Nonlinear algebra


Regular class attendance and class participation is important and expected. You are expected to come to lectures, participate in discussions, read the textbook (including examples not covered in class), and ask questions. Students are responsible for all announcements and supplements given within any lecture.

From time to time, there will be a 20-minute quiz at the end of a lecture. Quizzes will usually cover topics from two most recent HWs.

How do I participate!? 
We will use Slack for participation, class discussion, chats, Q&A, etc. The system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates, the TA, and myself. Rather than emailing questions to the teaching staff, I encourage you to post your questions on the appropriate channels in Slack

tentative: Participation grade has two components: activity in AhaSlides interactive quizzes and activity on Slack. 


Homework problem sets will be posted online at least one week before the due date. Typically, there will be weekly homework, with possible exceptions around exam time. There will also be reading assignments to which you will be asked to respond. 

Important note: Solutions to homework problems and exams must be written clearly, legibly, and concisely and will be graded on mathematical correctness and presentation. Points will be deducted for sloppiness, incoherent or insufficient explanation, or for lack of supporting rationale. Include enough detail in your solutions so that your explanation is convincing to someone who hasn’t thought about the problem before. The proofs/arguments should be presented so that your classmates could read them and follow the logic (step-by-step). If you use software, make sure to include your code in the assignment write-up, so your work can be graded properly.


There will be a regular "in-class" exam sometime mid-semester, the date to be determined at least two weeks in advance. Exam dates and topics covered will be announced on the course homepage and in class. Make-up exams will be given only in case of a documented emergency. A comprehensive final exam will be given during the IIT final exam week.

Exams will generally consist of three types of problems: (1) examples, counterexamples, definitions; (2) algorithms, computations and applications; (3) proofs (some routine, some of moderate difficulty).

[in case the need arises for online exams] Exam logistics are going to be as follows: you will have a longer time window within which to complete a 75-minute or a 2-hour exam. You'll submit it electronically. Then you'll meet me for 10 minutes for a "interview", so to speak, where I get to ask you to explain your solution to a randomly selected problem from the exam you just turned in. I'll also have one follow-up question to clarify anything in the solution, which may or may not be a statement you wrote down or explained. 

Exam topics

No surprises. Everything from the book, notes, syllabus. 


Students are required to work on an independent project, typically during the second half of the semester. The project will involve studying a class-related topic, and writing a short summary paper on this subject, which will go through several stages of revision. Your paper should be self-contained and accessible to the other participants in the class. Achieving this should take approximately 10 pages. At the end of the course, you will read a referee report written by another student in the class, and you will also write such a report about the paper of another student. A list of possible topics will be posted in September.

It is expected that the project will be done in groups of two (math 431) or individually (math 530); but this information will be determined after the start of the semester, based on final class size.