Math 490  Special Topics in Mathematics
Mathematical Computer Packages: MATLAB
Spring 2000  Matthias K. Gobbert
Section 0101  Schedule Number 3016
This page can be reached via my homepage at
http://www.math.umbc.edu/~gobbert.
Grading Information
Scores and grades ordered by the last four digits of the student number:
scores and grades.
Basic Information
 Matthias K. Gobbert,
Math/Psyc 416, (410) 4552404, gobbert@math.umbc.edu,
office hours: MW 03:0003:50 or by appointment
 Times and location:
MW 07:0009:00 p.m., ECS 104A (SGI instructional computer lab).
The class will meet for four hours per week until Spring Break,
thus it will count 2 credits.
(The location and number of credits are incorrect in the printed
schedule of classes.)
 Prerequisites: Math 152, Math 221, CMSC 104, or instructor approval.
 Textbook:
Stephen J. Chapman, MATLABŪ Programming for Engineers,
Brooks/Cole, 2000.
 Grading policy:
Homework
 Class participation
 Final exam

40%
 20%
 40%

The homework is weighted so heavily, because it includes the
computer assignments that are vital to understanding the course material.
The time and format of the final exam is to be arranged in class.
See the general policies and procedures for more information.
Overview
Matlab is a professional software package designed to implement mathematical
ideas on a high level. It is widely used in industrial companies, government
agencies, and educational institutions for rapid prototyping and teaching.
Its main popularity roots in its intuitive interactive interface combined
with reliable numerical algorithms and professional graphics capabilities.
This class is designed to provide a thorough introduction to programming
and the use of highlevel software packages using the example of Matlab.
We will start by introducing basic data structures and programming elements.
A brief introduction to the UNIX environment will be included here.
Then we will work our way up to higherlevel programming structures and
discuss their use in mathematics and mathematical applications. This
will include the use of important routines for finding polynomial roots,
eigenvalues of matrices, and effective two and threedimensional graphics.
Additionally, we will discuss selected features from the symbolic toolbox.
The class meetings will typically be devided into a lecture followed by
supervised lab work. Active participation is vital to learning the material.
Assignments will come in three flavors in this class:
 Problems will be assigned in the lab portion of the lecture to be
completed immediately under supervision.
 Some review problems will be assigned each lecture, to be completed
by the next lecture; this review always includes all quizzes
posed in the textbook, whose solutions are given in the back of the text.
 More extensive problems will be assigned typically over a weekend,
which must be turned in with complete documentation; see the
general policies and procedures for more information.
Other Information
Copyright © 2000 by Matthias K. Gobbert. All Rights Reserved.
This page version 2.0, April 2000.