MAT167: Applied Linear Algebra


PageRank folks:

If you're having trouble finding a good data set from SNAP, check the instructions in [Final Project]. (Disregard this message if you are not having trouble with this.)

Final project information will be released next Thursday, 5/25

See HW06 for preliminary information about the final project. I won't be discussing the final project until after 5/25. For now, focus on HW07.

Return to usual participation slips Week 6

Consistent with the University's evening class policy, we are returning back to the usual class attendance policy starting Monday, May 8. Note also that the P/NP deadline has been moved to 5/19. This will be reflected on the class calendar soon.

No particpation grade Week 5

I have just sent out the following Canvas announcement:

Dear MAT167 students,

In light of the current safety concerns, I'm suspending the participation/attendance/in-class work requirement for this class, at least for this week. That is, for Week 5, everyone will get 100% in participation. I will reevaluate my policy for Week 6 based on any changes to the situation.

Subject to University-wide changes to instruction, I will still be giving lectures as usual. I will also continue to post my notes on the class website, which I strongly encourage you to go through if you are unable to come to class.

If you or a friend are struggling emotionally (for any reason, not just the recent events), I want to remind you that you have resources:
Student Health and Counseling Services: 530-752-2300
Office of Student Support: 530-752-1128
Text "RELATE" to 741741
For emergencies: 911

College is a stressful time; I myself started on the path to mental well-being during college. It's very hard to learn when you don't feel ok. So, take care of yourself, your mental and physical health, and your personal safety. And remember to get enough sleep!

Take care,
Dr. Zhang

Coffee with a Prof, with me, May 18

advertisement for coffee with a prof See the flyer image below / to the right (click to enlarge). Here's the sign-up link.

MATLAB Tutorials

Here are some [MATLAB Tutorials] on Youtube that you can use if you're having trouble getting started with MATLAB. We are only using simple functions entered in the terminal for HW01. Later on we'll move onto writing scripts.


We will be using MATLAB (“matrix laboratory”) software in this course. There are two ways for you to access MATLAB this quarter.
  1. As UCD undergrads, you can download MATLAB software by following the instructions at [this link].
  2. You can also use the computers in the undergraduate computer lab located on the second floor of the Mathematical Sciences Building. You'll have to make a lab account first, by following the instructions [here].
You will need to have access to MATLAB to complete HW01, which will be posted this Friday.

PTA Requests

Per math department policy, I am not responsible for PTAs. (“ Please do not request a PTA number from your instructor or a peer advisor.”) If you are emailing me for a PTA, please follow these steps:
  1. Check the math department PTA Policy, and check if your reason for requesting a PTA is acceptable per the policy.
  2. If you find a valid reason, please gather all your required materials (e.g. “The only appropriate documentation will be an e-mail from the student's major advisor confirming that the student has no other options.”) and email to state your case.
The math department student services will be more capable of handling PTAs, as once my course is filled, there is no way to expand the number of students I and the TA can accommodate. Student services may be able to find you an alternative or decide whether your PTA agrees with the math department policy.

Course information

Lectures: Olson Hall 106, 2:10 pm — 3:00 pm

[MAT167 Course Syllabus]

[MAT167 Class Calendar]

[MAT167 Course Textbook]

Course instructor: Dr. Melissa Zhang, MSB 2145

Instructor office hours: MSB 2145, Tuesdays 2 pm — 3 pm

Teaching assistant (TA): Xuxing Chen, MSB 3131

TA office hours: MSB 3131, Wednesdays 9 am — 12 noon

Final Project

The final project is due June 8th, 2023, at 11:59 pm on Gradescope.

All the information about the final project is available here: [Final Project PDF].

On HW08, you will get started on your final project.

For those working on PageRank

If you for some reason can't access the data from SNAP, follow these instructions:
  1. Go here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
  2. Download the file called "".
  3. Unzip the package to reveal three files. The two csv (comma-separated values) files are the vertices and edges. You can open these as text files to parse.
If you are unable to parse raw data, then find or build an example of a small graph representing a meaningful web of connections, and explain why PageRank is a valuable tool for understanding this system. You must explain why your example is nontrivial and discuss the results of your computations and their significance.



Homework 8 will be graded on effort. Your assignment is to do the following:
  1. Read through the final project PDF file. (See [Final Project].)
  2. Look into the topics, then choose your final project topic out of the options 1-4.
  3. Read the relevant sections of Moler for your project, and take notes on the background information needed to understand the application.
  4. Write a draft of the background section of your final project. This draft does not need to be perfect; I am not looking for perfectly crafted sentences. The purpose is to make sure you get started on your final project.
  5. Submit your notes and background section draft to Gradescope under the HW08 assignment.


This is our last standard homework. HW08 will be mostly focused on making sure you're working on your final project.





You will need the following data file: [hw03.mat]


Some typos have been fixed! Most importantly, in Exercise 3, you are supposed to compare with the 1-norm (not an arbitrary norm).


Here's the data for Exercise 1: [hw01.mat]


[Lecture 28 notes]

Lecture 27: [Prof. Saito's slides on text mining]

Lecture 26: [Prof. Saito's slides on handwritten digit recognition]

[Lecture 25 notes]

[Lecture 24 notes]

[Lecture 23 notes]

[Lecture 22 notes]

[Lecture 21 notes]

Here's how to compute the SVD of A using 3x3 matrices and by computing the columns of V first: [Hampton's SVD Example]

[Lecture 20 notes]

[Lecture 19 notes]

[Lecture 18 notes]

[Lecture 17 notes]

[Lecture 16 notes]

[Lecture 15 notes]

[Lecture 14 notes]

[Lecture 13 notes]

Lecture 12: Midterm Exam

[Midterm Exam] [Midterm Solutions]
Many students emailed me about missing the midterm exam for various reasons. This is fine; per the syllabus, your final project grade will then replace your midterm exam grade. If you took the midterm, your final exam grade will not replace your midterm grade. The midterms are now graded; please take a look at Gradescope to see what you missed.

[Lecture 11 notes]

We didn't really cover Householder transformations yet; we'll continue with this next Monday.

[Lecture 10 notes]

[Lecture 9 notes]

[Lecture 8 notes]

[Lecture 7 notes]

[Lecture 5 notes]

(This also includes some review material from Lecture 6. No additional notes will be posted for Lecture 6.)

[Lecture 4 notes]

[Lecture 3 notes]

[Lecture 2 notes]

[Lecture 1 notes]