MATH 446/OR 481 (Section 002)
Spring 2018

Numerical Analysis I

| About the Course | Instructor | Prerequisites | Textbook | Learning Outcomes | About Matlab | Course Evaluation | Course Outline | Academic Integrity | Disability Accomodation |


It is well-known that the use of numerical methods for the analysis, simulation, and design of engineering processes and industrial systems has been increasing at a rapid rate. Therefore, this course is intended to better prepare future engineers and computational scientists (as well as to assist practicing engineers and computational scientists), in understanding the fundamentals of numerical methods, especially their application, limitations, and potentials. This course is designed as an introductory course in computational techniques for solving problems from science and engineering with emphasis on applications. The course will cover the classical fundamental topics in numerical methods such as, solution of nonlinear algebraic systems, approximation, numerical integration and numerical linear algebra. The viewpoint will be modern, with connections made between each topic and a variety of applications. By the end of the course, the student should not only be familiar, but more confident, in effectively using numerical tools to solve problems in their own field of interest.


Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer


Sufficient recall of undergraduate linear algebra, differential equations and computer literacy including familiarity with MATLAB.


Numerical Analysis by Timothy Sauer, 2nd edition (2012). Topics from the book will be supplemented with examples in class by the instructor.


In this course, the emphasis will be to analyze and apply well-know numerical techniques to solve engineering problems and evaluate the results. The objective will be to train students to understand why the methods work, what type of errors to expect, and when an application might lead to difficulties. In particular, the students will become proficient in:
  1. Understanding the theoretical and practical aspects of the use of numerical methods

  2. Implementing numerical methods for a variety of multidisciplinary applications

  3. Establishing the limitations, advantages, and disadvantages of numerical methods
The expected learning outcomes for the course will be assessed through: Exams, homeworks, in-class activities and class discussions. Problem-based learning will be an integral part of the course.


The software package MATLAB will be used for scientific computation, analysis and presentation of data. MATLAB is an interactive programming language for general scientific and technical computation with powerful graphics and library functions.


Evaluation for the course will be based on the following criteria:

Homework 40%
Computer Projects 20%
Midterm Exam 15%
Final Exam 25%
TOTAL 100%


We plan to cover the following topics in this class. Please note that topics covered may vary slightly from those below depending on class interest and time. In this course, I would like to emphasize how we can analyze and apply numerical techniques to solve engineering problems and evaluate the results. Problem-based learning (both in and out of class) will be an integral part of the course. The primary reference will be Lecture notes provided by the instructor that will be posted on the course website every week. The students may supplement these notes with textbooks in numerical methods for scientists and engineers.


All students will be expected to abide by the Honor Code: Student members of the George Mason University community pledge not to cheat, plagiarize, steal, or lie in matters related to academic work .


If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, please see me and contact the Office of Disability Resources at 703/993-2474. All academic accommodations must be arranged through that office.