MATH 344 (04867), Fall 2010

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.
Martin J. Mohlenkamp,, (740)593-1259, 315-B Morton Hall.
Office hours: Monday 9-10am, Tuesday 9-10am, Thursday 9-10am, and Friday 9-10am, or by appointment.
Web page:
Class hours/ location:
MTuThF 8:10-9am in 314 Morton Hall.
Introduction to Numerical Methods and Matlab Programming: Class Notes for MATH 344, Todd Young and Martin Mohlenkamp, 2008. Available at
Each lecture in the text has a few homework problems, which are due two class days after we cover that lecture. These are group homeworks, to be done in groups of 2 or 3.
Good Problems:
Each week in which there is not a test, 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 Tuesday, November 23, at 8:00 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:
Homework is due by the end of class. Late homework is penalized 5% for each class day (or part thereof) late. You can resubmit a homework 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 Topic/Materials Homework/Test etc.
    Part I: Matlab and Solving Equations
    Tue Sep 7 Introduction, Front matter, lecture 1
    Thu Sep 9 lecture 2 Good Problem Mathematical Autobiography using Layout
    Fri Sep 10 lecture 3 lecture 1 homework
    Mon Sep 13 lecture 4 lecture 2 homework
    Tue Sep 14 lecture 5; mybisect.m lecture 3 homework
    Thu Sep 16 lecture 7 and part I review lecture 4 homework
    Part II: Linear Algebra
    Fri Sep 17 lecture 8 lecture 5 homework; do problem 5.2 as a Good Problem using Flow
    Mon Sep 20 lecture 9 lecture 7 homework
    Tue Sep 21 lecture 10 lecture 8 homework (drop deadline)
    Thu Sep 23 part I study guide Test on Part I (lectures 1-5 and 7)
    Fri Sep 24 lecture 11 lecture 9 homework
    Mon Sep 27 lecture 12 lecture 10 homework; do problem 10.1 as a Good Problem using Symbols
    Tue Sep 28 lecture 13 lecture 11 homework
    Thu Sep 30 lecture 14 lecture 12 homework
    Fri Oct 1 lecture 15 lecture 13 homework
    Mon Oct 4 lecture 16; part II review (in lecture 18) lecture 14 homework
    Part III: Functions and Data
    Tue Oct 5 lecture 19 lecture 15 homework; do problem 15.1 as a Good Problem using Logic
    Thu Oct 7 lecture 20 lecture 16 homework
    Fri Oct 8 lecture 21 lecture 19 homework
    Mon Oct 11 part II study guide Test on Part II (lectures 8-16) (drop deadline with WP/WF)
    Tue Oct 12 lecture 22 lecture 20 homework
    Thu Oct 14 lecture 23; mywedge.m; mywasher.m lecture 21 homework
    Fri Oct 15 lecture 24; mylowerleft.m lecture 22 homework
    Mon Oct 18 lecture 25; mywedge.m lecture 23 homework
    Tue Oct 19 lecture 27 lecture 24 homework
    Thu Oct 21 lecture 28 and part III review lecture 25 homework
    Part IV: Differential Equations
    Fri Oct 22 lecture 29 lecture 27 homework; do problem 27.1 as a Good Problem using Intros
    Mon Oct 25 lecture 30; myeuler.m; mymodeuler.m lecture 28 homework
    Tue Oct 26 lecture 31 lecture 29 homework
    Thu Oct 28 part III study guide Test on Part III (lectures 19-25, 27, and 28)
    Fri Oct 29 lecture 33; myexactbeam.m lecture 30 homework
    Mon Nov 1 lecture 34; myheatdisk.m lecture 31 homework
    Tue Nov 2 lecture 35; myheat.m lecture 33 homework; do problem 33.1 as a Good Problem using Graphs
    Thu Nov 4 lecture 36 lecture 34 homework
    Fri Nov 5 lecture 37 lecture 35 homework
    Mon Nov 8 lecture 38; mypoisson.m lecture 36 homework; do problem 36.1 as a Good Problem
    Tues Nov 9 lecture 40; mywasher.m lecture 37 homework
    Thu Nov 11 Veteran's Day, no class
    Fri Nov 12 lecture 41 and Part IV review; myfiniteelem.m lecture 38 homework
    Mon Nov 15 Review, part IV study guide lecture 40 homework
    Tue Nov 23 Final Exam 8-10 am., in our classroom.

    Martin J. Mohlenkamp
    Last modified: Fri Sep 3 12:02:54 EDT 2010