MCEN 3030: Computational Methods


Instructor: Prof. Shalom D. Ruben
Office Hours: Mon 11am-12noon and Wed 10-11am
Lecture: Tu,Th 12:30-1:45am

TA: Mike Miles (OH: Mon and Wed from 1-2pm in the ECCR 239/ECCR 235 computer labs)
TA: Olga Doronina(Lab Time Only)
TA: Sean Benson (Lab Time Only)
Lab Time 1: M,Tu,We 5:30-7:30pm (ECCR 239)
Lab Time 2: M,Tu,We 5:30-7:30pm (ECCR 235)

Studies fundamental numerical techniques for the solution of commonly encountered engineering problems. Includes methods for linear and nonlinear algebraic equations, data analysis, numerical differentiation and integration, ordinary and partial differential equations. Prereqs., GEEN 1300 and APPM 2360, or equivalent, including a working knowledge of Matlab. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (Junior or Senior) College of Engineering, Mechancial (MCEN or MCMR) or Environmental Engineering (EVEN) or Mechanical Engineering Concurrent Degree majors only.

Textbook Resources

  1. Numerical Methods for Engineers 7th Edition by Chapra and Canale

  2. Applied Numerical Computing Course Reader, Vandenberghe, 2011

Topics Covered

(not restricted to this order and may not cover all topics)

  1. Intro to Matlab

  2. Linear Algebra Review

  3. Intro to Computer Graphics

  4. Number Representation

  5. Solving Systems of Non-Linear Equations (Root Finding)

  6. Solving Systems of Linear Equations

  7. Curve Fitting (Least-Squares)

  8. Interpolation

  9. Numerical Differentiation

  10. Numerical Integration

  11. ODEs (IVP)

  12. ODEs (BVP)

  13. Least-Norm

  14. Fourier Analysis

Grading Breakdowns

  1. Individual Work (100%)

    1. Homework/Workshops (10%)

    2. Projects (30%)

    3. Midterms (25% each)

      1. Oct 6th from 7-9pm

    4. Final Exam (35%)

Desire 2 Learn (D2L)

To access the following material, you must log in to D2L:

  1. Project Assignments

  2. Homework Assignments

  3. Homework Solutions



  1. Remember these are Individual Assignments

    1. Plagiarism Detection Software wll be used.

  2. More Project Policies TBA


  1. Assignments must be neat, organized and legible. In plain English: If we cannot read your assignment, you will not get credit for it. Typed assignments are welcome.

  2. At the start of each problem, write out a brief description of the problem including given information and what is to be found. Put a box around all final answers.

  3. Show your work enough to fully demonstrate your understating and your arrival at your answer.

  4. Write on only one side of the paper. Pages must stapled be in order (i.e. following the order in which the problems were assigned).


  1. You only have TWO WEEKS to question grading from the time the homework\exam\project is returned.

    1. Specificially for exam and project grade questions, students must write up a detailed document (using Word or other word processing tool, not hand-written) describing the question, staple it to the original exam, and give it to the professor.

  2. This will be the final grading scale used for the course. There is no curve. You are not competing against classmates, so help them out if you can! I reserve the right to lower the scale (i.e., make it easier), but I will not raise it.

    A: 90+
    B : 83-84
    C : 74-76
    D : 63-67
    F : 59 or below

In-Class Expectations

The following expectations will assist us with the creation of a learning community and a high quality of educational experience. The University of Colorado Classroom Behavior Policy will compliment these expectations:

  1. Turn off your cell phones/ don’t text

  2. No laptops during lectures

    1. Unless approved for taking notes

    2. Unless approved for solving in-class problems

  3. Refrain from having disruptive conversations

Academic Integrity

You will be asked to complete group homework assignments in this course, but it is also expected that you will abide by The University of Colorado Honor Code at all times.

Late Work

No late work will be accepted