Linear Algebra

This book is out of print; however, it is available on-line at

Version 13 or higher of Mathcad is required to "read" the book.

by Gerald J. Porter, David R. Hill

About Interactive Linear Algebra

Interactive Linear Algebra is a new type of text - an interactive one. The interaction occurs by using the numerical, graphical, symbolic and textual capabilities of Mathcad. The entire text is presented on the computer in Mathcad.

The course is taught in a laboratory setting, with or without additional lectures. Through this technology centered approach, mathematics becomes an experimental science.

Students become active participants in the learning process, which leads to a deeper understanding of the concepts. At the same time, this approach develops confidence in the student's ability to read, use, and write about linear algebra.

The electronic text guides the students through linear algebra and its applications with a carefully planned series of computer-based discussions, examples, questions, and projects. With its graphics, symbolics, numerics, and editing capabilities, Mathcad provides the tools needed for developing, visualizing, connecting, and applying the concepts of linear algebra.

About the Authors

Jerry Porter ( is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.

He has been on the Penn faculty since 1965 and served as Associate Dean for Computing in the School of Arts and Sciences from 1980 to 1990.

Porter has an A.B. from Princeton University where he wrote a senior thesis using the original Von Neumann computer. His Ph.D. is in mathematics from Cornell.

His research has been in homotopy theory, a branch of Algebraic Topology, and on the instructional use of computing. He has been using computers in undergraduate instruction since 1968.

Porter was the first chair of the MAA Committee on Computers in Mathematics Instruction and was a director of the Interactive Mathematics Text Project, a multiyear project intended to encourage the use and creation of interactive mathematics texts. The IMTP was funded by IBM and the NSF. He was an editor and contributor to Computing and Mathematics, The use of computing in undergraduate mathematics instruction, MAA Notes, Number 9, (1988).

Porter was Treasurer of the Mathematical Association of America from 1990 to 2001 and currently and serves on many of its committees.

Dave Hill ( ) is Professor of Mathematics at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. He has been on the faculty since 1973 and served as Director of the undergraduate mathematics program from 1982-86.

Hill has a BS Ed from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh.

His mathematics fields of interest are linear algebra, numerical analysis, and instructional computing. Hill has been using software as a lecture, laboratory, and problem solving tool with students for the past two decades at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has published and lectured extensively on using software in instruction. He was a presenter in the ATLAST (Augment the Teaching of Linear Algebra through the use of Software Tools) workshops in 1992-1995 sponsored by the National Science Foundation

Hill has been actively involved in the Mathematical Association of America and served as President of the MAA's Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware section.

Author of Experiments in Computational Matrix,1988; co author of Numerical Methods: A Study Guide (for actuarial science), 1992, Introductory Linear Algebra with Applications, 1993, and a laboratory manual Linear Algebra LABS with MATLAB, 1994.