Introduction to Computational Science and Engineering

Using Matlab Graphical User Interfaces

CS 1115 (Fall 2013)


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Four credit hours. Fall Only. Satisfies the College of Engineering computing requirement. Enrollment limited to 40 students. Alternative courses: CS 1110 (Python), CS 1112 (Matlab), CS 1114 (Matlab + Robotics).

Prerequisites:   Some previous programming experience and a typical calculus course such as Math 1910 or Math 1120.

Meeting Time and Place:  Lecture: TTh 11:15-12:05  (Hollister 206). Lab: Th 1:25-2:15 or 2:30-3:20 (Upson B-7)

Course Description: Programming and problem solving using MATLAB. Emphasizes the systematic development of algorithms and programs. Topics include iteration, functions, arrays, and MATLAB graphics. Assignments are designed to build an appreciation for complexity, dimension, fuzzy data, inexact arithmetic, randomness, simulation, and the role of approximation. Every assignment highlights important aspects of computational science and engineering , builds your appreciation for the interplay between math and computing, and involves the design of a graphical user interface (GUI). By the end of the semester, students will be able to build GUI's like this  orbit simulator or this fractal generator.

The exams and lectures will look like CS 1112 exams and lectures. The computer projects will look like CS 1112 computer projects except that some of the problems will involve using the Matlab GUI editor GUIDE.  GUI instruction will be integrated into the assignments and the weekly labs. In a nutshell,

CS 1115  =  CS 1112  +  GUI Instruction.

CS 1115 is not  a more time-consuming, "honors" version of CS 1112. The GUI component is simply an enrichment feature made possible by the prior-programming-experience prerequisite and the small, 40-student  class size limit. Is this the right entry-level CS course for you?

Instructor Professor Charles Van Loan, 5153 Upson Hall, 255-5418,

Office Hours: Times are posted here. Cancellations and additions are communicated in class and through the course website. You can always schedule a special meeting time by sending me email. Randy Hess is my administrative assistant.

Required Text:   Insight Through Computing: A Matlab Introduction to Computational Science and Engineering  by Van Loan and Fan (Purchase, Software, Errata).

Optional Software: Student Matlab

Grading: Final Grade = Projects (42%) + Challenge problems (8%) + Prelims (30%) + Final (20%). There will be seven projects and we count the best six. There will be seven Challenge problems and we count the best two.

Academic Integrity: Be sure you are familiar with our policy.