A First Course in Linear Algebra

Come for the price, stay for the quality

Online Version

As part of the Version 3 project, a high-quality HTML version of the book is now available. Find it at the link just below. Soon, this page will disappear and references here will just take you directly to the online version. However, the links below will migrate someplace and continue to be active.

This is a "beta" version, though it is extremely usable right now and only very minor changes are needed.


Online Version of FCLA (2012/10/15)












Old Online Versions - Obsolete

This is where you will find formerly found the online versions of the free textbook "A First Course in Linear Algebra." If this is your first visit to this page, please read the material below about your choice of formats and browsers and the likely need to install additional fonts. Otherwise, if you a returning visitor, click on through to the table of contents with the link immediately below. Previous versions are archived at the bottom of this page.


Latest jsMath Version - Table of Contents

Latest XHTML Version - Table of Contents


Print vs. Online

This book has been conceived and designed to be printed and used as a physical book. Yes, very old-fashioned, I know. This means that it has been written with a PDF format in mind. However, even with the PDF format, reading the book on the screen can be very useful for learning the material since references to previous definitions and theorems are all hypertext links and it is easy to pop back and forth as you study a proof or example.

Here we have converted our LaTeX sources into the MathML dialect of XHTML and into the format used by the jsMath Javascript scripts. This has been accomplished using Eitan Gurari's wonderful TeX4ht translator. This effort was not without a few hurdles, and Eitan has very helpful getting me over the final obstacles. Davide Cervone has also provided critical assistance with using his jsMath system.

jsMath Version

jsMath uses a collection of Javascript programs to convert a subset of TeX into displayed mathematics. It gets small images of special characters from our server. You can install your own fonts (please do), which will speed things up and reduce the load on our end. Obviously, you need to have Javascript enabled in your browser. With only this one requirement, this version is the one most likely to work for you initially. The downside is that the time to process each page is longer than you might like. Visit the jsMath website to learn more about jsMath. You can use the jsMath sample page to test it.

XHTML Version

Our XHTML version has been optimized for the Firefox browser, and works very well there. But you must first add some fonts to your system, or it will look pretty bad. But once you have done this, the pages load very quickly. Visit the information on installing fonts for usable instructions on getting the necessary fonts installed (they are free).

For use with Internet Explorer, download and install the MathPlayer plugin (it is free), which appears to be an ActiveX control, and which you may have to explicitly permit to run.

Unfortunately, one of the key features of the text is links within proofs to other theorems. These links are not functional right now in the XML version. If this is critical, use the jsMath version, or download a PDF to view.

Local Viewing

You can also obtain an archive with all the XHTML files if you wish to store them locally and view them without using a network connection. Check back often for updated versions. These are available on the download page. The jsMath version is designed to find fonts on a server, so it does not make as much sense to create an archive for local viewing.

Previous Versions

Version Date XHTML jsMath
2.99 2012/10/13 XML jsMath
2.90 2012/06/17 XML jsMath
2.30 2011/12/23 XML jsMath
2.23 2011/10/30 XML jsMath
2.22 2010/04/21 XML jsMath
2.21 2010/03/10 XML jsMath
2.20 2009/08/17 XML jsMath
2.12 2009/04/08 XML jsMath
2.11 2009/02/18 XML jsMath
2.10 2009/01/11 XML jsMath
2.02 2008/11/19 XML jsMath
2.01 2008/09/10 XML jsMath
2.00 2008/07/16 XML jsMath
1.35 2008/04/16 XML .
1.34 2008/03/17 XML .
1.33 2008/03/06 XML .
1.32 2008/02/27 XML .
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1.21 2007/11/21 XML .
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1.00 2006/12/11 XML .
0.94 2006/12/09 XML .
http://linear.ups.edu/online.html