax: (510) 642-8204
Office hours (885 Evans Hall)
photo of Ken Ribet by Wen Shih

Head TA

The Head TA for Math 54 will be announced in January, 2008. Please see this person for information about enrollment or changing discussion sections.

Discussion Sections

All discussion sections meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Section Time Room GSI
201 8AM 30 Wheeler TBA
202 9AM 87 Evans TBA
203 9AM 4 Evans TBA
204 10AM 321 Haviland TBA
205 11AM 321 Haviland TBA
206 2PM 4 Evans TBA
207 2PM 3 Evans TBA
208 2PM 9 Evans TBA
209 4PM 75 Evans TBA
210 5PM 75 Evans TBA
211 5PM 85 Evans TBA
212 8AM 5 Evans TBA
213 1 PM 2030 VLSB TBA
214 11AM 224 Wheeler TBA
215 9AM 237 Cory TBA
216 2PM 283 Dwinelle TBA
217 Noon 246 Dwinelle TBA
218 2PM 5 Evans TBA
219 4PM 246 Dwinelle TBA
220 Noon 203 Wheeler TBA


Look to buy custom paperback editions that were created for U.C. Berkeley.


Grades in this course will be based on a composite grade that is intended to weight the course components as follows: midterm exams 15% each, class work (including homework and quizzes) 25%, final exam 45%. In two recent semesters of Math 54, the grade distribution was roughly as follows: 24% A, 35% B, 24% C, 17% D/F.


Midterms will be given in class, probably on March 3, 2008 and April 11, 2008. The final exam is 5-8PM on May 19, 2008. Mark your calendars, and please plan to be in Berkeley on those dates.

For old Math 54 midterm and final exams, look first at the exam links in the home pages for my Math 54 courses in Fall, 2005 and in Spring, 2007. Some other Math 54 home pages that are listed in Richard Borcherds's archive of old math course web pages. You will undoubtedly find more exams by using search engines. In particular, you can search our google group for "old midterm" discussions. If an old midterm seems long, check to see whether it was a 50- or an 80-minute exam.


A calendar of course events, including brief descriptions of lecture topics, will be available in .html format or as an iCal calendar. The calendar will be updated frequently with descriptions of lectures that are about to be given (or have just been given). When you click on the "Math 54 Lecture" link for a given date, a pop-up window will supply the relevant description and the associated homework assignment.

Homework and quizzes

The homework assignments will consist of roughly 15-18 short problems for each lecture. The list of problems will be posted in the information section of the iCal event corresponding to a given lecture. The assignments will be due in discussion section. There will be a weekly quiz in the discussion section.

Online discussion

Google Groups Math54
Browse Archives at

Please register for google groups and join the group Math 54.


During my previous Math 54 courses, I organized some Math 54 lunches in the DCs. See my lunch page for photos of the lunches in Fall, 2005. (An alternative source is Math 54, Book 0.) Photos of the Spring, 2007 lunches can be found embedded in my facebook photo albums Math 54, Book I, Math 54, Book II and Math 54, Book III. If there is significant demand, I will organize some lunches again this semester.

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