CS 370
Introduction to
Scientific Computing
Fall 2010


Course Instructors:
Professor George Labahn and Daniel Ivan
Lecture Location:
MC 4042
Time: MWF 12:30-1:20, 1:30-2:20 and 3:30-4:20
Instructor Office Hours:

Ivan : Thurs 11:30-12:30, DC3323; Labahn : Tues 2:00-3:00 DC3629

TA Contact Info:

Swathi Amarala , samarala@cs.uwaterloo.ca

Amir Memmartoluie amemarto@cs.uwaterloo.ca

Somayeh Moazeni smoazeni@cs.uwaterloo.ca

Soumojit Sarkar soumojitsarkar@gmail.com

General Information

  • The main source for course information is UW-ACE (http://uwace.uwaterloo.ca).

  • Course Notes: Available from Campus Copy in Math, MC 2018.

  • Optional Text: Timothy Sauer, Numerical Analysis, Addison Wesley, 2006.

  • Optional Text: Cleve Moler, Numerical Computing with MATLAB, SIAM, 2004. (Also available online through The MathWorks at www.mathworks.com/moler/).

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Course Description

Numerical computation crops up in many fields of application, such as computer graphics, medical imaging, fluid dynamics, finance, and data mining. This course covers many of the principles and practices of basic scientific computation. Topics include: cubic splines, fast Fourier transforms, solutions of differential equations, floating point number systems, numerical errors and stability. Topics are presented in the context of specific applications to image processing, analysis of data, and scientific modeling. Any student interested in a career in computational support of engineering or scientific applications such as CAD/CAM, graphics, medical imaging, or computational finance will find this course essential.

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Course Objectives

By the end of the course, the student will:

- understand the basic concepts and limitations of numerical computation,

- be able to combine mathematical techniques, algorithms, and MATLAB programming to solve simple but realistic application problems, and

- be able to write programs and present numerical and graphical results using the mathematical software MATLAB.

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Course Grading

    Assignments 32%
    Midterm 24%
    Final exam 44%

    There will be 4 assignments, each worth 8%.

    To pass the course, your combined exam mark (for the midterm and final) must be at least 34 (out of 68). Otherwise, your final grade will be your combined exam mark.

    If you are unable to write the midterm for well-documented reasons, then the final examination is weighted at 68% of the final mark.

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Schedule of Topics

Sept 13 - Sept 17: Floating Point Arithmetic

Sept 17 - Sept 29: Interpolation and Parametric Curves

  • (Alternate Notes : pages 23-29)

    Oct 1 - Oct 18: Differential Equations

    Oct 20 - Nov 19: Discrete Fourier Analysis

    Nov 22 - Dec 6: Linear Algebra / Google Page Rank

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    Procedures for assignments
    Unclaimed assignments can be picked up during the TA office hours. No late assignments nor missing assignments are allowed.

    Midterm and Assignment Dates

    Fri Oct 1: Assignment 1 due 5:00 pm

  • Assignment 1 (corrected Sept 24)

    Thur Oct 21: Assignment 2 due 5:00 pm

  • Assignment 2

    Tues Oct 26: Midterm Exam, 7:00-9:00 pm MC 1056, 1085, 2017

    Early time : 4:30-6:30 pm MC2036-A

    Fri Nov 19: Assignment 3 due 5:00 pm

  • Assignment 3

    Useful files for assignment 3

  • sound_right
  • sound_left
  • sound_front
  • sound_bottom
  • sent_wave
  • received_noisy_sound
  • inputsound.mat

    Fri Dec 3: Assignment 4 due 5:00 pm

  • Assignment 4

    Useful files for assignment 4

  • surfer.m
  • pagerank.m
  • pagerankpow.m
  • gen_graph.m
  • cbc.mat

    Final Exam, Dec 13 9:00-11:30 MC 4021, MC 4059, MC 4061

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    Collaboration and Academic Integrity

    You are encouraged to discuss assignments with other individuals in the class.

    Submitted assignments should be your own work.

    Academic Integrity: In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of Waterloo community are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. All members of the UW community are expected to hold to the highest standard of academic integrity in their studies, teaching, and research. The Office of Academic Integrity's website (www.uwaterloo.ca/academicintegrity) contains detailed information on UW policy for students and faculty. This site explains why academic integrity is important and how students can avoid academic misconduct. It also identifies resources available on campus for students and faculty to help achieve academic integrity in — and out — of the classroom.

    Grievance:  A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his/her university life has been unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a grievance. Read Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances, Section 4, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy70.htm

    Discipline: A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity, to avoid committing academic offenses, and to take responsibility for his/her actions. A student who is unsure whether an action constitutes an offense, or who needs help in learning how to avoid offenses (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about “rules” for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course professor, academic advisor, or the Undergraduate Associate Dean. When misconduct has been found to have occurred, disciplinary penalties will be imposed under Policy 71 – Student Discipline. For information on categories of offenses and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71 - Student Discipline, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy71.htm

    Avoiding Academic Offenses:  Most students are unaware of the line between acceptable and unacceptable academic behaviour, especially when discussing assignments with classmates and using the work of other students.  For information on commonly misunderstood academic offenses and how to avoid them, students should refer to the Faculty of Mathematics Cheating and Student Academic Discipline Policy, http://www.math.uwaterloo.ca/navigation/Current/cheating_policy.shtml

    Appeals: A student may appeal the finding and/or penalty in a decision made under Policy 70 - Student Petitions and Grievances (other than regarding a petition) or Policy 71 - Student Discipline if a ground for an appeal can be established. Read Policy 72 - Student Appeals, http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/infosec/Policies/policy72.htm

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  • This page written and maintained by glabahn@cs.uwaterloo.ca