"Never in the history of mankind has it been possible to produce so many wrong answers so quickly." Carl-Erik Froeberg

COURSE: Math 248--Computers and Numerical Algorithms--Spring 2000

OVERVIEW: Math 248 is a unique course, in which 1) you will learn a high-level programming language, Fortran 90, and 2) you will use that language to write efficient and well-structured programs to perform a variety of numerical tasks: e.g., finding the roots of a nonlinear equation, finding the solution of a linear system of equations, numerically evaluating a definite integral, and determining and evaluating an interpolating polynomial. The relative emphases on these two objectives will be approximately 1/3 to 2/3. Most people, even those proficient in the daily use of computers, are unaware that computers can sometimes provide inaccurate or erroneous results, even when they are functioning perfectly. Consequently, we will spend a good deal of effort identifying sources of error and performing error analyses. When all is said and done, you will not only be able to program numerical algorithms, you will be able to argue that your answers are (well, almost) correct!


Dr. Dave Pruett


Burruss 018

TEXTS: Fortran 90 for Engineers and Scientists, by Nyhoff and Leestma, Prentice Hall, 1997.

Applied Numerical Analysis, 6th Ed., by Gerald and Wheatley, Addison Wesley, 1997.






40% 7-8 Programming assignments

roughly biweekly

10% Test I

Feb. 08 (approx.)

10% Test II

Mar. 27 (approx.)

10% Test III

Apr. 19 (approx.)

12% Class Part.(0-3%)/Labs-HW(9%)


18% Comprehensive Final Exam


OUTSIDE HELP: Instructor's office hours: 1:00-2:30MW, 2-3TTh, and by appointment. No appointment is necessary during scheduled office hours. (Outside those hours, the favor of an appointment is requested.)

MAKE-UPS: No make-up tests will be given. If a test is missed, for whatever reason, the final exam will be weighted proportionately more heavily.

LATE POLICY: Programs will be due by 4:00 p.m. on the due date. Late programs will be assessed a penalty of 10% per day for up to 5 days, after which they will no longer be accepted.

HONOR POLICY: JMU students are presumed to have the highest standards of integrity. To reinforce those standards, the JMU Honor Code will be strictly enforced. Regarding programs, students are free to discuss the concepts involved in programming assignments, but the actual coding of an algorithm should be done independently and each individual's program should be unique. Functionally or logically identical programs are considered violations of the honor code to be prosecuted rigorously.



*subject to change due to circumstances.