CS 371 Introduction to Computational Mathematics

Watch a video introduction to the course on YouTube.


This course is intended as an introduction to the computational methods and issues encountered

when solving realistic examples in scientific computation.

Intended Audience

CS 371 is intended for students interested in the computational aspects that one would encounter

in solving various mathematical and scientific problems. Students are expected to be interested in

both mathematics and computer science.

Related Courses

Prerequisites: (One of CS 116, 134, 136, 138, 145 taken fall 2010 or earlier, CS 146), MATH 235 or 245, 237 or 247; Not open to General Mathematics students.

Antirequisites: CS 335, 337, 370, ECE 204.

Successors: CS 473, 475, 476.

Cross-listed as: AMATH 341, CM 271.


Used in course: Matlab.


Numerical Analysis, 8th ed., by R. Burden and J. Faires, Publ.: Brooks Cole (optional). Course notes are required.


3 hours of lectures per week. Normally available in Winter and Spring.


1. CS 371 may be substituted for CS 370 in any degree plan or for prerequisite purposes; lab is not scheduled and students

are expected to find time in open hours to complete their work.


Floating Point Number Systems (3 hours)

Pitfalls of computation, errors in computation.

Polynomial Interpolation (9 hours)

Converting discrete data to continuous functions, Lagrange interpolation, piecewise approximation, spline and b-spline interpolation.

Numerical Integration (6 hours)

Converting continuous problems into discrete data, quadrature rules, Monte Carlo integration.

Fourier Approximation (9 hours)

Fourier series, discrete Fourier transform, fast Fourier transform (FFT), applications for image processing, JPEG, MPEG.

Linear Systems (9 hours)

Solution of linear systems (LU factorization), condition number of a matrix, solving overdetermined systems, least squares fitting, QR factorization.