MATH 165

Linear Algebra with Differential Equations


165-1: Jonathan Pakianathan
E-mail: jonathan dot pakianathan at rochester dot edu
Office: Hylan 809
Lectures: MW 10:25-11:40 AM in Goergen 101.
Office Hours: T/Th 11AM-noon in Hylan 809 or zoom meeting room 585 275 2216.
165-2: Joshua Sumpter
E-mail: jsumpter at math dot rochester dot edu
Office: Office hours and student meetings will be held via Zoom.
Lectures: TR 12:30-1:45 PM online on Zoom (Meeting ID: 992 6430 0303).
Office Hours: WF 12:30-1:30 PM via Zoom (Meeting ID: 285 037 9846)
165-3: Min Sik Han
E-mail: minsik dot han at rochester dot edu
Office: TBA
Lectures: MW 3:25-4:40 PM in Dewey 2162.
Office Hours: TBA
165-4: Saul Lubkin
E-mail: saul dot lubkin at rochester dot edu
Office: Hylan 705
Lectures: MW 9-10:15 AM in person in Lattimore 201.
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays: 12-1:30PM, in person, in Hylan 705;
and online via zoom 273 460 6197
165-12: Vanessa Matus De La Parra
E-mail: vmatusde at ur dot rochester dot edu
Office: TBA
Lectures: MW 2-3:15 PM online on zoom.
Office Hours: TBA


Differential Equations and Linear Algebra (4th edition) by Goode and Annin.

Course Description

This course spends about two thirds of the semester covering basic linear algebra and one third of the semester on differential equations. Applications to physical, engineering, and life sciences. Topics covered include matrix algebra and inverses, Gaussian elimination and solving systems of linear equations, determinants, vector spaces, linear dependence, bases, dimension, eigenvalue problems. First order differential equations including separable equations and linear equations. Linear nth order differential equations with constant coefficients, undetermined coefficients, first order linear homogenous systems of differential equations.

Prerequisites: MTH 162, 143, or 172. This is a strict prerequisite; MTH 162 and 165 cannot be taken concurrently. MTH 164 is not a prerequisite for MTH 165.

This course follows the College credit hour policy for four-credit courses. This course meets 3 academic hours per week. Students may also be expected to deepen their understanding of the course material through close examination/evaluation of the readings assigned in the course.

Exams and Grading

There will be two midterm exams and a final exam at the following times. Note our exams are given at a date and time which the registrar has blocked off for 1st and 2nd year math courses. No University of Rochester activity be it a music lesson, sports or another class may legally be mandated during this math common exam time. Thus the only accepted conflict for such a math exam is another 1st or 2nd year math course exam at the same common exam time.

First Midterm
Tuesday, Oct 3 at 8-9:20 AM.
Location: Hubbell Auditorium (Pakianathan, Sumpter, Lubkin sections) or Hoyt Auditorium (Matus De La Parra, Min Sik Han sections).
There will be an alternate midterm right after the main one for students who have documented conflicts with another math course during the common exam time. We will announce details to those who verify such a conflict at least 2 weeks before the exam (we will confirm the conflict with the other math instructor). These alternates for those with math conflicts will be available for both midterms and the final.
Second Midterm
Tuesday, Nov 7 at 8-9:20 AM
Location: Hubbell Auditorium (Pakianathan, Sumpter, Lubkin sections) or Hoyt Auditorium (Matus De La Parra, Min Sik Han sections).
Final Exam
Sunday, Dec 17 at 12:30-3:30 PM.
The Final will consist of two parts, Part A covering the material of the midterms and Part B covering the material since midterm 2. Part A can be used to replace your worst midterm score (but not both) if it is better. It always counts for the final score so must be taken even if one does not need to replace a midterm score.

Your grade for the course will be based on your performance on exams, quizzes and homework:

  • Two Midterm Exams 20% each.
  • Final Exam 30%
  • 12 WeBWorK assignments 25% (approx 2% each)
  • Best 10 out of 12 Written Homework assignments 5% (0.5% each)

If a student misses a midterm whether it be for medical or other reason, they would be expected to use Part A of the final as its replacement.

You will NOT be permitted calculators or other electronic devices (iPhone, smart watches, etc.) on any exams. You will NOT be permitted books, notes, or cheat sheat on any exams.

Incomplete “I” grades are almost never given. The only justification is a documented serious medical problem or a genuine personal/family emergency. Falling behind in this course or problems with workload on other courses are not acceptable reasons.


Homework comes in three forms. You may discuss homework problems with other students, but your submitted work must be your own. You may consult your text, your instructors, the course TAs, and the grad students in the study hall, but you may not search for solutions on the internet.

