SUNY at Stony Brook MAT 331: Computer-Assist Math Prob Solv
Spring 2010

Place and time: S-235 Math Tower, Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:20-12:40.

Instructor: Moira Chas

  • Office: 3-119 in the Math Tower, 632-8266.

  • email: moira at

  • Office Hours: Tu - 9-11am (in 3-119, Math Tower), Th 10-11 (in P-143 Math Tower).

Textbook The text for this course is a set of notes currently being written by Professors Sutherland and Simanca. These are available on the class web page; they may be revised somewhat as the semester progresses. You might find it useful to obtain a manual about Maple (a manual can be downloaded from Maplesoft). Most of what you need will be covered in class, but it is often useful to have a reference at hand.

Grades policy Three projects, in total 85% of the grade;   homework and class participation 15% of the grade.

Both the expository and computational aspects of the project write-ups will be graded.

Discussing homework and projects is encouraged, although, each student will be responsible for turning in a write-up of the problem and solution. This implies that files cannot be shared in any way, only preliminary general discussion is aloud.

All grades will be posted in Blackboard.

Projects and Problems There will be a number of problems assigned, as well as two or three projects.

A problem is a homework assignment, that you should be able to complete in at most a couple of hours. Each problem counts for the same amount of points, whether they are easy or difficult, and there will be between two and four weekly problems. Each problem should contain a description of the steps performed. These problems must be written individually. Identical and too similar submissions will be penalized (see Academic Integrity).

A project is more like a term paper you will be expected to devote a significant amount of time to doing it, as well as taking care with the presentation. The expository part of each project should contain an introduction, a detailed description of the problem or topic, what means were used in solve it, and the solution. These write-ups should be produced by each student individually, and should be detailed enough so that someone who has not taken the class can read and understand them, and will believe the solution is correct. In particular, all non-standard mathematical terms used should be defined. These write-ups are often acceptable for the mathematics writing requirement. All references must be explicitly quoted. Cutting-and-pasting from the Internet is not aloud. These papers will be submitted through SafeAssign, therefore, violation of these rules will be detected, and penalized (see Academic Integrity).

All problems and projects will be posted in this website.

Computers We will use the math computer lab in S-235 of the math tower; this lab contains computers running  Linux. While we will be the Linux machines in class, much of the work can be done on other systems. We will rely mostly on Maple (a program that can do algebra, calculus, graphics, etc.), although if other tools are better suited to the task, we may make use of them. No previous experience with computers is needed.

Maple is available for most platforms (Windows, Macintosh, Linux, . . .); Stony Brook students can buy a copy of Maple at the Seawolves Market Place for five dollars. Maple is also available at all Stony Brook Sinc Sites. You might be able to download a copy for Windows or Mac from Softweb.

You can also use ssh to download or upload files from and to the MathLab. In this way, you can download your Maple files to the computers you are working on. The application ssh is installed at all Sinc sites. For ssh instructions, read here.

Information for students with disabilities
If you have a physical, psychological, medical, or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services at (631) 632-6748 or They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information go to the following website:

Academic Integrity You may discuss the assignments in this course with classmates, however each student's submission must be his or her own work. Any evidence that a submission is not the student's individual work (this includes the following: the submission has been copied, shared, or transmitted in any way between students, has been taken from the Internet, has been written by others in previous semesters) will be regarded as evidence of academic dishonesty. Additionally, any evidence of sharing of information or using unauthorized information during an examination will also be regarded as evidence of academic dishonesty.

Be advised that any evidence of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Academic Judiciary. Those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent permitted by the University and College laws.

Representing another persons work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instance of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at

Critical Incident Management Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, and/or inhibits students ability to learn.

Classroom etiquette The following is not allowed during class: cell-phone use (this includes no text-messages), producing non-class work on the computer, side conversations when the instructor or other student is addressing the class. Also, you should try to arrive on time. Let me know if you need to leave early.

Communication Many class communications will be done by email. You should check your email regularly. I will use the email address stored in Blackboard. Make sure that this address is up to date.