625.252.82 - Linear Algebra and Its Applications

Applied and Computational Mathematics
Spring 2024


This course is a study of linear systems of equations, vector spaces, and linear transformations in the context of applications including basic data fitting, polynomial interpolation and network flow. The following topics and their basic applications are covered: Gaussian elimination, matrix algebra, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, diagonalization, linear independence, basis and dimension of vector spaces, orthogonality, Gram-Schmidt process and least-squares method. No software is required. Note for those planning to also take EN.625.609 Matrix Theory: EN.625.252 covers a broad range of topics in linear algebra and its applications at an introductory level, while EN.625.609 focuses in depth on the fundamental theoretical properties of matrices and the consequent significant applications. EN.625.252 introduces basic proof writing techniques, theoretical background and knowledge of applications that will be useful for EN.625.609. Prerequisite(s): EN.625.108 Calculus I. Course Note(s): Not for Graduate Credit


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Joseph Cutrone

Course Structure

The course materials are divided into modules which can be accessed by clicking Course Modules on the course menu. A module will have several sections including the overview, content, readings, discussions, and assignments. You are encouraged to preview all sections of the module before starting. Most modules run for a period of seven (7) days, exceptions are noted in the Course Outline. You should regularly check the Calendar and Announcements for assignment due dates.

Course Topics

Course Goals

The main goal of the course is to see the beautiful interplay between geometry and basic algebra that allows to solve many fundamental problems in finite-dimensional linear spaces.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)


Lay, D. C. et al (2016). Linear Algebra and its Applications (6th ed.) Pearson Education.

ISBN-13: 9780135851258

Student Coursework Requirements

It is expected that each module will take approximately 8-11 hours per week to complete. Here is an approximate breakdown:  online lectures (3 hours per week), reading the assigned sections of the texts (approximately 2–3 hours per week), and assignments (approximately 3–5 hours per week).

This course will consist of the following basic student requirements:


Homework assigned for each week. Your lowest homework grade will be dropped.


There will be 2 mid-term exams.  There will be a cumulative final exam the last week of class. All exams are due by end of day Sunday of the exam week.  Follow all directions as stated in each exam module.


There will be a short online quiz each week. There are two attempts at the quiz and the questions are pulled randomly during each attempt.  The higher of the two attempts counts for the grade. Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped.

Discussion Forums

Each week you are to post your initial response to the discussion by Thursday night and respond to at least two classmates by end of day Sunday. 


There are group projects in this course that will focus on problem solving and mathematical communication.  See each project direction sheet in the course for more details. 

Grading Policy

EP uses a +/- grading system (see “Grading System”, Graduate Programs catalog, p. 10).

Score RangeLetter Grade
100-98= A+
97-94= A
93-90= A−
89-87= B+
86-83= B
82-80= B−
79-77= C+
76-73= C
72-70= C−
69-67= D+
66-63= D
<63= F

Course Evaluation

Your final grade for the class will be given as a weighted average with the weights given as follows:

- Discussion Forums: 10%

- Homework: 10%   (lowest grade dropped)

- Quizzes: 15%  (lowest grade dropped)

- Projects: 15%

- First mid-term: 15%

- Second mid-term: 15%

- Final exam: 20% 

In addition to counting as the final exam, the final will replace a lower midterm grade if applicable. 

Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.