Why Don’t I Allow (Not Ban) Use of Cell Phones in Class – An Open Letter to Students?

Dear Students:

You are not allowed to use cell phones in this class — it is considered academic disruption. If you are expecting an important call or text, please let me know in advance and I will advise to sit at desks close to the door. You can quickly go outside to take the call or reply to your text. In a class of over a hundred, only a few people take me up on this offer, but the offer is available to you. “Loved ones though should call 911 in case of an emergency — the local responders will be there faster than you can.”

If you have an approved request for accommodation through the Student Disability Services to use your cell phone, please use it as per the allowed guidelines — just let me know in the first week of classes. You are being an exception to the policy is nobody’s business including mine. Do not be concerned about being “outed” — we all are outed every day – some are in a wheel chair while others use a skateboard, some can only take the elevator while others only take the stairs; some of us are not good looking while others are blessed with a head full of hair; some wear a head dress, while others have a skullcap on.

You are allowed to use flat laptops and tablets only if they are used to take notes with a stylus. A student cannot claim they want to type notes as that is virtually impossible to do in an engineering course lecture that is full of equations and sketches. Anyway, taking notes by hand is shown to be cognitively better than typing.

About those students who may mention personal responsibility and that disallowing the cell phone is an ego trip for me, how many studies do I need to show these students about negative effects of multitasking and working memory when one is learning something new.

The student use of cell phones distracts others and there are studies on that too.

Since we are using active learning in class, questions are encouraged even more so. It is harder to discern if a student is asking a question because of inattention or lack of understanding.  The former is a waste of precious class time for the rest of us.

And more importantly, removing temptation is much better than self-control. We only have so much self-control quota during the day – so having a no cell phone policy is helping the student to preserve some self-control for more important issues of the day.

Some may say, “Be more interesting than the incoming text”. I just cannot compete, as learning something new is hard and looking at a “Facebook like” is an immediate high.

Control the machine; do not let the machine control you.

Best of Learning
Autar Kaw
Your Instructor for Numerical Methods

______________________

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How do I solve simultaneous linear equations given in equation form? Updated Matlab 2018b

Guest co-blogger: : Luis Serrano

Many students ask me how do I do this or that in MATLAB.  So I thought why not have a small series of my next few blogs do that.  In this blog, I show you how to solve simultaneous linear equations given in equation form.

  • The MATLAB program link is here.
  • The HTML version of the MATLAB program is here.
  • DO NOT COPY AND PASTE THE PROGRAM BELOW BECAUSE THE SINGLE QUOTES DO NOT TRANSLATE TO THE CORRECT SINGLE QUOTES IN MATLAB EDITOR.  DOWNLOAD THE MATLAB PROGRAM INSTEAD

%% SUMMARY
% Language : Matlab 2018b;
% Authors : Autar Kaw and Luis Serrano;
% Mfile available at
% http://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu/blog/SimultaneousEquationsEqForm.m;
% Last Revised : January 22, 2020;
% Abstract: This program shows you how to solve a set of
% simultaneous linear equations given in equation form?
% .
clc
clear all
%% INTRODUCTION
disp(‘ABSTRACT’)
disp(‘ This program shows you how to solve a’)
disp(‘ set of simultaneous linear equations given in equation form’)
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘AUTHOR’)
disp(‘ Autar Kaw and Luis Serrano’)
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘MFILE SOURCE’)
disp(‘ http://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu/blog/SimultaneousEquationsEqForm.m’)
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘LAST REVISED’)
disp(‘ January 22, 2020’)
disp(‘ ‘)
%% INPUTS
% Enter the equations
syms a b c
eqn1=12*a+23*b+39*c==29
eqn2=13*a+17*b+19*c==37
eqn3=21*a+23*b+29*c==59
%% DISPLAYING INPUTS
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘INPUTS’)
disp(‘________________________’)
disp(‘Equations’)
disp(‘________________________’)
disp(eqn1)
disp(eqn2)
disp(eqn3)
%% THE CODE
% The solution
X=solve(eqn1,eqn2,eqn3);
% Assigning the output
a=double(X.a);
b=double(X.b);
c=double(X.c);
%% DISPLAYING OUTPUTS
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘OUTPUTS’)
disp(‘________________________’)
disp(‘Solution Vector’)
disp(‘________________________’)
fprintf(‘\nValue of a= %g’,a)
fprintf(‘\nValue of b= %g’,b)
fprintf(‘\nValue of c= %g’,c)
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘________________________’)

_______________________

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How do I solve a nonlinear equation that needs to be setup – Updated to MATLAB 2018b

Guest co-blogger: Luis Serrano

Many students ask me how do I do this or that in MATLAB. So I thought why not have a small series of my next few blogs do that. In this blog, I show you how to solve a nonlinear equation that needs to be set up.

For example to find the depth ‘x’ to which a ball is floating in water is based on the following cubic equation
4*R^3*S=3*x^2*(R-x/3)
where
R= radius of ball
S= specific gravity of ball
So how do we set this up if S and R are input values?

The MATLAB program link is here.

The HTML version of the MATLAB program is here.

