MATH 165

Linear Algebra with Differential Equations


Eric Hopper
E-mail: eric DOT hopper at rochester dot edu
Office: Hylan 813
Lectures: MW 12:30-1:45PM in Harkness 115
Office Hours: W 4-5PM in Todd 202, Th 4-5PM on Zoom (see Blackboard for link)
Juan Rivera-Letelier
E-mail: riveraletelier at gmail dot com
Office: Hylan 811
Lectures: MW 9-10:15AM in Dewey 2162
Lectures online for the month of January (see Blackboard for zoom meeting link info)
Office Hours: W 4:30-5:30pm, or by appointment.
Office Hour Zoom Meeting ID: 971 6215 6586
Carlos Rojas-Mena
E-mail: crojasmena1 at gmail dot com
Office: Hylan 711
Lectures: MW 2-3:15PM in Dewey 2162.
Lectures online for the month of January (see Blackboard for zoom meeting link info)
Office Hours: TBA.
Office Hour Zoom Meeting ID: TBA.
Jonathan Pakianathan
E-mail: jonathan dot pakianathan at rochester dot edu
Office: Hylan 809
Lectures: MW 10:25-11:40AM in Meliora 203.
Lectures online for the month of January (see Blackboard for zoom meeting link info)
Office Hours: T/Th 11AM-noon in Hylan 809 or zoom meeting room 585 275 2216.


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:

First Midterm
Thursday, Feb 17 at 8-9:20 AM.
Location Hubbell and Lander Auditoriums.
Second Midterm
Tuesday, March 29 at 8-9:20 AM
Location Hubbell and Lander Auditoriums.
Students in Pakianathan, Hopper and Rojas-Mena sections take exam in Hubbell while Rivera-Letelier section takes exam in Lander.
Final Exam
Monday, May 2 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.

Internet access and webcam access (usually part of most smartphones and computers) are prerequisites to take this course, especially in the month of January when lectures will be online.

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.

  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, Jan 28. 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:

  • Odd numbered homework sets: Charles Brittenham.

  • Even numbered homework sets: Vanessa Matus De La Parra.

MTH 165 Online Study Hall

MTH 165 Study Hall starts Friday, Jan 28. 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:

Vanessa Matus De La Parra: Friday, 11AM-noon in zoom room 954 0312 2650.

Charles Brittenham: Friday noon-1PM in zoom room 954 0312 2650.

Math 165 Study Hall link is for the month of January. It will probably resume to be in-person in February.

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.

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.

To summarize:

  1. Webwork: Collaboration allowed.
  2. Written Homework: Collaboration allowed, and must be stated.
  3. Midterms and Final: Collaboration not allowed.