University of Utah
April 27, 2009
Classroom Building 410 (CL410)
You are in your office; the door is open. A well-dressed visitor walks
in confidently without knocking. He has a single sheet of wrinkled
paper in his left hand and a partially open brown envelope in his
right hand. Without any introduction, he strides to your desk and
drops the paper and envelope on top of the ungraded midterm
exams and unfinished referee reports. Glancing at the paper, you
see a bold red "Eyes Only" stamp and a complex 7-by-7 matrix;
visible in the envelope is a neat stack of crisp $100 bills.
"Tell me about that matrix," he says.
Where to begin? "It has rank five," or "It is nilpotent and has Jordan
blocks of sizes three and four," or "Its Hermitian part is positive