Numerical Linear Algebra (Math 442/642)

Instructor: Dr. Scott Sarra
Class Info: MW 6:30 - 7:45, PR 200
Office Hours: MW 2:30 to 5:00, SH 325
course web:

Textbook: Numerical Linear Algebra, L. N. Trefethen and D. Bau, ISBN 089871487

Course Learning Objectives:

After completing the course the student will have the essential ideas that are needed to understand, implement, and analyze numerical algorithms for problems in Linear Algebra.

Prerequisites: MTH 331, MTH 442, and Matlab programming experience.

Grading: Grades will an average of 1) homework and projects and  2)  in class exams.   Final grades will be assigned according to the average as:

90<=x <=100 -> A; 80<=x <90 -> B; 70<=x <80 -> C; 60<=x <70 -> D; x <60 -> F

Attendance Policy:

Attendance is at your discretion. However, you are responsible for what is covered in class, which at times will be quite different from the text.  Generally, in 400/600 level classes, attendance at every class is expected.


Homework problems will be of two types: 1) Suggested problems for the purpose of assisting you in mastering the material and for preparing for exams.  These will not be collected and graded.  2)  Problems that will be collected and graded.   Both types will be listed in nlaProblemsSpring2008.txt which will be updated as we advance through the semester. 

Submitting Homework and Projects

Hand written material should be submitted in class.  All other material should be submitted via a zip file email attachment with the name  All typed material should be in pdf format (no Microsoft formats will be accepted). M-files must be accompanied by sample output with explainations.  A m-file is only a supporting document.  It is the write up that is important. 

Academic integrity:

Homework or projects may be group or individual.  On individual work, you are expected and encouraged to discuss problems with others. However, the work you turn in must be completely your own. Sharing or copying will be penalized.  For group work, one solution should be turned in representing the combined efforts of the group.

Due dates/Makeup exams

If you are unable to take an exam due to an excused absence, you must contact me prior to the exam time and furnish the proper written verification of the absence as defined by the MU undergraduate catalog in order to take a make-up exam.  Excused absences, as defined by the MU undergraduate catalog, fall into three categories: (1) university sponsored activities; (2) absences as a result of illness or death in the family; (3) absences resulting from major religious holidays.  Consult the catalog for details. Extensions for homework and projects must be made in advance of the due date.

Documented learning disabilities:

Accomodations will be made to assist students with documented learning disabilities.  Students should make arrangements with the Help center to provide the instructor with a notice of accomodation.


For more information on the course see the course web page.  Other courses in the Numerical Mathematics sequence are Numerical Linear Algebra and Numerical Differential Equations.