MATH 3600-101 (3829), Spring 2017

Applied Numerical Methods

Catalog Description:
A survey of numerical methods for engineering, science and mathematics students. Topics include: solutions of systems of linear and nonlinear equations, eigenvalues, numerical differentiation and integration, and numerical solution of ordinary and partial differential equations. The topics will be posed in a setting of problems intended for engineering students using MATLAB. The course will simultaneously introduce numerical methods, programming techniques, problem solving skills and the Matlab language, in a lecture-lab format.
Desired Learning Outcomes:
MATH 3400 Elementary Differential Equations.
Martin J. Mohlenkamp,, (740)593-1259, 315-B Morton Hall.
Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:40-10:35am, or by appointment.
Web page:
Class hours/ location:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:45-11:40am in 314 Morton Hall. (Note that the registrar incorrectly shows the class ending at 11:50am.)
There is no printer in our room but there is a printer in the second floor vending area of Morton Hall that is part of the mobile print system.
Introduction to Numerical Methods and Matlab Programming for Engineers, Todd Young and Martin Mohlenkamp. Available at
Each lecture in the text has a few homework problems. Do the homework in a group of 2 or 3 and submit a single solution for your group.
Good Problems:
About once a week, one homework 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 four tests, in class, without the aid of the computer (or calculator, notes, etc.). The tests are cumulative.
Final Exam:
The final exam is on Monday, April 24, 10:10am-12:10pm. The exam is cumulative.
This is a "lab" class, so your attendance, participation, and collaboration are essential. You are allowed 5 absences (out of 41 classes) without penalty; these include university excused absences for illness, death in the immediate family, religious observance, jury duty, or involvement in University-sponsored activities. Each additional absence will reduce your final average by 0.5%. Your attendance record will be available in Blackboard.
Your grade is based on homework 40%, 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 for each lecture is due at the end of the next class period (skipping test days). Late homework is penalized 10% for each class day (or part thereof) late. You can resubmit a homework to improve your score, but the late penalty will apply.
Academic Misconduct:
Tests, final exam:
You may not give or receive any assistance during a test or the exam, including but not limited to using notes, phones, calculators, computers, or another student's solutions.
  • If your group receives any help on the homework, you must acknowledge in writing what help you received and from whom or what source (including internet links). (You do not need to acknowledge me or the textbook.)
  • 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.
  • It is permitted to search the internet for help on homework problems. It is not permitted to look at (or contribute to) any postings of solutions to the specific homework problems for this class. (If you find posted solutions, please send me the link.)
A minor, first-time violation of this policy will receive a warning and discussion and clarification of the rules. Serious or second violations will result in a grade penalty on the assignment. Very serious or repeated violations will result in failure in the class and be reported to the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility, which may impose additional sanctions. You may appeal any sanctions through the grade appeal process.
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. You should also register with Student Accessibility Services to obtain written documentation and to learn about the resources they have available.
Responsible Employee Reporting Obligation:
If I learn of any instances of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and/or other forms of prohibited discrimination, I am required to report them. If you wish to share such information in confidence, then use one of the confidential resources listed by the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance.
Learning Resources:


