Symbolic Computation Laboratory AS/SC/MATH2041.03

You will need an account on the acadlab system in T107 for this course. To get this account, first obtain an e-mail account from the Help Desk in the Steacie building. Then use this to get an acadlabs account using the Maya system in T107. It will take 24 hours to activate this account, so do this early.

The course meets in Steacie Lab T107 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 to 11:30 in the morning. The course starting date is September 8 and last day of classes is December 8. All assignments must be submitted by that date.

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the Maple language for doing symbolic as well as numerical mathematics. This computer system is able to do much of the tedious or routine calculations which need to be done in solving many mathematical problems, thereby allowing the student to concentrate on the conceptual difficulties rather than on the mechanical calculations. Students will be introduced to the language by working on problems from calculus and algebra, areas of mathematics with which students taking this course should already be familiar. The recommended text is Calculus the Maple Way by Robert Israel. Since the course is not based on formal lectures, the text will be used mostly as a source of examples and exercises. In particular, the relevant sections for this course are: Lab 1, Lab 2, Lab 18, Lab 4, Lab 6, Lab 17, Lab 22 and Lab 23. They should be read in the order listed. The text is available in the campus book store.

The course mark will be based entirely on the number of assigned projects successfully completed. The possible grades for a submitted assignment are "A" (Acceptable), "B" (Barely acceptable) and "U" (Unacceptable). Although an assignment with a grade of either "A" or "B" will be deemed to have been successfully completed, students receiving a large number of "B" grades may be asked to write a final exam at the end of the term. There will also be two class quizzes. These will not play a role on calculating the final mark except in the case where a student's performance on the quiz does not correspond to marks obtained on submitted assignments. In such cases, the student in question will also be required to write a final examination.

The course requirements for each of the possible grades are outlined in the following marking scheme:

Due dates

The first five assignments are due on the following dates:

A few sample problems along with solutions are available for students to study. These can also be used as guidelines to answer the question: "How much should I put in my solution?". Finally, there is an electronic discussion group set up for this course which is intended to be used by students to exchange thoughts about the assigned problems. Students are encouraged to ask questions here as well as to reply to queries made by other students. I will be looking in on ths group frequently and will add my own comments and answers as well.


Juris Steprans
email address:
Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
Ross 536 North, ext. 33921
York University

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