Course Details in Brief

See the full course syllabus for full information about everything briefly outlined here.


The main text we are using is the Fifth Edition of "Linear Algebra and its Applications" by David Lay, Steven Lay, and Judi McDonald, ISBN-13: 978-0-321-98238-4. If you decide you wish to use an older edition of the text, that's fine, but it is entirely your responsibility to make sure the problems you work on are correct since the problems we've listed in the Suggested Problems may not agree with those in prior editions. Don't ask the Instructors which problems you should attempt from prior editions.
We will be supplementing the standard textbook with interactive course notes available on the TopHat online platform. These notes contain interactive problems which count as part of your grade.
You can visit the Top Hat Overview within the Top Hat Success Center which outlines how you will register for a Top Hat account, as well as providing a brief overview to get you up and running on the system.
An email invitation will be sent to you by email, but if don’t receive this email, you can register by simply visiting our course TopHat website:

Top Hat will require a paid subscription, and a full breakdown of all subscription options available can be found here: After you pick your subscription, your textbook will be applied at checkout for an additional fee. Don’t worry if you don’t see any content in the course right away, as I will make it available to you as we progress through the semester. Should you require assistance with Top Hat at any time, due to the fact that they require specific user information to troubleshoot these issues, please contact their Support Team directly by way of email (, the in app support button, or by calling 1-888-663-5491.


There are quizzes given in tutorials (which begin the third week of class, the week of January 16). These quizzes are not meant to be super tricky and are based on the suggested problems. They count for only a nominal portion of your overall course grade (see below) so you should not stress too much about them. They may cover, in principle, anything which has been covered by the end of the week prior to the week of the quiz. You can keep track of which topics have been covered by consulting the schedule portion of this website. No medical notes are needed, nor will any be accepted, for missed quizzes as the lowest two scores will be dropped from your score. You must bring paper and writing supplies to the quizzes and you may only write quizzes for the tutorial section you are actually registered in. If you write a quiz for a tutorial whose section you are not enrolled in your score will not be counted. There are no exceptions to this.


There are homeworks to be done online using the interactive TopHat text. As well you should do all suggested problems.


Course grades are based on the following.

  • 5% Quizzes, with lowest two scores dropped
  • 5% Homework done in TopHat
  • 25% Highest Midterm Score & 15% Lowest Midterm Score
  • 50% Final Exam
There are no makeup tests. A student presenting proof of a valid reason for missing a test (see the section on Missed Term Tests in the Rules and Regulations section of the Faculty of Arts and Science 2016-2017 Calendar) will have their grading scheme adjusted to the following.
  • 5% Homeworks
  • 5% Quizzes, with lowest 2 scores dropped
  • 30% Midterm
  • 60% Final Exam
In the unlikely event that there are two VALID medical excuses, this procedure will not be followed. Students in this circumstance will have their mark depend 90% on the final exam and 5% each on the homework and quizzes. It is strongly advised that you write all 2 term tests. Missing both tests and only taking the final exam is a near guarantee of failing the course. Presenting a false medical excuse is a severe offence and will be dealt with through the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science. Medical notes will be accepted ONLY from MDs with a valid CPSO number. Medical notes should be submitted within 3 business days of the missed test.

Some of you may have other courses which have field trips, or you may be members of University sports teams, which have time/date conflicts with one of our tests. In this case, you will need to get your Professor (or coach) to submit a note justifying your absence on University of Toronto Departmental letterhead within 3 business days of the missed test. Your absence will be treated no different than that of an excused medical absence outlined above. My suggestion (and that's all it is, a suggestion) would be to simply take our test since it's good practice for the final exam and gives you the chance to gauge your knowledge of the material.