The University of Iowa

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Department of Mathematics


Cross-listed number: CS:3700, Section 0004

FALL 2021

11:30AM-12:20PM MWF, 218 MLH


Some of the policies relating to this course (such as the drop deadline) are governed by its administrative home, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 120 Schaeffer Hall.

Instructor: Laurent O. Jay

Office: 225L MLH

Office hours: 12:30-1:20 PM MWF on Zoom. I may also be available at other times. Just send me an e-mail to make an appointment.

Phone: (319) 335-0898


Mailbox: in Mailroom 15 MLH

DEO contact information: Professor Weimin Han, 14 MLH, E-mail: The Department of Mathematics has offices in 14 MLH. To make an appointment to speak with the DEO, call 335-0714 or contact the Departmental Secretary in 14 MLH.

Course information: Assignments and other information about the course will be given on ICON. Students are responsible for checking regularly ICON. Recommended readings will also be posted on the course web page at


Description of course:

This is NOT a course on learning MATLAB or PYTHON! This is a mathematically oriented course on the mathematics of numerical methods (that may be used by MATLAB and PYTHON). If you are looking for a course to learn MATLAB or PYTHON then you should take for example the course ME:4111/CEE:4511 Scientific Computing & Machine Learning, it used to be called Numerical Calculations. Topics to be covered:

This course plan may be modified during the semester. Such modifications will be announced in advance during class periods and on the course web page; the student is responsible for keeping abreast of such changes.

Objectives and goals of the course: This course will cover some basic topics of numerical analysis at an introductory level (see the course description above for the list of topics to be covered). The main objective will be to have a clear understanding of the ideas and techniques underlying the numerical methods, results, and algorithms that will be presented, where error analysis plays an important role. You will then be able to use this knowledge to analyze the numerical methods and algorithms that you will encounter, and also to program them effectively on a computer. This knowledge will be useful in your future to solve various problems numerically.

Course pack (required): My class notes are available as a course pack at the IMU bookstore for $14.75.


  • Explorations in Numerical Analysis Python Edition by James V. Lambers, Amber Sumner Mooney, and Vivian A. Montiforte, World Scientific Publishing Company, Singapore, 2021, 674 pages, ISBN-10: 9811227934, ISBN-13: 978-9811227936, list price: $68.00 (Paperback). The book on and on
  • Class procedures: The majority of each class period will be lecture oriented. It is strongly advised to read the material to be discussed before coming to class. Therefore, if there is a difficult point, you will know beforehand where it arises, so that you can benefit from the lecture more effectively. If a point remains unclear you can ask questions in class. Readings may be assigned. Standard out-of-class preparation is at least six hours per week.

    Additional useful readings:

    Homework: Will be assigned approximately weekly. Presentation of your results is very important. Scratch paper will not be accepted. Do not expect good grades if your solution to a problem is poorly communicated. Like for everything, if you cannot explain something in great details, you certainly have not fully understood it. The importance of doing homework cannot be overemphasized, most of human people learn by doing, not only by watching and/or listening. Late homework may not be accepted, you need to request permission first or to provide a reasonable justification. Late homework is not accepted once a correction is given. Use of symbolic mathematical software to solve problems is not allowed.

    Grading procedures: In assigning grades, the plus/minus grading system will be used. The A+ grade will be used only in extraordinary situations. The final grade will be based as follows:

    1. There will be 2 tests during the semester, with each test to account for 22.5% of the course grade.
    2. Homework assignments and quizzes will account for 15% of the course grade. Late homework will be accepted only by special permission of the instructor. Your worst 2 homework scores will not be counted. For example if we have 12 homeworks, we will count only your best 10 homework scores out of 12 homeworks. Only a portion of each homework assignment may be graded, based on the availability of assistance from a grader for the course.
    3. The final examination will account for 40% of the course grade and it will be comprehensive.

    The 2 tests and final examination are open books and open notes examinations. There will be NO question related to MATLAB or PYTHON in the tests. Smartphones/computers are not allowed. Bring a simple scientific calculator, graphing calculators are fine.

