MATH 344 (04643), Spring 2008

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 10-11am, Tuesday 10-11am, Thursday 3-4pm, and Friday 10-11am.
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 Wednesday, June 11, at 10:10 am.
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. However, you should estimate that for each class you miss your average will decrease by one point due to the learning you missed. 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 and Latex links
  • Schedule

    Subject to change.
    Week Date Lecture/Materials Homework/Test etc.
    1 March 31 Introduction, Front matter, lecture 1
    April 1 lecture 2
    April 3 lecture 3
    April 4 lecture 4
    2 April 7 lecture 5; mybisect.m Homework 1 from lectures 1, 2, and 3, and Good Problem Mathematical Autobiography using Layout
    April 8 lecture 7 and part I review
    April 10 lecture 8
    April 11 lecture 9 Homework 2 from lectures 4, 5 and 7; do problem 5.2 as a Good Problem using Flow
    3 April 14 lecture 10 (drop deadline)
    April 15 part I study guide Test on Part I (lectures 1-5 and 7)
    April 17 lecture 11
    April 18 lecture 12
    4 April 21 lecture 13
    April 22 lecture 14 Homework 3 from lectures 8-12; do problem 10.1 as a Good Problem using Symbols
    April 24 lecture 15
    April 25 lecture 16; part II review (in lecture 18)
    5 April 28 lecture 19
    April 29 lecture 20 Homework 4 from lectures 13-16; do problem 15.1 as a Good Problem.
    May 1 lecture 21
    May 2 part II study guide Test on Part II (lectures 8-16)
    6 May 5 lecture 22 (drop deadline with WP/WF)
    May 6 lecture 23; mywedge.m; mywasher.m
    May 8 lecture 24; mylowerleft.m
    May 9 lecture 25; mywedge.m Homework 5 from lectures 19-23; do problem 20.2 as a Good Problem using Graphs
    7 May 12 lecture 27
    May 13 lecture 28 and part III review
    May 15 lecture 29
    May 16 lecture 30; myeuler.m; mymodeuler.m Homework 6 from lectures 24-25, 27 and 28; do problem 27.1 as a Good Problem using Intros
    8 May 19 lecture 31
    May 20 part III study guide Test on Part III (lectures 19-25, 27, and 28)
    May 22 lecture 33; myexactbeam.m
    May 23 lecture 34; myheatdisk.m
    9 May 26 Memorial Day, no class
    May 27 lecture 35; myheat.m
    May 29 lecture 36 Homework 7 from lectures 29-31,33,34; do problem 29.1 as a Good Problem using Logic
    May 30 lecture 37
    10 June 2 lecture 38; mypoisson.m
    June 3 lecture 39; mywasher.m
    June 5 lecture 40 and Part IV review; myfiniteelem.m
    June 6 Review, part IV study guide Homework 8 from lectures 35-39; do problem 36.1 as a Good Problem
    11 June 11 Final Exam Wednesday at 10:10 am., in our classroom.

    Martin J. Mohlenkamp
    Last modified: Fri Sep 3 13:54:29 EDT 2010