CM 271 / AMATH 341 / CS 371
Introduction to
Computational Mathematics
Fall 2008


Course Instructor:
Professor Keith Geddes
Lecture Location:
MC 4045
Time: MWF 1:30-2:20 pm
Instructor Office Hours:

Tue 2:30-3:30 pm, DC 3621
Thu 2:30-3:30 pm, DC 3621

TA Contact Info:

Ansis Rosmanis,

Mehrdad Nojoumian,

Cross-listed Courses: CM 271 / AMATH 341 / CS 371


General Information

  • The main source for course information is UW-ACE (

  • Course Notes: CS 371 Course Notes are available from Campus Copy in MC 2018 (approx. $15).

  • Required Text: R.L. Burden and J.D. Faires, Numerical Analysis, 8th Edition, Brooks/Cole, 2005.

  • Optional Reference Book: Cleve Moler, Numerical Computing with MATLAB, SIAM, 2004. (Also available online through The MathWorks at

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Course Grading

    Assignments 28% (five of them, worth 4%, 6%, 6%, 6%, 6%)
    Midterm 24%
    Final exam 48%

    There will be 5 assignments, all worth 6% except for the first one worth 4%.

    To pass the course, your combined exam mark (for the midterm and final) must be at least 36 (out of 72). 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 72% of the final mark.

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Schedule of Topics

Sep 8 - Sep 17: Errors and Error Propagation

Sep 19 - Oct 3: Root Finding

Oct 6 - Oct 22: Numerical Linear Algebra

Oct 24 - Nov 7: Discrete Fourier Methods

Nov 10 - Nov 19: Interpolation

Nov 21 - Dec 1: Numerical Integration

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Procedures for assignments

Midterm and Assignment Dates

Tue Sep 23: Assignment 1 due 5:00 pm

Tue Oct 7: Assignment 2 due 5:00 pm

Tue Oct 21: Assignment 3 due 5:00 pm

Thu Oct 23: Midterm Test, 7:00-9:00 pm

Tue Nov 11: Assignment 4 due 5:00 pm

Mon Dec 1: Assignment 5 due 5:00 pm

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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 ( 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,

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,

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,

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,

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