Linear Algebra and Applications

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Enforced requisite: course 3B or 31B or 32A with grade of C- or better. Introduction to linear algebra: systems of linear equations, matrix algebra, linear independence, subspaces, bases and dimension, orthogonality, least-squares methods, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, matrix diagonalization, and symmetric matrices. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 2.5
Easiness 2.5/ 5
Clarity 2.2/ 5
Workload 3.0/ 5
Helpfulness 2.4/ 5
Overall Rating 4.1
Easiness 3.2/ 5
Clarity 4.3/ 5
Workload 4.1/ 5
Helpfulness 4.3/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Fall 2022 - --> Professor Arant's linear algebra was the fairest and most well-taught class I've taken at UCLA so far. Here is my summary of the class, with more detail below: • He is very well-organized (on BruinLearn, in class, in communication), teaches well, happily answers questions, occasionally tells jokes (of varying levels of funniness), and is able to explain his mastery of the material very well • He really does care about student learning and holds several office hours per week (you can schedule your own with him via email, see below) • The midterms and final are very fair (all are free-response, no multiple choice, and he does give partial credit generously!), covering only material covered in the lecture notes (and nothing else, thank god) • Lecture notes are provided, thorough, and all that's needed to learn the material • The textbook (where the homework questions are), as well as the answer key, are available as free, online pdfs if you google the right thing • I never once attended a discussion section (I don't even know my TA's name) because it was at 8 am on the other side of campus (no thanks I need my sleep), and I was perfectly fine without them :) • This is a classic class where if you stay on top of your work, actually go to class, pay attention, and try, you will easily pass and get an A • Linear Algebra is very different from calculus or algebra, and it can be hard to think differently than previous math classes --> The structure of this class is one homework a week (which usually took me anywhere from 3-8 hours, depending on how challenging the topic is, though I know people who did it faster than that), with 2 midterms and 1 final. He provides practice exams on BruinLearn, which are excellent representations of what the actual exam will be like (especially pay attention to the topics covered on the practice exam, they are almost always the same as what will be on the real exam), and there is enough time to finish them if you know what you're doing. Review the material and actual study, and you will be fine. There are also quizzes on Gradescope that need to be completed before each class, but they involve only reading parts of the textbook and can be done in ~5 minutes (just use Control - F). -->The grade calculation is as such: 15% pre-class quizzes (3 lowest are dropped, eg. if you forgot or were out of town) 20% homework (graded for completion, the lowest one is dropped) AND 15% Midterm 1 + 15% Midterm 2 + 35% Final OR 20% Better Midterm + 45% Final --> I cannot emphasize enough how willing Professor Arant is to help his students. He's not the most approachable person but was always happy to talk to me after class and schedule meetings with me individually. Several times during the quarter, I emailed him that I was really struggling with a specific topic and he quickly agreed to hold an in-person, 1-on-1 session with him in his office, where he made sure I understood the topic and offered any other help I might need. He really does care about his student's learning and well-being and is more than happy to help outside of class. The key here is to be proactive on your own and reach out to him! --> The only downside was that this class was at 8 am and on the other side of campus from the Hill, so it was pretty brutal waking up in the morning. However, he recorded his lectures and put his completed lecture notes on BruinLearn, so it was definitely ok to miss a few lectures (I definitely did). --> Overall, I highly recommend taking this class with Arant. He teaches well, you will learn a lot, and the workload is very manageable. The class isn't easy, but 100% doable. Good luck!
Overall Rating 4.0
Easiness 3.0/ 5
Clarity 4.0/ 5
Workload 4.0/ 5
Helpfulness 4.0/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2018 - The lectures moved fast, so at times students were scrambling to keep up/write stuff down. The average for the first midterm was a 35/40, and was in the lower B range for the second midterm and final I think. Her exams were generally reasonable, the hardest part was the True/False, which required a deeper understanding of concepts and applications of theorems that one would not know unless they had spent a significant amount of time working through many problems (and even then, one might not completely get the problem). There was an issue with how she graded the second midterm's true/false section, giving 2 points for a correct answer, 1 point for no answer, and -1 points for an incorrect answer. According to her, the reason behind this was to discourage people from simply choosing an answer without truly knowing the reason behind it, but it actually punished the people who may have put effort into studying but just arrived at the wrong answer (tricky questions) and benefited those who may not have put in the effort to study, did not know the answer, and therefore just left it blank. There is no way of distinguishing those who simply circled an answer for the sake of guessing and possibly earning points from those who knew their shit and just arrived at the wrong answer for any other reason. Still, the final was reasonable if one truly knew the material, and she was very generous with the final grading (generally rounding people who were in between grades up; the grade distribution was better than that of the average math class at UCLA). Out of the homework that Bhaskar assigned, only a few (generally trickier problems that required a lot of thought) were mandatory to turn in weekly. No quizzes. Would recommend!
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