Course work

Classes are participatory: I expect you to work in small groups for a few minutes each class period. Please attend and participate actively by asking and answering lots of questions!

This is a multi-sectioned course, so we have common exams and largely common homework. Grades are broken down as follows:

  • Midterm (30%) covers chaps 1 & 2;
  • Final exam (30%) covers the rest;
  • Online HW (25%) is due every week;
  • Written HW (15%) is due around exam time;

There is a lot of material to cover, and I expect to go pretty fast. Expect each assignment to take more than a couple of days to complete. We are all adults here, and it is your responsibility to come up with a system that works for you. You'll be able to see midterm grades on moodle.


You need to register for online text and HW access.

Also, get Matlab. UMass students get a 100% discount; see OIT's Matlab licencing page.


In this class we will use Matlab and/or GNU Octave, a free clone.

Because of time limitations, I will not teach Matlab directly. Instead, I will make available working code for you to run and edit. Also, Matlab has extensive documentation both inline and in webland (google "matlab tutorials"). I will post code snippets on my matlab page.

Your Responsibilities

Please ask questions in and out of class. Remember that we learn best by doing, and so help your colleagues out as much as you can (with hints and discussion, not copies of solutions). Please let me know if you are falling behind, and I'll give the best advice and encouragement I can.

Please let me know in advance of any special circumstances which may prevent you from attending classes. Although I do want you to work together and help each other out, everything you turn in must be your own work! You are expected to know the difference between shared and copied work. Please be courteous to and considerate of your colleagues.

I will not tolerate cheating of any kind. I have had cases of cheating in this class previously, and any instances I find will go directly to the Academic Honesty Board.