Question on derivative map

Dear Mr Kim,

I am writing to you as I am stuck on this week’s homework sheet and was wondering if you could help me. I am in your 2201 course and I struggle with number 4 on the Sheet 4.

I basically came as far as showing that D^11 = 0 as I only apply my mapping to

f, f’, f”,…

etc and eventually get 0 for the 11th derivative which does make sense. But for the second part it seems unnatural to write down an eigenvalue equation in a matrix form so am I right that in our case we have dg/dx = lambda*g with g being f,f’,f”,f”’,… that this equation is only satisfied if we have lambda=0. Am I on the right track here? But then again I dont know how to find the generalized eigenspaces as I havent got a matrix (or do I?)

It would be great if you could give me some hints on this question as it does bother me not to get anywhere with it 🙂

Have a good reading week, all the best,


In some sense, you could work directly with the polynomials, but this is an excellent opportunity to review `the matrix associated to a linear map’. How does that go? If

L:V-> V

is a linear map, whenever you choose a basis B={b_1,b_2, …, b_n} for V, it determines a matrix representative for L that can be computed as follows: Compute L(b_1) and write it in terms of the basis B. That is, we will find some coefficients a_{ij} so that




is the first column of our matrix. Now compute L(b_2) to get the second column, and so on. After the matrix is completely computed, you proceed to compute all eigenvalues and generalized eigenspaces using the matrix. For the question at hand, you of course have to choose a basis first for the polynomial space. Don’t forget to express your final answer *in terms of polynomials*. If that last comment is confusing, think about it a bit. If you’re still stuck, ask again.


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