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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Leo Brewin


The unit offers a practical introduction to numerical computing. It begins by introducing the computing package MATLAB, which is widely used in science and engineering. MATLAB will be the basis for all teaching and practical work. Topics covered include error analysis, the solution of algebraic equations; approximations of functions: curve fitting, least squares and interpolation; analysis of data by Fourier Transforms and FFTs; numerical differentiation and integration; ordinary differential equations. These topics will be supported with case studies drawn from various disciplines in the physical sciences.


On completion of this unit, students will have the knowledge and confidence to use the computer as a tool to solve mathematical problems. Students will learn how to program using a simple but powerful package known as MATLAB (used extensively in commercial engineering and scientific organisations), and about algorithms and how they are translated from mathematics into MATLAB programs. Students will learn that there are many ways to solve a numerical problem; will be able to appreciate strengths and weaknesses of alternative algorithms; will develop skills to choose the appropriate algorithm for the problem at hand; and will develop a basic understanding of the approximations introduced in algorithms and the effects those approximations have on the quality of calculations.


Examination (3 hours): 70%
Laboratory classes and assignments: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Leo Brewin

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and an average of one hour of laboratory classes per week


MTH1030 or MTH1035