Numerical Methods

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Mode of Delivery

• Online
• Blended mode online and face to face
• Face-to-face

1. Rationale

A key attribute of mathematics is its applicability in problem solving. The history of the subject is full of evidence that the driving force in its early development was based in trying to solve problems in plane geometry, celestial mechanics and in navigation. Unfortunately, mathematical formulations (models) of most problems in science and engineering are, in general, difficult to solve analytically either because of the complex nature of the analytical solutions or because such solutions cannot be expressed in terms of combinations of known mathematical functions. In all such cases, numerical methods have to be resorted to. The mathematics or science student is therefore expected to have a working knowledge of and ability to apply numerical methods in solving some basic mathematical problems such as interpolation, numerical integration and finding roots of functions.

2. Prerequisite or knowledge

Calculus 2 is prerequisite.

3. General objective(s)

At the end of this module:

You will be equipped with knowledge and understanding of the properties of elementary functions and their various applications necessary to confidently teach these subjects at the secondary school level.
You will have secure knowledge of the related contents of school mathematics to enable you confidently teach these subjects at the secondary school level.
You will acquire knowledge of and the ability to apply available ICT to improve the
teaching and learning of school mathematics.

Specifically you will be able to:

1. Distinguish between numerical and analytical methods/solutions
2. Appreciate the need for learning and applying numerical methods
3. Identify the main sources of errors and take measures to eliminate or reduce such errors
4. Derive and apply a number of interpolation methods
5. Derive and apply a number of numerical integration methods
6. Derive and apply a number of numerical methods for finding roots of function
7. Solve a coupled system of two nonlinear equations in two variables.

4. Time

The total time for this module is 120 study hours.

5. Material

Students should have access to the core readings specified later. Also, they will need a computer to gain full access to the core readings. Additionally, students should be able to install the computer software wxMaxima and use it to practice algebraic concepts.