MATH 344 (04653), Spring 2007

Numerical Methods for Civil and Mechanical Engineers

Catalog Description:
The fundamentals of numerical methods for civil and mechanical engineering students. Topics include: approximation and interpolation, numerical solution to equations, numerical differentiation and integration, numerical solutions to differential equations, solutions of systems of equations, and finding eigenvalues. The topics will be posed in a setting of problems intended for civil and mechanical engineering students using MATLAB.
Desired Learning Outcomes:
The ability to use MATLAB to solve common engineering problems, and in particular solve systems of nonlinear algebraic equations using Newton-Raphson, and solve initial value ODEs. The ability to define issues such as convergence, stability, computational cost, and error propagation as they apply to numerical integration and differentiation.
MATH 340 and CE 220.
Martin J. Mohlenkamp,, (740)593-1259, 315-B Morton Hall.
Office hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 9-10am.
Web page:
Class hours/ location:
MTuThF 8:10-9am in 422 Morton Hall.
Numerical Methods for Civil and Mechanical Engineers: Class Notes for MATH 344, Todd Young, 2005. Available at
There will be weekly problem sets. These are group homeworks, to be done in groups of 2 or 3.
Good Problems:
On each problem set, one problem is designated a Good Problem. These problems will be graded both on content and on presentation. The idea is to practice writing mathematics regularly but in small pieces.
There will be three mid-term tests, in class, without the aid of the computer.
Final Exam:
The final exam is on Thursday, June 7, at 8:00am.
The homework is worth 50%, each test 10% and the final exam 20%. An average of 90% guarantees you at least an A-, 80% a B-, 70% a C-, and 60% a D-.
Late work:
Late homework sets are penalized 5% for each 24 hour period or part thereof, excluding weekends and holidays. You can resubmit a homework set to improve your score, but the late penalty will apply.
Attendance is assumed but is not counted in your grade. It is your responsibility to find out any announcements made in class.
Academic Dishonesty:
If your group receives any help on the homework, you must acknowledge in writing what help you received and from whom. It is permitted to have a student who has already taken this course explain a homework problem to you; however, it is not permitted to look at their written work or programs. The tests and final exam must be your own work, and without the aid of notes, etc. Dishonesty will result in a zero on that work, and possible failure in the class and a report to the university judiciaries.
Special Needs:
If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let me know as soon as possible so that your learning needs may be appropriately met.
Learning Resources:
  • Your classmates are your best resource. Use them!
  • The Academic Advancement Center's Math Center has drop-in help, tutors, online help, and a telephone hotline.
  • MATLAB links
  • LaTeX links
  • Schedule

    Subject to change.
    Week Date Lecture/Materials Homework/Test etc.
    1 March 26 Introduction, Front matter, lecture 1
    March 27 lecture 2
    March 29 lecture 3
    March 30 lecture 4
    2 April 2 lecture 5; mybisect.m Homework 1 from lectures 1, 2, and 3, and Good Problem Mathematical Autobiography using Layout
    April 3 lecture 7 and part I review
    April 5 lecture 8
    April 6 lecture 9 Homework 2 from lectures 4, 5 and 7; do problem 5.2 as a Good Problem using Flow
    3 April 9 lecture 10 (drop deadline)
    April 10 part I study guide Test on Part I (lectures 1-5 and 7)
    April 12 lecture 11
    April 13 lecture 12
    4 April 16 lecture 13
    April 17 lecture 14 Homework 3 from lectures 8-12; do problem 10.1 as a Good Problem using Symbols
    April 19 lecture 15
    April 20 lecture 16; part II review (in lecture 18)
    5 April 23 lecture 19
    April 24 lecture 20
    April 26 lecture 21 Homework 4 from lectures 13-16; do problem 15.1 as a Good Problem.
    April 27 lecture 22
    6 April 30 part II study guide Test on Part II (lectures 8-16) (drop deadline with WP/WF)
    May 1 lecture 23
    May 3 lecture 24; mylowerleft.m
    May 4 lecture 25; mywedge.m Homework 5 from lectures 19-23; do problem 21.2 as a Good Problem using Graphs
    7 May 7 lecture 27
    May 8 lecture 28 and part III review
    May 10 lecture 29
    May 11 lecture 30; myeuler.m; mymodeuler.m
    8 May 14 lecture 31 Homework 6 from lectures 24-25, 27 and 28; do problem 27.1 as a Good Problem using Intros
    May 15 lecture 33
    May 17 part III study guide Test on Part III (lectures 19-25, 27, and 28)
    May 18 lecture 34; myheatdisk.m
    9 May 21 lecture 35; myheat.m
    May 22 lecture 36 Homework 7 from lectures 29-31,33,34; do problem 29.1 as a Good Problem using Logic
    May 24 lecture 37
    May 25 lecture 38; mypoisson.m
    10 May 28 Memorial Day, no class
    May 29 lecture 39; mywasher.m
    May 31 lecture 40 and Part IV review; myfiniteelem.m
    June 1 Review, part IV study guide Homework 8 from lectures 35-39; do problem 36.1 as a Good Problem
    11 June 7 Final Exam Thursday, at 8:00am.

    Martin J. Mohlenkamp
    Last modified: Fri Sep 3 13:54:26 EDT 2010