Subject to change.
Week Date Topic/Materials Homework due, Test, etc.
1 Part I: Matlab and Solving Equations
Mon Jan 9 Introduction, Lecture 1: Vectors, Functions, and Plots in Matlab
Wed Jan 11 Lecture 2: Matlab Programs Lecture 1 homework
Fri Jan 13 Lecture 3: Newton's Method and Loops Lecture 2 homework
2 Mon Jan 16Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, no class
Wed Jan 18 Lecture 4: Controlling Error and Conditional Statements Lecture 3 homework; do problem 3.3 as a Good Problem using the Layout skill
Fri Jan 20 Lecture 5: The Bisection Method and Locating Roots; mybisect.m Lecture 4 homework; (drop deadline)
3 Mon Jan 23 Lecture 6: Secant Methods; mysecant.m Lecture 5 homework
Wed Jan 25 Lecture 7: Symbolic Computations; part I review Lecture 6 homework; do problem 6.1 as a Good Problem using Flow (and Layout)
Part II: Linear Algebra
Fri Jan 27 Lecture 8: Matrices and Matrix Operations in Matlab Lecture 7 homework
4 Mon Jan 30 Lecture 9: Introduction to Linear Systems Lecture 8 homework
Wed Feb 1 sample test questions Test through Lecture 7
Fri Feb 3 Lecture 10: Some Facts About Linear Systems Lecture 9 homework
5 Mon Feb 6 Lecture 11: Accuracy, Condition Numbers and Pivoting Lecture 10 homework
Wed Feb 8 Lecture 12: LU Decomposition Lecture 11 homework; do problem 11.1 as a Good Problem using Symbols (and Flow, Layout)
Fri Feb 10 Lecture 13: Nonlinear Systems - Newton's Method Lecture 12 homework
6 Mon Feb 13 Lecture 14: Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors Lecture 13 homework
Wed Feb 15 Lecture 15: An Application of Eigenvectors: Vibrational Modes Lecture 14 homework; do problem 14.1 as a Good Problem using Logic (etc.)
Fri Feb 17 Lecture 16: Numerical Methods for Eigenvalues; part II review (in Lecture 18) Lecture 15 homework
7 Part III: Functions and Data
Mon Feb 20 Lecture 19: Polynomial and Spline Interpolation Lecture 16 homework
Wed Feb 22 sample test questions Test through Lecture 15
Fri Feb 24 Lecture 20: Least Squares Fitting: Noisy Data Lecture 19 homework
8 Mon Feb 27 Lecture 21: Integration: Left, Right and Trapezoid Rules Lecture 20 homework
Wed Mar 1 Lecture 22: Integration: Midpoint and Simpson's Rules; mysimpweights.m Lecture 21 homework; do problem 21.1 as a Good Problem using Intros
Fri Mar 3 Lecture 23: Plotting Functions of Two Variables; mywedge.m; mywasher.m Lecture 22 homework
Spring Break
9 Mon Mar 13 Lecture 24: Double Integrals for Rectangles; mylowerleft.m; mydblsimpweights.m Lecture 23 homework
Wed Mar 15 Lecture 25: Double Integrals for Non-rectangles; mywedge.m Lecture 24 homework; do problem 24.1 as a Good Problem.
Fri Mar 17 Lecture 27: Numerical Differentiation Lecture 25 homework
10 Mon Mar 20 Lecture 28: The Main Sources of Error; part III review Lecture 27 homework
Wed Mar 22 sample test questions Test through Lecture 25 (skipping 17 and 18)
Part IV: Differential Equations
Fri Mar 24 Lecture 29: Reduction of Higher Order Equations to Systems Lecture 28 homework (drop deadline with WP/WF)
11 Mon Mar 27 Lecture 30: Euler Methods; myeuler.m; mymodeuler.m Lecture 29 homework
Wed Mar 29 Lecture 31: Higher Order Methods Lecture 30 homework; do problem 30.1 as a Good Problem using Graphs
Fri Mar 31 Lecture 33: ODE Boundary Value Problems and Finite Differences; myexactbeam.m Lecture 31 homework
12 Mon Apr 3 Lecture 34: Finite Difference Method -- Nonlinear ODE Lecture 33 homework
Wed Apr 5 Lecture 35: Parabolic PDEs - Explicit Method; myheat.m Lecture 34 homework; do problem 34.1 as a Good Problem
Fri Apr 7 Lecture 36: Solution Instability for the Explicit Method; myexpmatrix.m Lecture 35 homework
13 Mon Apr 10 Lecture 37: Implicit Methods Lecture 36 homework
Wed Apr 12 sample test questions Test through Lecture 35 (skipping 17, 18, 26, and 32). Problems from Lectures before 27 will be based closely on problems from previous tests.
Fri Apr 14 Lecture 38: Insulated Boundary Conditions; myheatdisk.m Lecture 37 homework
14 Mon Apr 17 Lecture 39: Finite Difference Method for Elliptic PDEs; mypoisson.m Lecture 38 homework
Wed Apr 19 Lecture 41: Finite Elements; mywasher.m Lecture 39 homework; do problem 39.1 as a Good Problem
Fri Apr 21 Lecture 42: Determining Internal Node Values; Part IV review; myfiniteelem.m Lecture 41 homework
15 Mon, Apr 24 sample test questions Final Exam 10:10am-12:10pm, in our classroom. Problems from Lectures before 36 will be based closely on problems from previous tests.

Martin J. Mohlenkamp

Last modified: Fri Mar 31 17:51:05 UTC 2017