CS 111

Introduction to Computational Science

Introduction to scientific computing, emphasizing basic numerical algorithms and the informed use of mathematical software. Matrix computation, systems of linear equations, differential equations. Students will learn and use the Matlab language.


Prof. John R. Gilbert

Teaching assistant:

Theodore Georgiou

Grader and LaTeX guru:

Jeff Tyson

LaTeX tutorial

Discussion and announcements:

Class meetings:


Course software and computer resources:

You'll use Matlab for all your programming in the course. It works on the Linux computers in CSIL and on the Windows computers in the ECI labs. To run Matlab from your personal machine, you can log in to CSIL remotely and forward the graphics, or else buy a copy of the "student version" at the bookstore.

The course will also use the "NCM" software, which you can put on your Matlab path at CSIL in any of several ways:

For the ECI lab machines or your personal machine, you can download your own copy of NCM from the textbook web site.



Final exam:

Homework policy:

There will be a homework assignment every week. You may talk to each other about the assignment, but what you submit must be your own work. Most weeks there will be two sets of problems: one to be turned in for a grade, and one for self-study to test your own understanding of the course material.

All homework must be submitted in hard copy, on paper. We strongly encourage you to write up your homework using LaTeX, which is the standard markup language for mathematical documents. To get you started, here is the LaTeX for the review quiz.

When a homework exercise requires a Matlab program, turn in four things:

Homework is due every Monday at the beginning of class, or in the CS111 homework box in the Computer Science mailroom, 2108 HFH, by 9:00 am Monday. No late homework will be accepted under any circumstances, but I will drop your two lowest homework grades.

If you have questions about grading of homework, talk to the grader or the t.a. first. If you are unable to reach an agreement, make an appointment to talk to me. The statute of limitations for regrades is one week -- that is, any requests for regrades must be made no later than one week after the homework (or exam) was returned in class.

Homework assignments:

Class schedule, diaries, and reading assignments:

The schedule of future classes should be considered tentative!

Other things:

  • Nick Trefethen on The definition of numerical analysis
  • MIT's Math 18.06, an introductory course in linear algebra, with Gil Strang's wonderful lectures online.