University of Connecticut College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of Mathematics
Math 3160 Spring 2022 (Roby)

Tom Roby's Math 3160 Home Page Spring 2022
Applied Linear Algebra

Questions or Comments?

  • For questions about the course material or structure: Please ask in the appropriate discussion forum in Zulip. (If you ask me such questions by email, I will redirect you there.) You can also talk to your classmates or me during class and right afterwards.
  • For questions about using HuskyCT: Once you are logged in to HuskyCT, click Student Help in the top bar.
  • For questions about enrollment, your individual circumstances, or suggestions for improving future versions of the course: Please email me: Tom Roby (delete initials from end).
  • My Homepage:
  • Office: MONT 239; Phone: 860-486-8385 (no voicemail)
  • Office hours: Mondays at 3:14 and by appointment at the following Zoom link: Feel free also to catch me right before or after class. I am happy to schedule appointments by email, which I check frequently.

Class Information

COORDINATES: Classes will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30–10:45 in MONT 320 (Section 003) once in-person classes resume. Until then, we will conduct classes over Zoom. A link will be sent by email and available in HuskyCT to registered students.

PREREQUISITES: Calculus, up to and including series, limits, partial differentiation, and multiple integration, i.e., MATH 2110Q, 2130Q or 2143Q.

TEXT: We will follow the UConn-developed Open Educational Resource UConn Undergraduate Probability OER. Please read ahead or watch video lectures for the week before coming to class.

VIDEO LECTURES: Joe Chen and I developed a complete set of video lectures for the course, which you are welcome to use at any time. I often recommend listening to them at slightly higher speed (say 1.5x), then stopping and maybe repeating any points you find difficult. Many students have found them helpful.

WEB RESOURCES: The homepage for this course will be available and updated at

HuskyCT: We will make limited use of HuskyCT, because of its many deficiencies. I may post solutions to Quizzes there. It now links to Gradescope, which is where you will turn in your HW. For classroom discussions, we will use Zulip (now that Piazza requires payment).

GRADING: Your grade will be based on two midterm exams, a final exam, weekly quizzes, and homework, weighted as follows:

Midterm 1 Midterm 2 Final Quizzes Homework
15% 15% 30% 30% 10%

EXAMS: The midterm dates are already scheduled (see below), so please mark your calendars now. The final exam is scheduled by the registrar around mid-semester. No makeups will be given; instead if you have an approved reason for missing an exam, your other exams will count for the appropriately higher percentage. If you miss the final for reasons approved by the Dean of Students, then you will have one chance to take a make-up final exam in the second or third week of the following term. I reserve the right to give a followup oral exam to verify your understanding if there are any questions about academic integrity.

QUIZZES: Quizzes of about 10–15 minutes will be given each Tuesday (except midterm exam weeks), covering the previous week's material (at the level of HW exercises). There are no makeup quizzes; however, your lowest two quiz scores will be dropped. Here is a sample Practice Quiz so you know ahead of time what the format will be. (Solutions will be provided below.)

STUDENT WORKFLOW: For each week, you should

  1. Read the text or watch the video lectures ahead of time.
  2. Attempt the exercises for the chapters covered.
  3. Show up to class prepared to ask questions and go over problems; we will keep class as active as possible.
  4. Homework will be due the Sunday after we cover that chapter and is graded on completion, not accuracy. Solutions are included in the text.
  5. Use the ZULIP DISCUSSION BOARD, classroom interactions, and office hours anytime you get seriously stuck.
  6. Be prepared for the QUIZ on the material the following Tuesday.

This course will be fast-paced and cover quite a bit of material. Many students need this course to pass an actuarial exam, for which we cover the minimum syllabus. I strongly encourage you to work ahead whenever possible, since you never know when circumstances beyond your control may conspire to set you behind. The video lectures for the entire semester are already available.

ZULIP: The Zulip discussion board allows you to ask questions and interact with one another (and the instructor) between class meetings. It is an open-source platform similar in feel to Slack. We use Zulip because of its excellent ability to include math notation using LaTeX/MathJax. The quality and quantity of your posts in Zulip count towards your participation grade. If you don't have questions, please try to help out your fellow students who might be confused, or post a summary of the video lecture.

