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Department of Mathematics & Statistics

MATH103 Supplementary Algebra 2

Second SemesterAlso available:  First Semester
9 points

*** Not available in 2019! ***

This 9-point half-paper covers methods and applications of algebra, building on MATH 160/101. It consists of the algebra component of MATH 170. However, it is not by itself a sufficient foundation for second-year algebra (MATH 241, MATH 242, MATH 272) - for these papers, MATH 170 is required.

Paper details

This paper first expands on the material on vectors and matrices begun in MATH 160/101. (Note, however, that sufficient background is provided on these topics to enable MATH 170 to be taken directly from school.) The course goes on to consider the determinant (a number associated with a matrix) and linear transformations (special mappings associated with computer graphics). The final section considers numbers and factorization, induction (used to prove sequential statements involving integers) and various counting techniques.

Potential students

MATH 103 is taken only by students who need the algebra component (but not the calculus) of MATH 170. This situation may arise when a student has transferred from another university, or has previously taken the calculus half.


MATH 160 or MATH 101 or high achievement (mostly Excellences and Merits) in NCEA Level 3 Mathematics with Calculus

Main topics

  • Algebra and geometry of 3 dimensional vectors
  • Manipulation of matrices and matrix equations
  • Introduction to linear transformations
  • Eigenvalues and eigenvectors
  • Discrete mathematics, including mathematical induction, Diophantine equations and basic counting techniques


Course materials will be available on the resource page. A pdf copy of the book MATH 170 Algebra Outline Notes will be available on the resource page. A printed copy can be purchased from the Print Shop.

Useful references

Several standard texts are suitable for reference. For example:

  • Elementary Vector Algebra by A.M. MacBeath
  • Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry by M.V. Sweet
  • Elementary Linear Algebra (Applications version) by H. Anton and C. Rorres (7th edition)
  • Introductory Linear Algebra (with applications) by B. Kolman (6th edition)

Lecturer (Semester 2)

Dr Richard Norton (Room 513).

Lectures (Semester 2)

Monday, Wednesday and alternate Fridays at 12 noon


Attendance at tutorials is voluntary. An open system operates: tutorial classes run for up to 10 hours per week (depending on demand), and students may attend as many as they need to and are able to.

Internal Assessment

Five computer Skills Tests make up 20% of your final mark. The other 80% comes from a mix of your final exam mark and the assignment mark which is based solely on the ten marked weekly assignments.

You can check your marks by clicking on the Resources link at the top of this page.

Terms Requirement

You have to fulfil the terms requirement in order to be allowed to sit the final exam.

In this paper, to pass “terms” you need to:

  • achieve an overall mark of 40% on the 10 assignments

Exam format

The 90-minute final exam is answered in spaces provided on the question booklet. All questions should be attempted and the number of marks available for each question is indicated on the paper. There are usually about 12 to 15 questions.

Previous exams

Final mark

Your final mark F in the paper will be calculated according to this formula:

F = 0.8max(E, (4E + A)/5) + 0.2T


  • E is the Exam mark
  • A is the Assignments mark
  • T is the Tests mark

and all quantities are expressed as percentages.

So your internal assessment counts at 1/5 weighting if that helps you.

Students must abide by the University’s Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity means being honest in your studying and assessments. It is the basis for ethical decision-making and behaviour in an academic context. Academic integrity is informed by the values of honesty, trust, responsibility, fairness, respect and courage.

Academic misconduct is seeking to gain for yourself, or assisting another person to gain, an academic advantage by deception or other unfair means. The most common form of academic misconduct is plagiarism.

Academic misconduct in relation to work submitted for assessment (including all course work, tests and examinations) is taken very seriously at the University of Otago.

All students have a responsibility to understand the requirements that apply to particular assessments and also to be aware of acceptable academic practice regarding the use of material prepared by others. Therefore it is important to be familiar with the rules surrounding academic misconduct at the University of Otago; they may be different from the rules in your previous place of study.

Any student involved in academic misconduct, whether intentional or arising through failure to take reasonable care, will be subject to the University’s Student Academic Misconduct Procedures which contain a range of penalties.

If you are ever in doubt concerning what may be acceptable academic practice in relation to assessment, you should clarify the situation with your lecturer before submitting the work or taking the test or examination involved.

Types of academic misconduct are as follows:


The University makes a distinction between unintentional plagiarism (Level One) and intentional plagiarism (Level Two).

  • Although not intended, unintentional plagiarism is covered by the Student Academic Misconduct Procedures. It is usually due to lack of care, naivety, and/or to a lack to understanding of acceptable academic behaviour. This kind of plagiarism can be easily avoided.
  • Intentional plagiarism is gaining academic advantage by copying or paraphrasing someone elses work and presenting it as your own, or helping someone else copy your work and present it as their own. It also includes self-plagiarism which is when you use your own work in a different paper or programme without indicating the source. Intentional plagiarism is treated very seriously by the University.

Unauthorised Collaboration

Unauthorised Collaboration occurs when you work with, or share work with, others on an assessment which is designed as a task for individuals and in which individual answers are required. This form does not include assessment tasks where students are required or permitted to present their results as collaborative work. Nor does it preclude collaborative effort in research or study for assignments, tests or examinations; but unless it is explicitly stated otherwise, each students answers should be in their own words. If you are not sure if collaboration is allowed, check with your lecturer..


Impersonation is getting someone else to participate in any assessment on your behalf, including having someone else sit any test or examination on your behalf.


Falsification is to falsify the results of your research; presenting as true or accurate material that you know to be false or inaccurate.

Use of Unauthorised Materials

Unless expressly permitted, notes, books, calculators, computers or any other material and equipment are not permitted into a test or examination. Make sure you read the examination rules carefully. If you are still not sure what you are allowed to take in, check with your lecturer.

Assisting Others to Commit Academic Misconduct

This includes impersonating another student in a test or examination; writing an assignment for another student; giving answers to another student in a test or examination by any direct or indirect means; and allowing another student to copy answers in a test, examination or any other assessment.

Further information

While we strive to keep details as accurate and up-to-date as possible, information given here should be regarded as provisional. Individual lecturers will confirm teaching and assessment methods.

Multiplication by a 2x2 matrix can be used to transform points in the x-y plane — such transformations are called linear since they map straight lines to straight lines.
Apply each of these matrices to the image and see what happens to the kiwi:

Which of these do you think is reversible?

After an evening’s competition the six couples from the “Twirling Dervishes” Ballroom Dancing team headed off to the local pub for a drink. A fairly simple tavern, their local offers 6 different beers and 4 types of wine. Having crammed themselves around a table their captain, Fred, volunteered to get in the first round. Armed with the numbers of each type of drink required he set off for the bar. Being a bit of a wag, Fred decided to perform a pirouette on the way and became dizzy. When he reached the bar he had completely forgotten the order. Too embarrased to go back and ask for the order again, he just made up a selection of twelve drinks from those on offer. What is the probability that he got the order right?
... 1821-1895, published over 900 papers and notes covering nearly every aspect of modern mathematics. The most important of his work was in developing the algebra of matrices, work in non-euclidean geometry and n-dimensional geometry.