• MARKS AFTER A2: Marks that include the tuttests, the quizes, the assignment and A1 and A2 are available here (under student number). If you have 50% or more, you pass (and do not need to write A3.) Please check your marks for inconsistencies and let me know if there are any.
  • TEST DATE A3: The A3 test (optional) will be written on 27 June 2020, at 8:30. A3 covers ALL THE WORK. Those who have passed the module after the results of A2 and the assignment are out, need not write it, but you may, if you wish. The best two of A1, A2, and A3 will be used in the final mark.
  • INSTRUCTIONS: A sheet with instructions on what you must do, how, and when, is available here .
  • ONLINE RESOURCES: The link here, takes you to a page with all the online resources.
  • ONLINE ASSESSMENT: The link here, takes you to a page that lists the new online assessment activities.
  • MARKS FOR TUTTESTS: Marks for the six tut tests, that you have written, are available here (under student number, though not sorted numerically).

Instructions for online mode

1. Introduction

Because of the COVID19 pandemic, students will study away from campus during the second term, 2020. This means that all learning activity for the second term will be in online mode. We shall explain below how this will be done.

2. Contents of the second term

The contents of this module for the second term will follow the notes on the original web site, and will cover the following chapters:

Chapter Contents Suggested week
9 QR DECOMPOSITION 20 Apr - 24 Apr
10 DETERMINANTS (revision only) anytime before Chapter 11
11 EIGENVALUES 27 Apr - 1 May
13 SYMMETRIC MATRICES (quadratic curves omitted) 18 May - 22 May
14 THE SVD 25 May - 29 May
15 THE 3 x 3 ROTATION MATRIX 1 Jun - 5 Jun
You are strongly urged to stick to the suggested week allocated for each chapter. Do not fall behind.


3. Online resources provided

The online resources are available here.

It consists of the following:

1. Notes. These are available as separate chapters (the same notes that were available on the original website).
2. Small screen-casts (of duration about 15 minutes) that explain some concepts. These screen-casts will be called 'Mini-talks' and are downloadable, so that you do not have to use data every time you want to watch it. I have deliberately reduced their size (with some loss in quality) so that they are not too data heavy.
3. Problem sets following each chapter of the notes. Memos (sometimes only the answers) for these problems will also be available.
4. Do-It-Yourself tests (similar to the tut-tests you have written in the first term) following each chapter. These DIY tests will not be graded for marks. A memo for each of these DIY tut-tests will be provided so that you can mark it yourself, and can determine how well you know the work.
5. A sheet with instructions and suggested time-frame for each chapter/week. All these resources are available on the web site, as well as on SunLearn. You may use either.


4. What you must do

It is expected of you to thoroughly study each chapter and do the problems. It may be beneficial to first watch the relevant Minitalks before you start reading the notes, or do it in reversed order. Find out what works for you.

When you believe that you know the material of the chapter and that you feel sufficiently ready, you should print out (or read it on-screen if you have no access to a printer) the DIY-test, and write it in your own time. You may then mark it yourself.

The password for accessing any chapter of the notes, any problem set, DIY-tests, or their memos is the same password provided in class for the notes (it starts with '20...') . Email me if you want to be reminded of it.

I do not plan to have special group sessions (such as Skype group, MS Teams, Zoom, etc.). I will attempt to answer questions individually.

Apart from the weekly schedule provided in section 2, I do not prescribe any particular scheduling of time slots during the week - this is your job to allocate your own time slots for studying AM214. I would, however, recommend that you finish each chapter in the weekly schedule during that week, and that you write the DIY-test by that Friday or the next Monday at the latest.


5. Assessment

The assessment activities of this module are here.


6. Communication

If you send questions to me by email, I will answer them. However, with 156 students in this module, I fear that there may be some overload - we will see. I may also create a blog space or group discussion space in SunLearn.

I wish you the best with distance learning.

What is this module about?

The central theme of this course is various matrix decompositions and their uses in applications. You will be taught LU decomposition, QR decomposition, eigenvalue decomposition and singular value decomposition. Each of these decompositions is a step in the solution of a problem that can be cast as a matrix equation.

Examples of applications which you will become acquainted with, are the following: fitting of curves to data points, reflections, projections and rotations (applications in robotics, orientation of satellites in space, computer graphics), population dynamics, models in economics, electrical systems and image processing.

You will also acquire skills in manipulating matrices and vectors symbolically (i.e. you work with matrices and vectors without referring to the individual elements).

The software package MATLAB is used intensively as a computational laboratory to investigate new concepts, to solve problems and to supplement the classroom lectures. You will get to know MATLAB fairly well during this course - a skill that may come in handy later.


Module info

Module Code:
Module Name:
Applied Mathematics 214
Module Description:
Applied Matrix Methods
US Credits:
Year: 2
Semester: 1
Lecturing load:
3.00 lectures, 3.00 Tutorials (per week)
Home Department:
Mathematical Sciences:Applied Mathematics
Dr MF Maritz
Classification: Mathematics:
Basic Science:
5 %
Computer Applications:
20 %
Requirements: Pass
Math. 144
By requisites:
Assessment: Method:
Flexible assessment
Assessment is available here.



The assessment of this module is still done according to the method of Flexible Assessment but with modifications because of the online mode of the module.

Because of the COVID19 pandemic, and that students are therefore not allowed on campus for (probably) the rest of this semester, all evaluation will be done online, through online quizzes, one assignment (to be handed in electronically) and online tests. The previous schedule for assessment (as published in the Module Info Sheet) is therefore no longer valid, and the new assessment schedule is available here.


Tut Test Marks

A list of current Tut-test marks (only under student number) is here.


D3-functions in MATLAB

In order to access the functions in the D3-package (such as D3axis, D3vector, etc.) make sure that you add the path \\\assignments\nat\Applied Mathematics\TW214 .

The MATLAB routines for illustrating the geometrical interpretation of the SVD are also available under \\\assignments\nat\Applied Mathematics\TW214 . Set this as path (or alternatively download these m-files on your personal computer) and type "showSVD" in the command window. In order to import your own matrix (say CCC), make sure that the 2x2 matrix CCC is already in the workspace, and fill its name (i.e. "CCC") in the editable box, before pressing [LOAD MATRIX].




Applied Matrix Methods


MF Maritz

  Dr Milton Maritz
  mfmaritz 'at'

Class Rep.

The Class Representative of this module is

Louise Beyers

Email: 21591644 'at'
Cell: 074-442-1791