HOMEWORK: Recommended homework is assigned for each chapter, and is due in HuskyCT/Gradescope by 11:59PM SUNDAY following the week that section is covered. These are graded for completion, not accuracy. Solutions are available, but please attempt problems before you look at the solutions. Getting stuck and unstuck is a key learning strategy. In order to be well-prepared for quizzes and exams you should be able to do all the homework problems.

You may find some homework problems to be challenging, leading you to spend lots of time working on them and sometimes get frustrated. This is natural. I encourage you to work with other people in person or electronically. It's OK to get significant help from any resource, but in the end, please write your own solution in your own words. Copying someone else's work without credit is plagiarism and will be dealt with according to university policy. Equally importantly, it is a poor learning strategy.

LATE/UNREADABLE ASSIGNMENTS: Late homework and worksheets (up to 48 hours beyond the 2-hour grace period) will receive half credit, after that none. Homework and worksheets that are not easily readable (e.g., because of bad photo quality) will not be graded and will not receive credit. Various smartphone scanning apps can help produce very readable PDF images of your work.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Please make sure you are familiar with and abide by The Student Code governing Academic Integrity in Undergraduate Education and Research. For exams you may not discuss the material with anyone other than the instructor or offical proctor, and no calculators, phones, slide rules or other devices designed to aid communication or computation may be used unless otherwise specifically indicated on the exam.

CONTENT: Probability is a beautiful and important subject, rich in applications within mathematics and to many other disciplines. It a foundation for understanding statistics, artificial intelligence and many aspects of life.

ACCESSIBILITY & DISABILITY ISSUES: Please contact me and UConn's Center for Students with Disabilities as soon as possible (BUT NO LATER THAN END OF WEEK 2) if you have any accessibility issues, have a (documented) disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, or if you would need assistance in the event of an emergency. In particular, CSD wants a great deal of lead time for scheduling exams.

LEARNING: The only way to learn mathematics is by doing it! Complete each assignment to the best of your ability, and get help when you are confused. Take advantage of the online discussions and office hours and the wealth of information on the web. Especially for learning this subject, it is important to do lots of problems—many more than I could reasonably assign you to hand in. Note that almost all problems are word problems, and careful attention to language is imperative.

Week Dates Reading Topics Videos (optional) Homework ETC
1 1/18–21 Chapter 1 Combinatorics: Permutations, Combinations, Binomial Coefficients Video Lectures 01a, 01b, 01c All of §1.3 Practice Quiz #1
2 1/24–29 Chapter 2 The probability setup Video Lectures 02a, 02b All of §2.3
3 1/31–2/4 Chapter 3 AND Chapter 4 Independence & Conditional Probability Video Lecture 3a (Chapt. 3) AND 3b and 3c (Chapt. 4) All of §3.3 & §4.3
4 2/7–11 Chapter 5 Random variables Video Lectures 4a and 4b All of §5.3
5 2/14–18 Chapters 1–5 REVIEW & EXAM WEEK
6 2/21–25 Chapter 6 Some discrete Distributions Video Lectures 4c and 4d (Chapt. 6) All of §6.3
7 2/28–3/4 Chapter 7 Continuous Distributions Video Lecture 5a (Chapt. 7) All of §7.3
8 3/7–3/11 Chapter 8 AND Chapter 9 Normal Distribution & Normal Approximations Video Lectures 5b (Chapt. 8–9) All of §8.3 & §9.1
9 3/21–25 Chapter 10 Some continuous distributions Video Lectures 5c and 5d (Chapt. 10) All of §10.3
10 3/28–4/1 Chapters 1–5 REVIEW & EXAM WEEK
11 4/4–8 Chapter 11 Multivariate Distributions Video Lectures 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d (Chapt. 11) All of §11.7
12 4/11–15 Chapter 12 Expectation Video Lectures 7a, 7b, 7c (Chapt. 12) All of §12.4
13 4/18–22 Chapter 13 Moment generating functions Video Lectures 7d and 7e (Chapt. 13) All of §13.3
14 4/25–29 Chapter 14 AND Chapter 15 Limit laws, modes of convergence, and Inequalities Video Lectures 8a and 8b (Chapt. 14) All of §14.4
TUESDAY 3 MAY, 08:00-10:00: FINAL EXAM (covers entire course)

Web Resources



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