MATH 240 Scientific Computation • 5 Cr.


Introduction to numerical methods used to solve problems in the sciences and engineering. Students will use software to solve problems and communicate the results of calculations. Awareness of appropriate software tools to help analyze a physical problem and the limitations and strengths of these tools will be emphasized. Prerequisite: MATH 208. Recommended: MATH 238.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Write and document effective Matlab or Scilab scripts involving logical and iterative flow control and file input and output.
  • Use Matlab or Scilab to write efficient commands to manipulate data and implement numerical solution algorithms.
  • Produce effective plots of numerical data using Matlab or Scilab.
  • Explain the consequences of finite precision and the inherent limits of the numerical methods considered.
  • Select appropriate numerical methods to apply to various types of problems in engineering and science.
  • Demonstrate they understand the mathematics concepts underlying the numerical methods considered.
  • Demonstrate understanding and implementation of numerical solution algorithms applied to the following classes of problems:
    • Finding roots of equations.
    • Solving systems of algebraic equations.
    • Curve fitting.
    • Interpolation.
    • Numerical differentiation of data and functions.
    • Numerical integration of data and functions.
    • Solutions of ordinary differential equations including Initial value problems, Boundary value problems and Systems of equations.
    • Other numerical methods or classes of problems as chosen by the instructor.