The linear algebra curriculum study group recommendations for the first course in linear algebra. (English)

Carlson, D. et al., Resources for teaching linear algebra. Mathematical Association of America, Washington, DC (ISBN 0-88385-150-4). 53-58 (1997).

These recommendations were formulated at an NSF-funded Workshop held in Williamsburg in 1990. They have since been widely disseminated by individuals involved in the project, in a variety of meetings and in the previous appearance of the article in the College Mathematics Journal. Thus, they have become one of the foci of teaching reform in linear algebra, and as such are referred to in a number of the other papers in this volume. A listing of the recommendations is given. The paper includes justification for the recommendations: 1. The syllabus and presentation of the first course in linear algebra must respond to the needs of client discipliens. 2. Mathematics departments should seriously consider making their first course in linear algebra a matrix-oriented course. 3. Faculty should consider the needs and interests of students as learners. 4. Faculty should be encouraged to utilize technology in the first linear algebra course. 5. At least one “second course” in matrix theory/linear algebra should be a high priority for every mathematics curriculum. The paper also includes a Core Syllabus designed to present a list of the most important topics for such a course, which is brief enough to allow sufficient time for students to master these core topics.