AMATH 352 B: Applied Linear Algebra and Numerical Analysis

Winter 2022
MWF 11:30am - 12:20pm / KNE 110
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):



Instructor:            Kamran Kaveh (Lewis Hall 304)

Pronoun:              He/Him


Class Times:      MWF 11:30-12:20pm

Office Hours:      WF 12:30pm – 1:30pm and WF3-4pm (online/in person Lewis Hall 129 )

Location:            Kane Hall 110 (Lectures). Lewis Hall 129 (Office hours)

Zoom (Lecturer):      

TA:                       Ruibo Zhang

Prounoun:           He/Him


Office Hours:      Thursdays 10:30-11:30am (zoom) 

Location:             Lewis Hall 

Zoom (TA):        


Course Description

AMATH 352 is an introduction to matrices and their applications in science and engineering. Broadly speaking, students will learn to compute canonical matrix decompositions, both by hand and in MATLAB, to solve a variety of application problems. The emphasis is primarily computational, although theory and proofs will be explored whenever necessary. 

The course revolves around 5 units of study:

  • Introduction to Matrices and MATLAB
  • The LU and PLU Factorizations
  • The QR Factorization
  • The Spectral Decomposition
  • The Singular Value Decomposition

See the Course Component Skills for a list of specific topics in each unit to be covered. Corresponding roughly to these units are 4 in-class quizzes, 8 weekly homework assignments, and 1 (non-cumulative) final take-home quiz/reflection at the end of the quarter. There will be no examsin this class. In addition to homeworks and quizzes, it is expected that students participate in various in-class activities. For more about student assessment and feedback, see Grading.

Course Prerequisites

The student should have completed the standard calculus sequence (MATH 124-126). From these courses, students are expected to be familiar with the following:

  • Manipulate algebraic expressions and equations that involve fractions, radicals, exponents, logarithms, and trigonometric functions.
  • Compute derivatives of common functions using the rules of differentiation.
  • Integrate common functions using u-substitution or integration by parts.
  • Use sigma notation for finite and infinite series.

It is helpful if students have had coding experience in MATLAB (e.g. AMATH 300), although this is not required. 

Course Materials


The textbook for this course is the following two books/notes:

1 Applied Linear Algebra, Peter J. Olver & Chehrzad Shakiban, Springer Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics, 2006,  Vol 2. (Online access)

2 . Applied Linear Algebra and Numerical Analysis Notes (download)

The first textbook is free and can be downloaded from the link. The second book can be found free online when connected to UW wifi. (Click the link above.) A physical copy of the textbook is also available at the Mathematics Research Library

Other useful textbooks for the interested student include the following:

These textbooks may be accessed freely online.

Lecture Notes

I will also provide copies of my lecture notes, should you miss class and need a reference for self-study. We will not always follow the course textbook linearly nor will we cover all the material from it, so it is worthwhile to refer to my notes periodically to see where we are with the material. These lecture notes can be found under the canvas course Pages. 


Certain components of the homeworks in this class will require programming in MATLAB, so you must obtain access to either MATLAB or Octave (a free alternative).

For those who would like a head start or some support learning MATLAB, see the following links:

I will provide as many Matlab example codes for different assignments as possible. 

Course Component Skills

This course is broken down into a list of skills, called course component skills, that will be tested on all of our homeworks and quizzes. The course will be taught in order of these skills, so there should never be any surprises about where we are with the material/where we are going with the material. A detailed list of the course component skills can be found here: uw_amath_352_comp_skills.pdf

. You may want to use this list periodically when studying for quizzes. 


Assignments will be graded based on the following point system:

Homework 1-8


Quiz 1-4


Final Take-Home Quiz/Reflection




Mid-Quarter Survey




Presentation and Submission

Each homework should have a header containing your name and student number. Homework should be readable and organized: something that you are proud to submit. Up to two points may be deducted for homework that is illegible and/or poorly organized.

Students are encouraged to type homework solutions, and a half bonus point per homework will be awarded to students who use LaTeX, a gentle introduction of which can be found here (Links to an external site.). If students are not planning to type homeworks, I ask that homeworks be scanned. (I will not accept physical copies.) I recommend the app CamScanner (Links to an external site.) if access to a scanner in the library is limited. Homework will be assigned after class Friday and will be due to Canvas the following Friday at 11:59pm. There is a 10 minute grace period for those experiencing technical difficulties. Homeworks must be in .pdf format.

Homework 1-8

Each homework assignment consists of a number of component skills questions, which specifically address the course component skills, as well as one multi-step problem, which synthesizes the component skills covered in the assignment. In order to ensure that your homework assignment will receive full marks, you will need to complete the entire assignment, as I will not tell you ahead of time which of the component skills questions will be graded.

Homeworks that are illegible and/or poorly organized will be deducted up to 2 points. Conversely, if students use LaTeX to type their homeworks, a half bonus point will be added to the assignment. Homeworks should be graded and returned to you by the Monday following the due date; this is to help you study for upcoming quizzes. Should you have any disputes about the grading of your homework, please come to me, not the grader or TA.


You are encouraged to discuss homework questions with other students, especially during office hours, on Piazza/Discord, or on the Canvas discussion board, but please write your own homework solutions. If you work with other students on the homework, please acknowledge them in your work. Exercise academic integrity by citing your sources!

Late Homework Policy

You may turn in one homework assignment as late as you would like, up to 11:59pm on the Friday of the last day of class (3/11). Please email me when you submit a late homework, so I can inform the grader to check your work. Note that if you joined the course after the first week, you may submit Homework 0 as well as another assignment of your choosing late. Any subsequent late homeworks will be awarded 0 points. Exceptions are permissible only for documented school functions or documented illness/injury.


In-Class Quizzes

There will be 4 in-class quizzes + Final exam

  • Quiz 1:      Friday, January 21
  • Quiz 2:      Friday, February 4
  • Quiz 3:      Friday, February 18
  • Quiz 4:      Friday, March 4
  • Final:         Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Roughly speaking, quizzes will cover material from the previous two/three homework assignments (corresponding roughly to each unit of study), so they are not cumulative. 

Final Take-Home Quiz/Reflection

The final take-home quiz/reflection is divided into two parts. The first part is the quiz section of this assignment (similar to the in-class quizzes) and will cover material on the final two homeworks as well as material in the last weeks of class for which no homework had previously been assigned. This portion of the assignment will be worth a total of 55 points, to be graded based on partial credit. The remaining 5 points of the assignment will be earned by thoughtful completion of a final course reflection to be posted on Canvas. The take-home quiz/final reflection will be assigned at 12am on the day of the scheduled final exam and will be due that same day by 11:59pm to Canvas. You will have the full 24 hours to complete the assignment. Typing this assignment in LaTeX will earn you 1 bonus point.

As with homeworks, I expect you to cite your sources if you collaborate with other students. Failure to do so could result in violation of University of Washington's academic integrity policies.


Catalog Description:
Analysis and application of numerical methods and algorithms to problems in the applied sciences and engineering. Applied linear algebra, including eigenvalue problems. Emphasis on use of conceptual methods in engineering, mathematics, and science. Extensive use of MATLAB and/or Python for programming and solution techniques. Prerequisite: MATH 126 or MATH 136. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements Met:
Natural Sciences (NSc)
Last updated:
May 20, 2024 - 9:52 am