CS 3734 Scientific and Engineering Computing I (Course #1256A, Spring 2005)

The goal is to take advantage of the programming skills that the students learn in introductory level computer science courses to exploit the broad power of modern computing related to their science and engineering disciplines. Computational techniques are taught in parallel with programming and problem-solving methodologies. The students learn how to recognize a "good" or "bad" formulation of the problem, select the proper algorithm to solve a given computational problem, and interpret the results, and thus learn to become intelligent users, rather than creators, of computational software. The first semester will deal with fundamental issues in numerical computing.

Pre-requisites for this course are CS1114, MA1122, MA2012, MA2132. Serious numerical calculations will be performed using MATLAB in class and in homework assignments. Students are required to bring their laptop notebook computers to classes. Make sure that MATLAB is properly installed on your laptop. Help with software and hardware issues should be addressed to the Laptop HelpDesk located in RH 339.

Instructor :

K. Ming Leung

E-mail :


Office :

LC 127

Office hours :

Tuesday: 10:00 - 11:00 am, 5:00 - 6:00 pm pm

Thursday: 10:00 - 11:00 am

Textbook :

Scientific Computing: An Introductory Survey, 2nd Edition, (McGraw-Hill, NY, 2002), by Michael T. Heath. (ISBN 0072399104). Our bookstore should have copies available. There is a much cheaper International Edition (ISBN 007112229X) in paper format, however it is not available in the US. You may find it worthwhile buying the book online by going to sites such as:


Lectures :

2 lectures a week, totaling to 39 hours per semester.

Recitation :

Roughly one hour per week

Exams :

An open-book final exam.

Homework :

Weekly homework assignments

Recitation Infrastructure :

Hands-on programming and exploration using MATLAB and existing public-domain software packages .


All student must have a copy of MATLAB (version 6.5 or higher). If your laptop pc does not have MATLAB or the version that you have is older than 6.5, please go to the Laptop Helpdesk to have a copy installed for you. (You need to give them your name and tell them that you are taking CS 3734.) MATLAB will be used in the lectures for demonstration and all course assignments.

Grading System:

Attendance/Participation (10%), HW (30%), Midterm (30%), Final (30%).

Rule Concerning Collaboration on Course Assignments:

No student is allowed to collaborate with anyone except me on any course assignments or projects unless explicitly specified. You cannot discuss with anyone (including anyone on the internet) any aspect of the assignments.

Course Objectives :

  1. Knowledge of the fundamental issues concerning scientific and engineering computing.

  2. Ability to formulate the problem, identify an appropriate computational algorithm, and properly interpret the results.

Tentative topics:

Recitation topics:

Fully coordinated and integrated with lecture material.

ABET Competencies :

This course addresses the following ABET competencies :

a) Students apply knowledge of mathematics (calculus, linear algebra, differential equations) and computational techniques to solve science and engineering problems.

e) Students identify, formulate and solve scientific and engineering problems.

k) Students learn techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice by using computational and graphical tools for homework assignments and term projects.

Content by Category :

Engineering Science = 4 credits (100%)

Instructional Materials :

Materials for lectures and recitation classes

Homeworks :

Homework assignments and their solutions