Math 331: Mathematical Problem Solving with Computers
Professor Sutherland (section 1), or Stewart Mandell (section 2)
Fall 1997

Things to read

Maple Worksheets on Assorted Topics


Exercise 1: pretty basic email.   due September 9 or 10.
Send an email message to the appropriate instructor of this course.

Exercise 2: Netsurfing.   due by 9/18/97.
You should have received a topic via email. Use the web to locate several URLs related to your topic, and email the best of them to your intructor. Note that sending the entire output of your search is inadequate; use judgement and pick the best of them.

Exercise 3: Elementary Maple.   due by 9/24/97.
There are 5 pretty easy problems, which you should use maple to solve. Hand in a printout of the maple worksheet you used to solve them. The problems are available in PostScript format for easy printing.
The solutions solutions are also now available, in the usual collection of formats ( [ps], [mws], or [txt]).

Project 1: Least Squares Fitting.   due 10/20/97 or 10/21/97.
This project is to write a paper about the method of fitting a curve to data known as "least squares". In it, you need to explain the method, and fit data to a line (two ways), a quadratic or a cubic, and a circle. The description is also available as PostScript for easy printing.

Exercise 4: More Maple.   due 10/29/97 or 10/30/94.
There are 3 problems, which you should solve. Maple will most likely be useful. The problems are also available in PostScript format for easy printing, or as a Maple worksheet.
The solutions are also now available, in the usual collection of formats ( [ps], [mws], or [txt]).

Exercise 5: Animating Epi- and Hypo-cycloids.   due 11/10/97 or 11/11/94.
In this exercise, you need to produce an animation of a wheel rolling around the inside and outside of a circle. (This is the epicycloid and hypocycloid). The handout contains a fair amount of sample code, so you probably want a copy of the Maple worksheet, although PostScript is there too. The solutions are also now available, in the usual collection of formats ( [ps], [mws], or [txt]).

Project 2: A differential equations model of a glider   due 12/3/97 or 12/4/94.
In this project, you are to analyze a simple model of glider flight, giving both a good expository discussion and answering some specific questions. It is also here in PostScript for your printing pleasure.

Project 3: Fractally Stuff   due 12/17/97 or 12/18/97.
For this project, you are to make and discuss some self-similar fractals. As usual, we also have it in some other formats ( PS, MWS). Also of use might be the support file drawlist.txt.

You may find it useful to look around the web for pages about fractals. For example, Fractals for Beginners and Exploring Fractals might be worth a look. (There are plenty more where those came from, but be forewarned: there are lots of pages with many mathematically incorrect statements on the web. The above documents are mostly correct, though some statements should be taken with a grain of salt).