Possibly, you have trouble getting the level
right, because it might feel like restating the obvious to you, if you
think of me as the intended reader. Rather visualize as reader
a fellow student, who has missed class several times. That is,
you may assume that your reader has the assignment as well as the textbook
available to him or her. However, you may *not* assume that he
or she has any lecture notes or hints from any source available.
Given these assumptions, *you must provide a report that is
detailed enough so that a reader of your report has sufficient information
to reproduce your results.*

Let me be clear about some aspects of this description:
While you *are required* to include the actual source code of
*all* code used, only the key part of your code needs
to be described in detail,
i.e., the algorithm that we are studying in the particular assignment.
The code should be well-written in structure and show helpful short
comments to find everything, but I will usually only look at it to try to help
you fix some bug, if I find your results in error;
this is not a programming course.
Remember that your description should be sufficient to understand what you did
without actually reading the listing of your code.
I usually find that it pays to rewrite the mathematical equations
in such a way that it becomes easy to write a code that resembles them.
Then, it is also very easy to describe the code, in particular if you
choose variable names that resemble the mathematical ones.

A note on style:
I strongly urge you to hand-write your reports on the homework.
Unless you are very experienced, using any typsetting system will
likely limit you in your use of formulas and arrangement.
However, your reports should have the style and arrangement,
*as if* they were prepared for professional type-setting using,
e.g., proper headers, displayed formulas, etc.
Start a new problem on a new sheet of paper.
Use only one side of each sheet of paper.
Write large and clearly.

On grading: Preparing the report that documents what you did and
analyzes the results is an integral part of the assignment.
*Complete and correct computer results will never count more than
half of the score for the problem.*
When grading the reports, I will be guided by the questions:
``Based on the information given, could I reproduce your results?'' and
``Are all pertinent questions about the performance of
the numerical method addressed?''

Copyright © 2001-2002 by Matthias K. Gobbert. All Rights Reserved.

This page version 2.0, January 2002.