    A Word about the Date and Time of the Final Exam: The final examination will be held on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM in room LR2 VAN (Van Allen). Do not plan your end of the semester travel plans until the final exam schedule is made public. It is your responsibility to know the date, time, and place of the final exam. According to Registrar's final exam policy, students have a maximum of two weeks after the announced final exam schedule to request a change if an exam conflict exists or if a student has more than two exams in one day (see the complete policy here). The final examination will be done with open books and open notes. Smartphones/computers are not allowed. Bring a scientific calculator.

    Course policies: Your responsibilities to this class and to your education as a whole-include attendance and participation, check in particular the CLAS policies related to student attendance and absences. You are also expected to be honest and honorable in your fulfillment of assignments and in test-taking situations (the College's policy on plagiarism and cheating is on-line in the College's Student Academic Handbook). You have a responsibility to the rest of the class-and to the instructor-to help create a classroom environment where all may learn. At the most basic level, this means that you will respect the other members of the class and the instructor, and treat them with the courtesy you hope to receive in turn. Smart phones, cell phones, and pagers must be on silent mode during lecture and they are not allowed in class during exams. If you do bring a phone or pager to an exam, you may leave it in the front of the class during the exam. If a student is found to have a phone or pager during an exam, the phone or pager will be taken from the student and procedures for cheating will be followed.

    Student Collaboration on homework: The homework for this course is designed to help you master your knowledge related to the topics covered during lecture. As such, you may discuss on the homework problems with others or use online resources. However, please be aware that to master the skills needed for this class, practice is required and that to do well on the final exam you will need to work many of these problems multiple times without help. Be sure to test your knowledge by doing much of the homework on your own. Students are allowed to partially collaborate with others on homework through discussion for the most difficult problems. However, each student must turn in their own homework and it must not be a copy of someone else homework. Students are responsible for understanding this policy; if you have questions, ask for clarification. Word per word copies will not be tolerated. In extreme cases students may be requested to stop any kind of collaboration with other students.

    Computer languages: The predominant programming languages used in numerical analysis are Matlab and Fortran. They are available on the Linux network in MLH (see below). Alternatives to Matlab are Octave and Scilab. For programming assignments, no other language will be accepted, except Python.

    Linux computer accounts: Linux computer accounts are available on the Linux network in MLH (computer lab rooms B5). To access your Linux computer account remotely. you can use FastX, a graphical Linux virtual desktop environment remotely accessible in your web browser. As long as you have an active Hawk ID and you login at least once in the past year, your CLAS Linux account will remain active. If you fail to use your account in a year, you will receive three notices, and then your CLAS Linux account will be deleted. Also, once your Hawk ID becomes inactive, your CLAS Linux account will be deleted.

    Grader: Mingxiu Sui, office: B20J MLH, mailbox is in 15 MLH (MacLean Hall), e-mail:

    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Information and Policies for Undergraduates

    Attendance and Classroom Expectations: Students are responsible for attending class and for knowing an instructor’s attendance policies, which vary by course and content area. All students are expected to attend class and to contribute to its learning environment. Students are also expected to comply with University policies and directives regarding appropriate classroom behavior or other matters. Students also have the right to be evaluated solely on their academic achievement and the fulfillment of related requirements.

    Absences: Students are responsible for communicating with instructors as soon they know that an absence might occur or as soon as possible in the case of an illness. Students may use the CLAS absence form to aid in communication with instructors who will decide if the absence is excused or unexcused; the form is located on ICON within the top banner under "Student Tools." Delays in communication could result in a forfeit of what otherwise might be an excused absence.

    Absences: Illness, Unavoidable Circumstances, and University Sponsored Activities: Students who are ill, in an unavoidable circumstance affecting academic work, or who miss class because of a University sponsored activity are allowed by UI policy to make up a missed exam. Documentation is required by the instructor except in the case of a brief illness. Students are responsible for communicating with instructors as soon as the absence is known.

