MATH 3600-100 (6930), Fall 2023

Applied Numerical Methods


Catalog Description:
A survey of numerical methods for engineering, science, and mathematics students. The course simultaneously introduces numerical methods, programming techniques, problem solving skills, and the MATLAB language. Methods are introduced in the context of engineering problems, using a lecture-lab format. Topics include numerical solutions of systems of linear and nonlinear equations, numerical computation of eigenvalues, numerical differentiation and integration, and numerical solution of ordinary and partial differential equations. Essential topics in Linear Algebra and Multi-variable Calculus are integrated into the course by including them with related numerical methods.
Learning Outcomes:
MATH 3400 Elementary Differential Equations.
Web page:
Martin J. Mohlenkamp,, Morton Hall 321C, 740-593-1259. The best ways to reach me are email and Teams.
Office hours:
Tentatively Monday and Friday 9:40 AM - 10:35 AM. I may be helping students after class in Morton Hall 314, or back in my office Morton Hall 321C. I am available to meet at other times, just contact me for an appointment.
Computing Environment:
The course uses Matlab. Our classroom Morton Hall 314 has desktop computers for everyone to use. Some other computer labs on campus will also have it installed. To access Matlab using your own computer without buying your own copy, use the university's Virtual Desktop.
Introduction to Numerical Methods and Matlab Programming for Engineers, Todd Young and Martin Mohlenkamp. Available at Some sections later in the text may be modified before we get to them, so please download sections as we do them rather than getting the whole book now.
Class hours/ location:
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 8:35 AM - 9:30 AM in Morton Hall 314.
Group component:
Group formation:
I will randomly assign groups of 3 using Blackboard. The groups will be reset for each new part of the textbook, so you will be in four different groups. (By chance, you might have repeat partners.)
Partner ratings:
At the end of each part of the textbook, you will rate (and be rated by) your former partners on how much they contributed to the group. The ratings you receive are part of your grade.
Group Homework:
Each lecture in the text has a few homework problems. As a group you will submit a single solution for each problem. Submission is online through Blackboard; upload a single file (.docx or .pdf) for each problem. See the section on academic (mis)conduct below for the resources you are and are not allowed to use.
Advice: It will be tempting to just split up the problems. That works poorly because:
  1. Many problems depend on previous problems.
  2. You will learn less and suffer for it later in the course and in life.
It is best if everyone tries all the problems and then you discuss and compare. Then you can split up the task of writing a clean version of each solution and submitting it.
Individual component:
Individual homework:
One additional problem each week is done individually. Some of these will be mathematical exercises and some will help prepare you for your final project. Submission is online through Blackboard. These problems will be graded both on content and on presentation, using the Good Problems system of handouts. See the section on academic (mis)conduct below for the resources you are and are not allowed to use.
Final project:
As a culminating experience, you will do a project to apply numerical methods using Matlab to a topic outside of this course. It could be something from one of your other courses (that is not already using numerical methods), a hobby or other interest of yours, etc.
Your goal is to demonstrate what you have learned in this course and in particular to demonstrate that you have met the Learning Outcomes listed at the start of this syllabus.
The deliverables for the project are:
  • A presentation. (20%; during the week of December 4.)
  • A report. (80%; due Wednesday December 13.)
Format of class meetings:
Most of classtime is reserved for you to work in your groups on the group homework. I will be there to help you when you get frustrated or stuck. Occasionally I will give 5-minute lectures on topics that multiple groups are struggling with.
Attendance is not required, but you should do it anyway. Some benefits of attending:
Late Work:
Group and individual homeworks are due at specific times on specific days. Late homework is penalized 5% per day (or part thereof) late. You can resubmit a homework to improve your score, but the late penalty will apply.
Religious Accommodations
In accordance with the university's Interim policy on reasonable religious accommodations [40.003]:

You may be absent for up to three (3) days each academic semester, without penalty, to take time off for reasons of faith or religious or spiritual belief system or to participate in organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or other religious or spiritual organization. You are required to notify the me in writing of specific dates requested for alternative accommodations no later than fourteen (14) days after the first day of instruction. These requests will remain confidential. For more information about this policy, students/you may contact the Director and Title IX Coordinator, Equity and Civil Rights Compliance, Lindley Hall 006, 740-593-9140,

If your absence causes a delay in finishing an assignment, you will receive a 1-day extension on it.

Your grade is based on group homework 50%, your partners' ratings of you 10%, your individual homework 20%, and your final project 20%. An average of 90% guarantees you at least an A-, 80% a B-, 70% a C-, and 60% a D-.
Academic (mis)conduct:
You are allowed to use most resources, but there are some limitations.
Unlimited use, without specific acknowledgment:
  • The textbook.
  • Discussions with me.
  • Your partners, for the group homework.
  • Matlab documentation.
Broad use, with acknowledgment:
  • Websites about numerical methods or Matlab.
  • Explanations by members of other groups in this class.
  • Explanations by members of your group, for the individual assignments.
  • Explanations by students who took this class in the past.
  • Explanations by chatbots or other AI.
Acknowledge and describe this help in writing on the problem where it was used. For example, you might write
[Name] explained to me how to do [some part] of this problem.
I found an explanation of [concept] at the website [url].
I asked ChatGPT to [request].
  • The written work or programs from students who took this class in the past.
  • Websites such as Chegg that claim to have homework solutions for this class.
  • Code produced by chatbots or other AI.
  • Direct copying.
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 the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance.
Learning Resources:

Schedule (Subject to change)

Typical Week

Week of August 28

Lecture 1 starts the first part of the text: Part I: Matlab and Solving Equations.

Week of September 4

Monday is the Labor Day holiday, so no class.

Week of September 11

(From now on I will stop reminding that the group homework from the previous lecture is due at the end of each class. I will name the new section we are starting.)

Lecture 6 is not used.

There is a Part I review at the end of lecture 7.

Lecture 8 starts Part II: Linear Algebra. You will change groups.

Week of September 18

(From now on I will stop listing the days of the week unless there is some ambiguity. The due days are always available in Blackboard.)

Week of September 25

Week of October 2

Lectures 17 and 18 are not used. At the end of Lecture 18 is a part II review.

Lecture 19 starts Part III: Functions and Data. You will change groups.

Week of October 9

Friday October 13 is Fall Break, so no class.

Week of October 16

Week of October 23

There is a Part III review at the end of lecture 28.

Week of October 30

Lecture 29 starts Part IV: Differential Equations. You will change groups.

Friday November 3 is the deadline to withdraw with WP or WF grade.

Week of November 6

Tuesday November 7 is election day, so vote if you are able.

Lecture 32 is not used.

Friday November 10 is the observance of Veteran's day, so no class.

Week of November 13

Week of November 20

Wednesday November 22 through Sunday November 26 is Thanksgiving Break, so no class.

Week of November 27

Lecture 40 is not used.

There is a Part III review at the end of lecture 42.

Week of December 4

Week of December 11

Martin J. Mohlenkamp

Last modified: Tue Oct 17 16:34:22 UTC 2023