Linear Algebra with Computer Science Applications (CSCI 2820)

General information:

Course Description:

In brief, this course introduces the fundamentals of linear algebra in the context of computer science applications. It includes definitions of vectors and matrices, their various operations, linear functions and equations, and least squares. It also includes the basics of floating point computation and numerical linear algebra. The list of covered topics are mentioned in details below.

In this course, the studnets will become comfortable working with the basic tools in linear algebra and also familiar with several computer science applications throughout the semester.


  • Requires prerequisite courses of (CSCI 2270 or CSCI 2275) and APPM 1360 or MATH 2300 (all minimum grade C-).

List of principal topics includes:

  • Vectors:

    • Notation and terminology

    • Vector operations

    • Inner product

    • Linear functions, Taylor approximation, and regression model

    • Complex numbers and vectors

    • Norm, distance, and angle

    • Linear independence, basis, orthonormal vectors, and Gram–Schmidt algorithm

  • Matrices:

    • Notation and terminology

    • Matrix operations

    • Matrix inverses

    • Orthogonal matrices

    • QR factorization

    • Linear equations

  • Least squares:

    • Least squares data fitting

    • Multi-objective least squares

    • Constrained least squares

    • Nonlinear least squares

  • Eigenvalues and eigenvectors (if we have time)

Lecture Notes:

  • Tentative lecture notes for this course prepared by Prof. S. Boyd and L. Vandenberghe can be found in this link.



  • Assignments: 30%

    • Assignments will be assigned every Wednesday, and due the next week Friday. Please upload an acceptable format, such as jpg or pdf on Canvas (You may take a picture of written howework and upload it).

    • Late policy: Assignment grades will be discounted by 10% every day that the homework is late. After Sunday midnight, late homework will not be accepted.

    • Assignment solutions: Solutions will be posted on Canvas the Monday after they are due.

    • Collaborations are allowed. However, students should come up with their own solutions.

  • Midterm exam: 30% (on March 11, 2020, from 5:30 PM till 7:00 PM in room CASE E240)

  • Final exam: 40%

  • Accommodation for Disabilities
    If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit your accommodation letter from Disability Services to your faculty member in a timely manner so that your needs can be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities in the academic environment. Information on requesting accommodations is located on the Disability Services website. Contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 or for further assistance. If you have a temporary medical condition or injury, see Temporary Medical Conditions under the Students tab on the Disability Services website.

  • Classroom Behavior
    Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, political affiliation or political philosophy. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records. For more information, see the policies on classroom behavior and the Student Code of Conduct.

  • Honor Code
    All students enrolled in a University of Colorado Boulder course are responsible for knowing and adhering to the Honor Code. Violations of the policy may include: plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, lying, bribery, threat, unauthorized access to academic materials, clicker fraud, submitting the same or similar work in more than one course without permission from all course instructors involved, and aiding academic dishonesty. All incidents of academic misconduct will be reported to the Honor Code (; 303-492-5550). Students who are found responsible for violating the academic integrity policy will be subject to nonacademic sanctions from the Honor Code as well as academic sanctions from the faculty member. Additional information regarding the Honor Code academic integrity policy can be found at the Honor Code Office website.

  • Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment and/or Related Retaliation
    The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is committed to fostering a positive and welcoming learning, working, and living environment. CU Boulder will not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct intimate partner abuse (including dating or domestic violence), stalking, protected-class discrimination or harassment by members of our community. Individuals who believe they have been subject to misconduct or retaliatory actions for reporting a concern should contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) at 303-492-2127 or Information about the OIEC, university policies, anonymous reporting, and the campus resources can be found on the OIEC website.

    Please know that faculty and instructors have a responsibility to inform OIEC when made aware of incidents of sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment and/or related retaliation, to ensure that individuals impacted receive information about options for reporting and support resources.

  • Religious Holidays
    Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to deal reasonably and fairly with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance. In this class, you should notify your instructor of any conflict at least two weeks in advance.

    See the campus policy regarding religious observances for full details.