Course Info
Important Dates

Course Information:
  MATH 606,  Spring 2005

  Heather Lehr
Office:  MW 456
Phone:  292-6597

Time: MWF 11:30 - 12:18
Place: EA 295
Text:  Numerical Solution of Partial Differential Equations: Finite Difference Methods, Smith, 3rd Edition
Office Hours: T, TH 3:30-4:30
Web Page:

My (outdated yet still fairly accurate) statement of teaching philosophy.

Course Objectives: The purpose of this course is to learn about finite difference methods for solving partial differential equations -- the theory and the implementation (via MATLAB)

  Math 512 or 572  or equivalent

Grading Scheme:
Your final course grade will be based on your homework and either the take home final or a final project (your choice).

homework - 65%
final exam or project- 35%

  We will have approximately 5 or 6 homeworks sets assigned about every week and a half.    Clearly your homework will have a good deal of weight in determining your grade, so be sure to do your sets carefully, begin them early, and be sure you have time to make a good attempt and ask questions in my office hours WELL BEFORE :) the due date.

Please read the following pages by Matthias Gobbert on how to write-up math homework sets and how to write-up homework sets that include code:
"How to Report on Computer Results"
"General Policies and Procedures" (not including the section on grades!  see above for grade information)


Final Exam: (take home exam) due by noon on Sunday June 5.


Project:  You may choose to do an independent project rather than take the final.  This will be monitored by me in various ways throughout the quarter.  The following tentative schedule gives you an idea of how this will happen.

Step1: If you choose to do the project, you must do so within the first two weeks.   This will be formalized by you giving to me a written statement with your desire to opt for the project.  (This can also be done via email from your osu account, although please do verify with me in person though that I have received it.)

Step 2: By the end of the third week of class (April 15),  you need to have come to me and discussed your ideas for a project and turned in a written proposal of the project idea you have chosen.  This should be a careful writeup (2-3 pages) of a short explanation of the topic you intend to study,  the mathematics and coding involved, and what you hope to achieve.   This writeup will be graded and counted as extra credit towards your homework score.

Step 3: By mid-May (May 16), you need to have come to me, in my office, at least once to discuss the progress of your project.  If at this point you have not made satisfactory progress, I will likely encourage you to take the final exam instead. 

Step 4: During the last week of class, you will be asked to turn in your final project report and give a very short presentation in class on your work.  The report and presentation will both be evaluated and counted toward your final project grade.

This project could be a further investigation into a topic that we do not exhaust in class (or don't cover in class) or application of finite difference methods to solve a PDE modeling a physical problem (including a thorough mathematical analysis and writing a code).

True learning and mastery of material is an internal process, not something anyone can give to you or do for you.  Homework and time spent reading  (and rereading) and digesting the material alone is essential to knowledge of the material. 

Working in groups on homework sets can certainly be very beneficial, however do your final homework writeups in your own words,  preferably alone.   If you attempt this and find you cannot in the end do the sets on your own, this is an indication that there is still something that you need to learn in order to really understand the material.  Whether you seek help from me, fellow classmates, or from rereading the text is up to you, but please do so.