Computational Mathematics (2019-2020)

Prof. Vidit Nanda
Course Term: 
Course Lecture Information: 

Lectures: Week 2 and Week 5 Michaelmas Term and Weeks 1 and 3 Hilary Term
Demonstrating sessions: Weeks 3-8 of Michaelmas Term and weeks 1-2 of Hilary Term. Each student will have 4 two-hour sessions.
Project drop-in sessions: Weeks 3-8 of Hilary Term. Extra sessions run during weeks 5 and 8 of Hilary Term ahead of the project submission deadlines.

Course Overview: 

Many mathematicians use general-purpose mathematical software which includes tools for symbolic and numerical computation and other features such as plotting, visualization and data analysis. Such software is used for solving linear and nonlinear equations, graphing the results, as a tool for exploring a mathematical concept, as a handbook of mathematical functions and integration rules, and as a technique for verifying the correctness of calculations done "by hand". In this introductory course, students will explore these ideas using the popular MATLAB software.

Students may access the system through college or individual computers; for the former they should consult the computing support at their own college. MATLAB may be installed and used on personally-owned computers under the University's site license. Information on downloading MATLAB can be found at To access this page students will need to login using their University account.

Teaching and Assessment:
The course relies heavily on self-teaching through practical exercises. A manual for the course and examples to be worked through will be provided.

You will be timetabled for demonstrating sessions in the Mathematical Institute where you will have access to help and advice from demonstrators. You will need to bring a laptop to these sessions. To save time, please follow the instructions above to install MATLAB on your machine prior to the first session. If you are unable to bring a laptop to the sessions, please contact the Academic Assistant ( well ahead of your first session.

Your work in this course will be taken into account as part of the Preliminary Examinations. For further information, see the section on examinations in the Undergraduate Handbook.

Learning Outcomes: 

Students will be introduced to MATLAB as a problem-solving environment and the use of computer programming to solve mathematical problems. Students will develop confidence and expertise in a tool which can be used in the later years of the mathematics course.

Course Synopsis: 

Using the MATLAB command line and working with ".m" files;

Plotting in two and three dimensions;

Works with lists, arrays, matrices and linear algebra;

Symbolic computing;

Logic, flow control and programming;

Solving problems in algebra, calculus, and applied mathematics.

Reading List: 

Computational Mathematics: Michaelmas Term Students' Guide, available from reception and the course website.

Please note that e-book versions of many books in the reading lists can be found on SOLO and ORLO.