Difference Equations and Linear Algebra--Fall Semester Only
ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
This is an introductory college mathematics course in finite difference equations and linear algebra. The topics covered include sequences, differences, linear and nonlinear difference equations, systems of difference equations, numerical solutions of linear and nonlinear equations, and analytical techniques for solving linear systems using linear algebra.
Applications from many fields are studied and the role of mathematical modeling is a central focus. Formal computer labs are a part of the course each week, with Excel being the primary software employed.
Do I need a calculator?
A calculator is not required for this course, but I highly encourage you to procure a one (TI-83, 85, 89, Voyage 200, etc). Near the end of the semester we will do matrix computations; it's possible to do these by hand, I wouldn't recommend it. Plus, calculators are allowed during exams. I have and will demo things on a TI - Voyage 200 but the others listed above are perfectly acceptable.
Course Requirements and Grading:Homework - 20% of final grade
Homework will generally be assigned daily. The majority of your homework will be done online using our WebWork system, but some assignments will be written problems. All homework assignments will be weighted equally. You may discuss the problems with other students in the class (in fact you are encouraged to do so!), but make sure you can solve the problems on your own before the exam. I encourage you to procure a binder in which you write detailed notes on how you solve each Webwork problem - This will be a valuable study tool for the exams. No late homework will be accepted. I will drop your two lowest homework scores.
Labs - 20% of final grade
We will meet in the computer lab (SH 146) on most Fridays (announcements will be made in class and posted on Moodle). You will have an assignment directly involving computer applications. These assignments must be completed and turned in as typed lab reports (MS Word with equation editor is recommended). Labs reports will generally involve more written explanations than calculations. Labs will be submitted on Moodle on the following Friday and will be graded on a 20-point scale based on the accuracy of the calculations and the quality of the written explanations. Labs may be done in pairs, but include both names on the write-up.
Exams - 45% of final grade
There will be three 50-minute exams all weighted equally. While these exams focus on the material since the preceding one, there may be questions from prior material. Exams may include questions over the laboratory exercises. The tentative exam dates - all on Fridays - are Sept 19, Oct 17, and Nov 14. Do not miss exams! If you absolutely must miss an exam, you must make other arrangements with me in advance or risk a grade of zero.
Final - 15% of final grade
The final exam is comprehensive, covering material from the entire semester. The final exam will be Saturday, December 13 from 1-2:45. Note that it is college policy that the date and time of the final exam cannot be changed. Please keep this in mind when you make your end-of-semester travel plans. Note it is not a mistake; the exam is on a Saturday. I'll say more about this in class.
Class Attendance: class attendance is obligatory, it is checked every class day and it is reflected in the course attendance sheet that is sent to the University.
An 85% of attendance is required for the successful completion of the course. Not missing any class will be considered positively.
If a student exceeds this limit, the grade in the transcript for this subject could appear as "not attended course."
Justified absences: Medical Certificates: certificates will be considered only if issued by a physician (not notes from the family explaining the student absence). The certificates must include the exact dates for which a student should be excused for having missed classes.
The students should express themselves -both orally and in writing- in good formal English. Particularly in the written partials and quizzes, as well as the presentations, good academic writing is essential. Bad, sloppy academic writing (misspellings, deficient syntax, etc.) will be penalized.
Auditors: Courses cannot be taken as auditors, thus attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.
Tardiness: It is expected that students arrive to class on time and that they return directly to class after any given break. Arriving 10 minutes late (or more) and/or early class departures are considered unexcused absences and will be taken into account as half absence.
Class Protocol: Students are required to be involved in class activities. They are expected to show their preparation by participating in discussions, by asking relevant questions, being critical and analytical with the contents presented in class as well as by sharing their ideas and opinions. In class the student is required to maintain a polite demeanor always and under every circumstance. Students are asked not to eat in class and to put their cell phones on silence. With the exception being for class presentations, laptops are not to be used in class.
Special Accommodations: Students with special needs who require reasonable modifications, special assistance or accommodations in this course (either for properly following-up classes, to take exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first week of the course.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations