Introduction

Matrix Algebra with Computational Applications is a collection of Open Educational Resource (OER) materials designed to introduce students to the use of Linear Algebra to solve real world problems. These materials were developed specifically for students and instructors working in a “flipped classroom” model that emphasizes hands-on problem solving activities during class meetings, with students watching lectures and completing readings and assignments outside of the classroom. The materials are organized into a semester long course with “pre-class” and “in-class” assignments. The “pre-class” assignments include readings, video lectures and coding projects (in Python), which students are expected to complete before attending class. The in-class assignments consist of hands-on individual and group activities intended to be completed during class. These in-class activities are supervised by the instructors, who actively answer questions and help guide the students in achieving the learning goals for the course.

To be successful in this course, students need to have strong Python programming skills. Students will leverage these coding skills to write programs that use Linear Algebra to solve science and engineering problems. Although it is important for students to understand the mathematical concepts behind the materials, this course is not intended to teach students how to do mathematical proofs.

These Open Educational Resources (OER) were developed as part of a restructuring of the Michigan State University Matrix Algebra Course (MTH314) in Fall Semester of 2017. All of the OER materials are provided as Jupyter notebooks, which are open source tools that integrate multiple resources (websites, word processors, LaTeX, math, and programming) into a digital “notebook.”

Instructors interested in using these materials are encouraged to reach out to Dr. Dirk Colbry (colbrydi@msu.edu) in advance to gain access to additional materials and examples designed to support teaching and student evaluation.

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