Math 21b: Linear Algebra and Differential Equations

Course head: Janet Chen
Course preceptor: David Freund (
Markov chains, which are introduced in Problem Set 6, #6, have a huge range of applications. For example, they are used in chemistry to model reactions, in economics to model asset pricing, and in biology to model population processes. A less serious application is to use this math to figure out which squares in the game Monopoly are landed on most frequently. Here are a couple of Scientific American articles which explain more: "How Fair Is Monopoly?" and "Monopoly Revisited". You should see that the math here is basically the same as that in Problem Set 6, #6.

The articles mention that "eigenvectors" are a fast way to do some of the computations; we'll be talking about those in a few weeks!


  • Exam 1 is on Wednesday 3/4.

  • We'll have an exam review session Friday 2/28. See the Exams page for details.