CPS 111
Computational Modeling for the Sciences
Spring 2009

CPS 111 Home


There will be frequent but light homework assignments. The purpose of some of the homework assignments is to help you familiarize with the theoretical concepts underlying mathematical modeling, and with Matlab programming. Other homework will guide you through your project.


A midterm and a final exam will test your knowledge of the theoretical foundations. Both exams are closed-book and closed notes, except for one 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper on the two sides of which you can put any information you like, in any font or format.


Over the course of the semester, you will work on a project in which you develop, use, and present results from a model. You have the option of working on an assigned topic or on a problem of your own choice, negotiated and fine-tuned with the instructor. Projects are individual, but discussion and collaboration is encouraged (see collaboration below). Details on project scope and format will be given during the course.


Homework and project each account for 30% of the grade. Each of the exams accounts for 15% of the grade. Class participation (as gauged by me) accounts for 10%. A 7% grade penalty is levied for every late calendar day on homework assignments. For instance, an assignment due on Friday and handed in on Tuesday incurs a 28% penalty.


Student collaboration is encouraged on projects and homework. However, each final piece of work is individual. For instance, if a homework assignment asks you to solve an equation, it is OK for you to make up a similar equation (for instance, by changing the numbers) and working on the modified equation with someone else. Once you understand the concept, you need to solve the equation on the homework by yourself. You need not report such collaboration.

Information Sources

Recourse to any information source is allowed (except on exams, see rules above). However, all information sources must be properly cited. Please refer to the web page on Citing Sources maintained by the Duke University Libraries for a general discussion, including plagiarism, and in particular to their list of citation guides for citation criteria and formats. The need for proper citation includes cases in which you find the solution to all or part of a homework problem elsewhere. You will not be penalized for finding a solution through search rather than direct work, as long as you cite the source properly. However, doing so will cost you the understanding that you would achieve if you did the work on your own instead.