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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MATH2920 Computational Mathematics

10 creditsClass Size: 280

Module manager: Dr Richard Elwes, Dr Jitse Niesen

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

(MATH1010 or MATH1050) and (MATH1025 or MATH1055)

This module is mutually exclusive with

MATH1920Computational Mathematics

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces students to computational techniques, algorithms and numerical solutions. Students will learn basic programming using the language Python and apply computational techniques to the solution of mathematical problems.


On completion of this module, students should:
- understand the use and limitations of computers in a mathematical setting;
- be familiar with the rudiments of programming and syntax using Python;
- understand and construct mathematical and computational algorithmics;
- be able to solve mathematical problems using computational methods;
- be able to interpret correctly the result of a computational procedure.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students should have provided evidence of being able to:

- demonstrate a broad understanding of the comcepts, information, practical competencies and techniques of computational mathematics;
- demonstrate a reasonable level of skill in calculation and manipulation within this basic body of knowledge;
- apply core concepts and principles in well-defined contexts;
- appreciate the coherence, logical structure and broad applicability of mathematics;
- demonstrate an awareness of skills in comprehending problems, formulating them mathematically and obtaining solutions by appropriate methods;
- use a range of techniques to initiate and undertake problem solving.


- introduction to the principles of computational mathematics.
- fundamentals of syntax, structure and file mamagement in Python.
- loops, functions, control flow statements.
- data types (how a computer understands intergers, rationals, irrationals).
- coding of simple algorithms, such as Euclid's algorithm, the Sieve of Eratosthenes, continued fraction algorithm.
- computational solution to more dvanced problems, such as sorting algorithms and random number generation.
- plotting and visualisation.
- limitations of computational methods.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment11.001.00
Private study hours69.00
Total Contact hours31.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students should work on programming and problem-solving skills either in IT cluster rooms, or using identical freely available software downloaded onto their own machines. Instructions for doing so will be given.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Regular example practical sheets handed in and marked.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Computer Exercise.20.00
Computer Exercise.20.00
Computer Exercise.40.00
In-course Assessment30 minute unseen exam during week 11 lecture20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 10/05/2017


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