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MT4111 SYMBOLIC COMPUTATIONAimsThe overall aim of the course is to have students using Maple as a tool in their other courses and have them naturally turn to such a package when solving mathematical problems. The course aims to illustrate the following points: A symbolic computation package allows one to conduct mathematical experiments.  A symbolic computation package allows one to collect data about a problem being studied. This is similar to the way other scientists work.  It is easier to try several different approaches to a problem and see which works.  The machine is stupid. Intelligence comes from the user. The user thinks, the user interprets, the computer calculates.
ObjectivesBy the end of the course students are expected to be able to
 use the Maple online help facilities;  use standard Maple functions such as diff, int, solve, taylor etc.;  use the basic data structures of Maple, namely sets, sequences, arrays, vectors and matrices;
 write Maple programs with loops, conditional etc.;  define functions using procedures;  understand how Maple is effective in problem solving;  use Maple to produce data and look for patterns in the data i.e. be able to conjecture theorems;
 understand the strengths and limitations of a symbolic computation package;  use Maple to solve problems for other honours courses.
Syllabus Rational and real arithmetic in symbolic computation. Symbolic differentiation and integration. What "simplifying" an expression means to a symbolic computation program.  Writing Maple programs, procedures in Maple. Recursive definitions.  The linear algebra package in Maple.  The geometry package in Maple.  Plotting with Maple.
TextbooksTo try to allow students to concentrate on the computing and the important points, duplicated course notes are given to each student. Online help is available on the computers.Maple manuals are available in computer room adjacent to microcomputer lab. The university has a site licence for Maple, and students may put it up on their own machines.
Assessment2 hour examination = 70% , Project = 30%
ProjectThe students decide on their own project. They are advised to choose an area of mathematics (another course) that they like and investigate how Maple can be used in that area. Students are advised to talk with other members of staff about their projects.
PrerequisitesMT3501 or MT3503 or MT3504AntirequisitesMT5611AvailabilityAcademic year 2012/13 in semester 2 at 9
LecturersDr J M Mitchell (Module coordinator), Dr M Neunhoeffer, Dr C M RoneyDougalClick here for access to past examination papers via iSaint.
Click here to see the University Course Catalogue entry. Revised: PMH (September 2012)
