Mathematics 54
Fall, 2005
MWF 2-3PM, 155 Dwinelle Hall

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.
CourseWeb Math 54 page
Enrollment information
Professor Kenneth A. Ribet
image of office telephone Telephone: 510 642 0648
Fax: 510 642 8204
Office hours (885 Evans Hall)
photo of Math 110 students
in Crossroads DC, May, 2005

Head TA

The Head TA for Math 54 is Jameel Al-Aidroos. Please see his Math 54 page for information on how to enroll in this class.


Both books are available in custom paperback editions that were created for U.C. Berkeley. For the Hill book, we will be discussing the first five chapters: introduction to linear equations and matrices; vector spaces; linear transformations, orthogonal projections, and least squares; eigenvectors and eigenvalues. In the differential equations book, we will be covering a host of topics, including: ordinary differential equations; systems of ordinary differential equations; connections with eigenvalues; Fourier series; partial differential equations.


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 the past two semesters of Math 54, the grade distribution was roughly as follows: 24% A, 35% B, 24% C, 17% D/F.


A calendar of course events, including brief descriptions of lecture topics, is 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. Please note, in particular, the following important items: The dates of the midterm exams were dictated by new add/drop policies of the College of Letters and Sciences. The deadline for adding or dropping this course and for changing from pass/not pass to a letter grade will be midnight on Friday, September 30, 2005. The deadline to change from a letter grade to P/NP will be midnight on Friday, November 4, 2005.

Homework and quizzes

The homework assignments will consist of roughly 10-12 short problems for each lecture. The assignments need to be handed in to your GSI according to the following schedule: assignments for Monday lectures are due the following Thursday (i.e., three days later), while assignments for Wednesday and Friday lectures are due the following Tuesday (six or four days later). There will be a weekly quiz on Thursday in the discussion section.

Food for thought picture of
a loaf of bread

Please join your professor and other Math 54 students for lunch in the residence hall dining commons (or elsewhere!).

Online discussion

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

Google Groups Math54
Browse Archives at

You can look at the Math 110 group from last semester to see some ways in which our group might be used.

Last Updated:

Valid HTML 4.01!