MTH 538 Introduction to Numerical Analysis 2

Spring 2021


John Ringland

Office hours: poll for selection

Class times

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:35AM-10:50AM. On Zoom (for faces) and Discord (for audio and paper and screen content). Zoom video-on required.

Zoom link:

Discord invite:

Lectures will be "synchronous" (i.e. live) and we will use some combination of Zoom and Discord for looking at and talking to each other, as well as sharing screens and the paper I'll be writing on. Class policy will be that you will have your Zoom video on during lectures to promote interaction and in particular so I can visually gauge your comprehension. The course will be quite hands-on, and from time to time I'll be asking each of you to write code on the spot. The goal is that you'll emerge from the class with not only theoretical understanding but also practical skills.

Course resources



Weekly starting 2nd week. Due at 11:59pm Fridays. You will upload your work either to UBlearns or to Gradescope, depending on the content.


There will be 2 in-class midterm exams (75 minutes each) and a comprehensive Final Exam (3 hours).



An exercise longer than homework problems. Several options to choose from.


Homework 20%

Class participation 10%

Midterm 1 20% Thursday March 4

Midterm 2 20% Thursday April 8

Project 10%

Final Exam 20%. Thursday May 13. (8-11am, comprehensive.) This exam also serves as a Qualifying Exam for those in the Math PhD program.


The programming language you'll be using is Python (not Matlab). Please download and install the Anaconda distribution of Python 3, if you haven't already. This includes Jupyter notebook, a useful coding environment.


Academic integrity

UB's Academic Integrity policies will be strictly enforced. Exams will be live-proctored using 2 devices: your smartphone providing Zoom video/audio, and your computer for accessing exam questions. Please read this guide.


If you need accommodations due to a physical or learning disability please contact the UB Accessibility Resources Office to make appropriate arrangements.


The bulk of the course will be on numerical methods for solving differential equations.

Textbooks (optional)

Source materials come from the following, and others: