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MATH 170B Syllabus Calendar Academic Integrity

MATH 170B Syllabus

Required material

Textbook: D. Kincaid and W. Cheney, Numerical Analysis: Mathematics of Scientific Computing, Third Edition.

Programming: There will be some programming homework and examples. You may use either MATLAB/Octave, Python, or R. If you would like to use something different, please consult with the instructor first.

How this course is run

This course will be held in-person. Podcasting will be available via UCSD's podcasting system. The recordings will also appear in the Canvas Media Gallery.

Attendance is not mandatory for any segment of this course (except for exams, see below), but for a good course outcome, it is highly recommended to participate (live or watch the recording afterwards) in the following:

  • Lectures, MWF 50 min each,
  • One of the discussion sections, Th 50 min,

It is furthermore recommended to join the discussions

  • on Piazza, which is an online discussion platform,
  • in the office hours of the instructor or TA
to further deepen your understanding, and get answers to questions you might have.

Course work you need to complete


In every lecture we will discuss certain chapters of the textbook, see the course calendar. You are required to read along with the lecture, ideally, read the chapter before the lecture, then it will be easier to follow.


There will be weekly homework. Homework problems will be posted on Canvas under Files. Homework submissions are due on Mondays by 11 pm. Late homework will not be accepted! Please submit via Gradescope.com. Solutions to homework are made available on Canvas after the deadline.

Assignments should be uploaded in a single pdf file, or as a picture for each question. Please make sure your files are legible before submitting.

All students enrolled in MATH170A have been added to Gradescope. If you have not been added (due to late enrollment, for example), please wait one or two days after enrollment, you will be added automatically.

For coding problems, you need to submit a screenshot of the program you wrote, including a screenshot of the output of the code in case the homework asks you to apply it to some example. Handwritten code, pseudo code or numerical results without code will not result in any credit!

If more than 60% of students fill out CAPEs at the end of the quarter, I will drop everybody's lowest homework score when determining the grade. For course grades, see below.


There will be two quizzes during the quarter. Quizzes will be run via Canvas. There will be a time window (TBA) to start each of the quizzes. Once a quiz is started, you have 30 min to complete it.
  • Quizzes are of the type multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank or similar. They do not require you to upload any written solutions, or intermediate steps.
  • You are allowed to use lecture notes, the textbook and homework/discussion section solutions for the quizzes. You are not allowed to use the internet, MATLAB (or any other program), a calculator or any other electronic device (of course, except for your computer to do the quiz).
  • Quizzes are unproctored. You have to take quizzes by yourself, and are not allowed to talk/collaborate with other people. Read the academic integrity section for more details.
  • I will try to make the questions as precise as possible to avoid confusion. In case you do not understand a question of the quiz, you can ask the instructors during the quiz via a private message on Piazza. Please be aware that depending on the time you take the quiz, instructors might not be available to respond.

Midterm, final

  • There will be one midterm and one final for this class (both in-person exams!).
  • Each one of these exams will be one hour long.
  • For the midterm and final, you may use one 8.5 x 11 inch (letter size) sheet of handwritten notes. You may use both sides. (No photocopies!)

Exams overview

Material refers to all of the material discussed in the lecture, HW and discussion sections from the respective textbook chapters.

Exam Date Time Where to find questions Material
Quiz 1 F Apr 15 window: 11 am - 8 pm
30 min quiz time
Canvas 1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 3.2 (lectures 1-7)
Midterm F Apr 29 5-6 pm HSS 1330 (exam handed out on paper) 3.3, 3.4, 6.1, 6.2
Quiz 2 F May 20 window 11 am to 8 pm
30 min quiz time
Canvas 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 7.1
Final W Jun 8 8-9 am (last name A-L)
9:30-10:30 am (last name M-Z)
HSS 1330 (exam handed out on paper) everything taught in this class
focus on later chapters

Academic integrity

If academic integrity violations are suspected on any of your assignments, the instructor might ask you to participate in a meeting to explain your solutions. In addition, you may also be reported to the Academic Integrity Office.

To learn how to avoid academic integrity violations in this class, read the academic integrity section.

Grading policy

Your grade will be based on the scores of the homework, two quizzes, one midterm, and one final exam. It will be calculated from taking the maximum of the methods defined below:

Method #1 = (30% HW) + (12.5% Quiz 1) + (12.5% Quiz 2) + (22.5% Midterm) + (22.5% Final)

Method #2 = (30% HW) + (15% for best quiz) + (27.5% Midterm) + (27.5% Final)

There will be no make-up exams. If you miss one of the quizzes, your grade will be computed using method 2. I will use the following approximate scale to compute your grade

A+, A, A- B+, B, B- C+, C, C- F
90+ 80+ 60+ [0,60)

You are guaranteed this scale, that means that your grade will not be worse than specified by the above scale. There might be an adjustment (=improvement) of grades based on the overall class performance. Passing grade for P/NP is C-, i.e. you need at least overall 60% to pass this class.


Students requesting accommodations for this course due to a disability must provide a current Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) letter issued by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) which is located in University Center 202 behind Center Hall. The AFA letter may be issued by the OSD electronically or in hard-copy; in either case, please make arrangements to discuss your accommodations with me in advance. We will make every effort to arrange for whatever accommodations are stipulated by the OSD. For more information, see here.