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Unit information: Linear Algebra 2 in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Linear Algebra 2
Unit code MATH21100
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Mark Hagen
Open unit status Not open

MATH11005 Linear Algebra and Geometry



School/department School of Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Science


Unit Aims

This unit further develops the theory of vector spaces over arbitrary fields and linear maps between them. Topics include quotient spaces, dual spaces, determinants, and canonical forms of linear maps. The unit also introduces bilinear and quadratic forms, and touches on linear algebra over the ring of integers.

Unit Description

This unit continues the study of vector spaces over arbitrary fields begun in level C/4. Emphasis is on building insight into the concepts and reasoning clearly from basic definitions. Much of the unit is devoted to formulation and proof of the key results. The tools developed are essential in a variety of areas, both pure and applied, such as geometry, differential equations, group theory and functional analysis.

A major goal is to show that any linear operator on a vector space, even if it is not diagonalisable, has a certain canonical form, the "Jordan normal form". Another aim is to generalise inner products by defining and investigating bilinear and quadratic "forms" on vector spaces. There is also an introduction to linear algebra over the ring of integers, including the classification of finitely-generated abelian groups.

Relation to Other Units

This unit develops the linear algebra material from first year Linear Algebra and Geometry, giving a general and abstract treatment, using central algebraic structures, such as groups, rings, and fields. This material is an essential part of Pure Mathematics; it is a prerequisite for Representation Theory, and is relevant to other Pure Mathematics units at levels 3 and 4, particularly Functional Analysis.

Intended learning outcomes

Learning Objectives

Students will deepen their understanding of vector spaces and the natural maps between them. They will be able to state, use and prove fundamental results in linear algebra.sustained argument in a form comprehensible to others.

Transferable Skills

Assimilation of abstract ideas. Reasoning in an abstract context. Setting out a sustained argument in a form comprehensible to others.

Teaching details

Lectures, problem classes, problems to be done by the students, and solutions to these problems.

Assessment Details

90% Examination
10% Coursework

Raw scores on the examinations will be determined according to the marking scheme written on the examination paper. The marking scheme, indicating the maximum score per question, is a guide to the relative weighting of the questions. Raw scores are moderated as described in the Undergraduate Handbook.

If you fail this unit and are required to resit, reassessment is by a written examination in the August/September Resit and Supplementary exam period.

Reading and References


  • Richard Kaye and Robert Wilson, Linear Algebra, OUP, 1998 (Chapters 1,2,4,7-14)
  • Harvey E. Rose, Linear Algebra, a pure mathematical approach, Birkhauser Verlag, 2002 (Chapters 1-4, and the first part of Chapter 7)


  • P. M. Cohn, Algebra, Volume 1, Second Edition, Wiley, 1982 (A more advanced textbook; chapters 4, 5, 7, 8, 11)
  • Paul R. Halmos, Finite-dimensional Vector Spaces, 2nd Edition Springer-Verlag, 1974 (An older classic; chapters I and II)