The mathematical sciences department faculty integrated MATLAB throughout core and upper-level courses, and both universities acquired a Total Academic Headcount license, enabling students to access MATLAB on either campus.
Instructors have tailored the first- and second-year courses to students in chemistry and bioengineering programs, as well as to students in architecture and technical programs.
Chemical and bioengineering students begin with an introduction to MATLAB, including built-in functions and plotting. They then learn basic programming structures in MATLAB, and complete an assignment in which they program Conway’s Game of Life. The final two assignments in this first course explore bisection, linearization, and Newton’s method.
The second course covers the application of integrals and ordinary differential equations in MATLAB. The students use MATLAB to model reaction kinetics and the oxidation of NO to NO2.
In the third and fourth courses, students solve linear systems of differential equations. Students write their own solvers before using the built-in MATLAB solvers. Using MATLAB, students reproduce a plot from a chemistry textbook showing the probability of finding the electron in a certain area around a hydrogen atom.
First-year students in architecture and technology programs also start with an introduction to MATLAB, covering integrals, differential equations, and numeric computation. With MATLAB, they complete assignments using calculus in one variable and multivariate calculus.
Students in the Shape, Color, and Architectural Tools course explore geometries used in architecture and engineering. In a follow-up course on linear algebra, students complete a final project in which they use MATLAB to model the glass roof over the courtyard of the British Museum.
Students at all levels—including graduates—continue to use MATLAB throughout their studies for course assignments, individual and team projects, and student engineering competitions.