ENGR108: Introduction to Matrix Methods

John Duchi, Stanford University, Spring 2023


Professor John Duchi, Sequoia 126.

  • Office hours: Mondays, 16:00 - 17:30. 126 Sequoia Hall

Teaching Assistants

Sam Spinner (head TA)

Natalie Bishay

  • Office hours: Wednesdays, 15:00 - 17:00. ECON140

Mason Wang

Section information

Course communication and questions

  • We will use Ed this quarter for answering questions, finding collaborators, and other course-related things. You should be able to sign up at this webpage


You do not need to have seen any linear algebra before; we will develop it from scratch. Math 51 is nominally a prerequisite, but we will use relatively little of this material. In the course you'll do some very simple programming in the language Julia, so you should have seen some very basic simple programming. CS106A or equivalent (which is much more than you will need) is a prerequisite or corequisite. You do not need to know about any applications; we'll cover that in detail. Even if you have already seen all the material in the course (e.g., vectors, matrices, least squares) we encourage you to take it, because (we guess) you haven't seen it the way we will present it.

Course requirements

  • Attendance and weekly participation in class

  • Weekly homework assignments: we will normally assign homework each Thursday, which will be and due the following Thursday by 5pm Pacific time. Late homework will not be accepted. You are allowed, even encouraged, to work on the homework in small groups, but you must write up your own homework to hand in and credit your other group members.

  • One midterm exam. The midterm will be closed book except that you may bring in one (1) sheet of paper, with material on the front and back. The midterm exam will be Thursday, May 4 (in class). It will cover material through the lecture on Thursday, April 27.

  • Final exam: we will have an in-person final exam. The final exam will be closed book except that you may bring in two (2) sheets of paper, with material on the front and back. The final exam will be Tuesday, June 13 from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.


We will weight the various parts of the class as follows:

  • Attendance/participation 5% (this will be a combination of your section participation and your Ed participation, weighting toward whichever you make more contributions to)

  • Homework 50%

  • Midterm 15%

  • Final 30%

We reserve the right to change the grading rubric at any point in time during the course.