  1. The first is WebWork exercises, due Fridays at 11:59pm. To access webwork click the “Webwork link” at the top of the Learning Modules page of the MTH 165 blackboard site. WeBWorK problems count for 25% of the total grade. All 12 webwork homework sets count for approximately 2% course grade each. Please note that extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. A crowded schedule or minor illness are NOT valid reasons to ask for an extension. If you know you will be absent from school for an extended period, inform your instructor as early as possible so arrangements can be made. Please ask questions about WebWork exercises well before they are due. The first webwork that counts for your grade is WebWork 1 which is due Friday, Sep 15. There is an optional WebWork 00 which teaches you how to use webwork that does NOT count for your grade due the week before on Friday, Sep 8.

  2. Secondly, there will be a weekly written exercise posted here: homework. Written assignments count for 5% of the total grade. Since WebWork cannot grade the quality of your explanations, the written homework serves this purpose. If you do not show your steps and reasoning, you will not receive credit. Written assignments are due Fridays at 11:59pm and must be uploaded to the online grading portal gradescope. The first written assignment will be due in the third week of classes on Friday, Sep 15. Only the best 10 out of 12 written homework assignments count and each counts for 0.5% of course grade.

  3. For extra practice, optional homework problems are listed as supplementary exercises in each week’s folder in the learning modules on Blackboard. These problems do not count towards the grade.

For questions regarding grading of written homework, the graders are (emails are only listed on blackboard):

  • Odd numbered homework sets: Haoyuan Tian.

  • Even numbered homework sets: Debanshu Ghosh.

MTH 165 Online Study Hall

MTH 165 Study Hall starts Friday, Sep 15. It is optional and you only have to go if you have questions about the homework or course material. The following graduate TAs for the course will be available to help with your questions at this study hall:

Haoyuan Tian: Thursdays 6:15-7:15 PM in Hylan 1101.

Debanshu Ghosh: Fridays 5-6 PM in Hylan 1101.

This MTH165 study hall is exclusively for MTH 165 students and staffed by highly knowledgable MTH 165 TAs. You are strongly encouraged to attend; homework problems will be discussed and if you have any questions related to MTH 165 this is a great resource for help. Feel free to come by anytime during the hours listed; no appointment necessary.

General Online Math Study Hall

There is also a general math study hall for all 1st and 2nd year math classes held on zoom from 5-8 PM, Monday through Thursday with link at this website. The graduate students manning this hall can help with MTH 165 questions but also will be fielding questions in the same room for other math classes.

MTH 165 Learning Center Study Group

The learning center is also conducting a MATH165 Study group led by Linh Tran which will meet Tuesdays 5-6:15 PM, in Meliora 206.

WeBWorK Feedback

All WeBWorK problems have a button to “Email WeBWorK TA.” Clicking this button allows you to write a message that is emailed to the instructors and a “WeBWorK TA”. The WeBWorK TA will get back to you within a day or so (and maybe sooner). You do not have to copy out the problem, the system automatically does this. If WeBWorK won’t accept your answer, then say what that answer is and how you came up with it. It helps if you give some idea of your thought process. Be aware that email sent after 5pm on Friday night will almost certainly not get a reply before the set closes. Note that this should be used for WeBWorK feedback only, if you want to contact your instructor you should email them directly.

Disability Support

If you have an academic need related to a disability, arrangements can be made to accomodate most needs. For information, please contact the Office of Disability Resources. To be granted alternate testing accommodations, you (the student) must fill out forms with this office at least seven days before each and every exam. These forms are not sent automatically. Instructors are not responsible for requesting alternative testing accommodations for you, and they are not obligated to make any accommodations without prior approval from the office of disability services.

Academic Integrity Statement

All assignments and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester’s Academic Honesty Policy. Any violation of academic integrity will be pursued according to the specified procedures.

In this course, on homework, you may collaborate with other students also taking the course. You may also use resources such as study group discussions, study halls, office hours, and any online learning materials aside from direct solution sets. You may also talk to students outside the class or tutors as long as they provide only general guidance and you write up the solution on your own at the end. In all cases, you must always internalize the work . This means that after finishing the homework, you should be able to reproduce the solution of problems without any help from anyone or the use of outside resources besides the textbook and a basic calculator. Remember, homework is only 30 percent of the grade and is meant to help
you to learn the material so you can be prepared for the exams and your future work.

For written homework, please write the name of collaborators on the top of the first page of your submission.

During exams, you may not obtain help from anyone else nor use any notes, book or electronic device such as phone, calculator, computer etc.

The use of homework solution sites like is strictly prohibited. You may google general concepts or look at videos providing examples of solving general type problems but attempts to find complete solutions to specific homework questions online is prohibited and contrary to the University of Rochester academic honesty policy.

To summarize:

  1. Webwork: Collaboration allowed.
  2. Written Homework: Collaboration allowed, and must be stated.
  3. Midterms and Final: Collaboration not allowed.
  4. Always internalize solutions even if you work with others on a problem. Understand the final solution well enough that you can write it up on your own without consulting anyone else’s work.