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Scientific Computing with Matlab (Math 365)

In this course, we will learn how to use Matlab to solve problems in science and engineering using computational methods. We learn basic numerical methods, including solving linear systems, interpolation, quadrature rules, and solving ordinary differential equations. We also learn about visualizing output using Matlab graphing tools, programming concepts, and how to develop numerically efficient codes. This course does not assume any prior programming knowledge, although if you don't have any programming experience, you will find this course to be challenging initially.

Send me an e-mail

Please send me an e-mail at so that I can compile an e-mail list for the class. At the very least, include a subject header that says "Math 365". You may leave the message area blank, if you wish, or send me a short note about what you hope to get out of this course.

Basic course information

Instructor Prof. Donna Calhoun
Time Tues/Thurs 12:00-1:30
Place MG136 (Math Computing Lab)
Office Hours TBA
Prerequesites Math 333 or Math 301

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Recommended and suggested textbooks

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Below are the slides from lecture material that I can make available online.

Week #1 (Aug. 21)
Tuesday --  Introduction to Scientific Computing; Arithmetic expressions
Lecture slides :
Introduction to the Scientific Computing  (pdf)
Using Matlab as a Scientific Calculator  (pdf)
Videos :

Tips on homework #0
In class lab :
Arithmetic expressions and elementary functions

Week #2 (Aug. 28)

Week #3 (Sep. 4)

Week #4 (Sep. 11)

Week #5 (Sep. 18)

Week #6 (Sep. 25)

Week #7 (Oct. 2 )

Week #8 (Oct. 9)

Week #9 (Oct. 16)

Week #10 (Oct. 23)

Week #11 (Oct. 30)

Week #12 (Nov. 6)

Week #13 (Nov. 13)

Week #14 (Nov. 27)

Week #15 (Dec. 4)

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Homework assignments

Homework projects are officially due on the Wednesday due date at 5PM, but will be accepted until Friday 5PM, without a late penalty. A penalty of 10% will be incurred for every two days your homework is beyond the final Friday deadline. You'll turn in your homeworks in your assigned Dropbox folders. Please read the Homework Tips before turning in your homework!

Homework #0

Due Jan. 18

Assignment :
Other resources :
hmwk0_sample.pdf  -- Use this as an example of how to format your homework
hmwk0.m  -- This is a template to get you started.
write_file.m  -- Use this file when ever you are asked to write your solutions to a file.
Comments : Your goal with this assignment is to reproduce the solutions given in hmwk0_sample.pdf. To learn more about the Matlab Publish command, do a 'help publish' in Matlab.

Homework #1

Due Feb. 1

Assignment :
Other resources :
hmwk1.m  -- Homework template
write_file.m  -- Write out solutions in the homework with this file
WA-NES-J1M4_Okanogan_Complex_8-23-2015_2333.kml  -- Open this file in Google Earth to see the perimeter of the Okanogan Complex fire
Updates to homework :
 --  (1/29) Removed last two problems (on root-finding)
Some useful or interesting links
You can download more fire perimeter files from this site. (Look for the small Google Earth icon, near the right side bar for perimeter files from different days.) (InciWeb - Incident Information System)
Comments : For these problems, you will write output files using the script "write_file"

Homework #2

Due Feb. 10

Assignment :
Updates to homework :
 --  (2/20) Problem #3 : Your function should work for values of c >-1/e

Homework #3

Due Feb. 27

Assignment :
Other resources :
hmwk3.m  -- Homework #3 template
lab_demo_solns.pdf  -- Practice circuits problem (with solutions)
Chapter2-part.pdf  -- Description of circuit problem from Strang's Linear Algebra text

Homework #4

Due Mar. 17

Assignment :
Other resources :

Homework #5

Due April 6th

Assignment :
Other resources :

Homework #6

Due Apr. 28

Assignment :
Other resources :

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Matlab Tutorials

An online tutorial for this course, including all of the in-class labs can be found at the link below

Matlab Tutorial

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Final Project

We may have a final activity on the day of our scheduled exam.

You can find the Final Exam calendar here.

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Grading policy

Homework projects (including the final activity) will count for 80% of your final grade, quizzes will count towards 20% of your grade. All homeworks will be equally weighted.

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