Course Syllabus

Download syllabus here (pdf)

Instructor: Benjamin Ong
Fisher Hall, Room 214
Office hours by appointment
Prerequisites: none
Textbook: Insight Through Computing, C. F. Van Loan and K. Y. Fan, ISBN 978-0-898716-91-7 (Amazon)
Additional Reading: Excursions in Modern Mathematics (7th Edition), P. Tannenbaum, ISBN 978-0-321568-03-8 (Amazon)
Software: MATLAB (available for download), or you may use Python (iPython notebooks preferred)
Course Aims:
  1. Experience using mathematics & computers to gain insight into real-life problems.
  2. Understanding approximations and their implications.
  3. Appreciating sequences and their implications.
  • 50% - in class quizzes, assignments and projects
  • 20% - midterm
  • 30% - final / final project
Course Topics:
  1. Introduction to programming (conditional statements, loops, functions)
  2. Introduction to visualization
  3. Dealing with numbers
  4. Root finding
  5. Fitting curves through data (interpolation and extrapolation)
  6. Advanced modules (to be decided, based on class interest)
    • Gravitational motion
    • Signal attenuation
    • Image compression
    • Random collisions
    • The ``Game of Life''
    • Spread of infectious diseases
    • Optimal control
    • Clustering the Iris flower data set