CAAM 336 · Differential Equations in Science and Engineering

Spring 2008 · Rice University

LECTURES: MWF 1:00-1:50
DH 1070
MWF 10:00-10:50
DH 1046
INSTRUCTOR: Kirk Blazek (
Duncan Hall 2004, (713) 348-2290
Office hours: Mon 2-3, Tues 10-12

Josef Sifuentes (
Duncan Hall 3015, (713) 348-2756
Office hours: Mon 11-12, Tues 2-3:50

SYLLABUS: section 1 section 2
RECITATION: 7-9pm Mondays
Duncan Hall 1064
PREREQUISITES: CAAM 210 Introduction to Scientific Computing; MATH 212 Multivariable Calculus
or equivalent background in MATLAB programming, vector calculus, and basic linear algebra.
TEXT: Mark S. Gockenbach, Partial Differential Equations: Analytical and Numerical Methods, SIAM, 2002. Errata
GRADING: 60% exams, 40% homework
Class participation will be considered when assigning borderline grades.
EXAMS: Two take-home, four-hour, closed-book exams will each account for 30% of the final grade.
Each of these pledged exams must be your individual, unassisted effort.
The first exam will be given on Febraury 20th and will be due on Febraury 27th in class, the second during the final exam period.
HOMEWORK: Problem sets will be assigned roughly once a week, each worth 100 points. Mathematically rigorous solutions are expected; strive for clarity and elegance. You may collaborate on the problems, but your write-ups and coding must be your own independent work. Transcribed solutions are unacceptable. You may not consult solutions from previous sections of this class.

Unless it is specified that a particular calculation must be performed `by hand,' you are encouraged to use MATLAB's Symbolic Math Toolbox (or Mathematica or Maple) to compute and simplify tedious integrals and derivatives on the problem sets. As always, you must document your calculations clearly.
LATE POLICY: You may turn in two homework assignments one class period late without penalty. Subsequent late assignments will be penalized 20% each. Homework will not be accepted more than one class period late without a written excuse. (This implies that you may not use two 'lates' on one assignment.)
MATLAB: Most of the problem sets will require a modest amount of MATLAB programming. Your solutions should adhere to good programming standards, and must not be copied from another student. Below are some links to helpful MATLAB resources:
     - Online Documentation from The MathWorks
     - Online Documentation about the Symbolic Math Toolbox
     - MATLAB Guide by Desmond J. Higham and Nicholas J. Higham, 2nd ed., SIAM, 2005
Any student with a disability requiring accommodation in this course is encouraged
to contact the instructor during the first week of class, and also to contact
Disability Support Services in the Ley Student Center.