    Absences: Holy Days: Reasonable accommodations are allowed for students whose religious holy days coincide with their classroom assignments, tests, and attendance if the student notifies the instructor in writing of any such religious Holy Day conflicts within the first days of the semester and no later than the third week. (See the University Operations Manual:

    Absences: Military Service Obligations: Students absent from class due to U.S. veteran or U.S. military service obligations (including military service-related medical appointments, military orders, and National Guard Service obligations) must be excused without penalty. Instructors must make reasonable accommodations to allow students to make-up exams or other work. Students must communicate with their instructors about the expected possibility of missing class as soon as possible. (For more information, see

    Academic Misconduct: All undergraduates enrolled in courses offered by CLAS have in essence agreed to the College's Code of Academic Honesty. Academic misconduct affects a student's grade and is reported to the College which applies an additional sanction, such as suspension. Outcomes about misconduct are communicated through UI email (

    Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: UI is committed to providing an educational experience that is accessible to all students. A student may request academic accommodations for a disability (such as a mental health, attention, learning, vision, and a physical or health-related condition) through the Student Disability Services (SDS) office. The student is responsible for discussing specific accommodations with the instructor. Note that accommodations are not granted retroactively but from the time of the student's request to the instructor onward; additionally, accommodations must be requested at least two weeks in advance of the related assignment or exam (

    Class Recordings: Privacy and Sharing: Course lectures and discussions are sometimes recorded or live-streamed. These are only available to students registered for the course and the intellectual property of the faculty member. These materials may not be shared or reproduced without the explicit written consent of the instructors. Students may not share these recordings with those who are not enrolled in the course; likewise, students may not upload recordings to any other online environment. Doing so is a breach of the Code of Student Conduct and could be a violation of the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); also see

    Communication: UI Email: Students are responsible for all official correspondences sent to their UI email address ( and must use this address for any communication with instructors or staff in the UI community (Operations Manual, III.15.2). Emails should be respectful and brief, with complex matters addressed during the instructor's drop-in hours, for example. Faculty are not expected to answer email after business hours or during the weekends.

    Communication: Free Expression: The University of Iowa supports and upholds the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech and the principle of academic freedom to foster a learning environment where open inquiry and the vigorous debate of a diversity of ideas are encouraged. Students will not be penalized for the content or viewpoints of their speech if student expression in a class context is germane to the subject matter of the class and is conveyed in an appropriate manner. To learn more, visit

    Complaints about Academic Matters: Students with a complaint about a grade or a related academic matter should first visit with the instructor and then with the course supervisor if one is assigned, and finally with the Chair of the department or program offering the course. Students may next bring the issue if not resolved to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. See

    Final Examination Policies: The final exam schedule is published during the fifth week of the fall and spring semesters or on the first day of summer classes; students are responsible for knowing the date, time, and place of their final exams. Students should not make travel plans until knowing this information. A student with exams scheduled on the same day and time or who have more than two final exams on the same day should visit this page for how to resolve these problems by the given deadline: No exams are allowed the week before finals, but with some exceptions made for labs, language courses, and off-cycle courses (

    Free speech and expression: The University of Iowa supports and upholds the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech and the principles of academic and artistic freedom. We are committed to open inquiry, vigorous debate, and creative expression inside and outside of the classroom. Visit Free Speech at Iowa for more information on the University's policies on free speech and academic freedom (

    Home of the Course: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the home of this course, and CLAS governs the courses add and drop deadlines, the "second-grade only" option (SG0), and other undergraduate policies and procedures. Different UI colleges may have other policies or deadlines. See Questions? Contact CLAS at or 319-335-2633.

    Mental Health: Students are encouraged to seek help as a preventive measure or if feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Students should talk to their instructors for guidance with specific class-related concerns and are encouraged to contact University Counseling Service (UCS) at 319-335-7294 during regular business hours to schedule an appointment. USC offers group and individual therapy as well as counseling for couples about relationships while making referrals to other resources ( Student Health can also address related concerns ( These visits are free to students. After hours, students are encouraged to call the Johnson County Community Crisis Line at (319) 351-0140 or dial 911 in an emergency.

    Nondiscrimination in the Classroom: The University of Iowa is committed to making the classroom a respectful and inclusive space for people of all gender, sexual, racial, religious, and other identities. Toward this goal, students are invited in MyUI to optionally share the names and pronouns they would like their instructors and advisors to use to address them. The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination and harassment against individuals based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, and other identity categories indicated by the University’s Human Rights policy. For more information, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity at

    Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff; all members of the UI community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that maintains an environment free from sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. Those experiencing sexual harassment are strongly encouraged to report the incidents and to seek help (