  • DO NOT COPY AND PASTE THE PROGRAM BELOW BECAUSE THE SINGLE QUOTES DO NOT TRANSLATE TO THE CORRECT SINGLE QUOTES IN MATLAB EDITOR.  DOWNLOAD THE MATLAB PROGRAM INSTEAD

%% SUMMARY
% Language : Matlab 2018b;
% Authors : Autar Kaw and Luis Serrano;
% Mfile available at
% http://nm.mathforcollege.com/blog/NonlinearEquations_withSetUp.m;
% Last Revised : January 22, 2020;
% Abstract: This program shows you how to solve a nonlinear equation
% that needs to set up as opposed that is just given to you.
clc
clear all
%% INTRODUCTION
disp(‘ABSTRACT’)
disp(‘ This program shows you how to solve’)
disp(‘ a nonlinear equation that needs to be setup’)
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘AUTHORS’)
disp(‘ Autar Kaw and Luis Serrano’)
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘MFILE SOURCE’)
disp(‘ http://nm.mathforcollege.com/blog/NonlinearEquations_withSetUp.m’)
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘LAST REVISED’)
disp(‘ January 22, 2020’)
disp(‘ ‘)
%% INPUTS
% Solve the nonlinear equation where you need to set up the equation
% For example to find the depth ‘x’ to which a ball is floating in water is based on the following
% cubic equation 4*R^3*S=3*x^2*(R-x/3) R= radius of ball S= specific gravity of ball So how do we set this up if S and R are input values
S=0.6
R=0.055
%% DISPLAYING INPUTS
disp(‘INPUTS’)
func=[‘ The equation to be solved is 4*R^3*S=3*x^2*(R-x/3)’];
disp(func)
disp(‘ ‘)
%% THE CODE
% Define x as a symbol
syms x
% Setting up the equation
C1=4*R^3*S
C2=3*x^2*(R-x/3)
f=C1==C2
% Finding the solution of the nonlinear equation
soln=vpasolve(f,x);
solnvalue=double(soln);
%% DISPLAYING OUTPUTS
disp(‘OUTPUTS’)
for i=1:1:length(solnvalue)
fprintf(‘\nThe solution# %g is %g’,i,solnvalue(i))
end
disp(‘ ‘)

________________________

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Solution to ordinary differential equations posed as definite integral

This blog is an example to show the use of second fundamental theorem of calculus in posing a definite integral as an ordinary differential equation.  This plays a prominent role in showing how we can use numerical methods of ordinary differential equations to conduct numerical integration.

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Student participant costs in NSF budgets counts as direct cost

A common budget question gets asked about students who participate in the National Science Foundation Education and Human Resources NSF EHR grants and get paid for items such as focus group participation.  Does it count as direct cost?  Yes, it does.  Just read the language on page 53 (Page II-19) of Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1)

Human subject payments should be included on line G6 of the NSF budget under “Other Direct Costs,” and any applicable indirect costs should be calculated on the payments in accordance with the organization’s federally negotiated indirect cost rate.

Third Edition of Programming Textbook

We have just published the third edition of the textbook on programming with MATLAB.   It is available for purchase at http://www.lulu.com/shop/autar-kaw-and-benjamin-rigsby-and-ismet-handzic-and-daniel-miller/introduction-to-programming-concepts-with-matlab-third-edition/paperback/product-24333322.html

The book is intended for an introductory course in programming in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields while using MATLAB as the programming language. MATLAB is a popular computational software package used in universities and industries alike.

This textbook differentiates itself from others in two specific ways.

      1. The textbook is suitable for the many engineering departments throughout the nation that no longer teach a 3-credit hour programming course. They weave programming and mathematical software packages such as MATLAB in courses such as Foundations of Engineering, Freshmen Design, Modeling of Systems, Engineering Analysis, Numerical Methods, etc. This book is highly suitable for such audiences. To achieve these goals and make the access far-reaching, we have been deliberate in keeping the lessons short in length so that instructors can easily choose the course content in a modular way.
      2. The textbook is a stand-alone resource for learning programming where the lectures complement the textbook rather than vice versa. This is because of the reason above where in-classroom time is truncated, and therefore students need to be more self-taught. For this reason, we have been meticulous when selecting and organizing the textbook content to include fundamental and application programming problems that prepare students well for other problems they will solve in academia and industry.

The book has nine modules which have been each broken down by lessons. There are 42 lessons in all and depending on the learning outcomes of the course, an instructor can choose to assign only necessary lessons. Modules 1-3 focus on MATLAB and programming basics like the MATLAB program interface, programming variables, different types of data, debugging, plotting, and applications to science and engineering problems. In Module 4, we show the use of MATLAB for basic mathematical procedures learned in the engineering courses including nonlinear equations, integration, differentiation, simultaneous linear equations, interpolation, regression, and ordinary differential equations. In Modules 5-8, the user is introduced to basic programming concepts of conditional statements, repetition (loops), and custom functions. In Module 9, program input/output is shown with writing to and reading from external files as well as navigating directories with MATLAB. Important appendices include a primer on matrix algebra, a collection of mini-projects, and a introduction to animating plots in MATLAB. Appendix A provides a primer on matrix algebra. Appendix B contains a set of mini-projects. Appendix C demonstrates how to make animated plots in MATLAB.

Each lesson contains screenshots of actual MATLAB programs that are used to help illustrate the concepts presented. More than 120 complete programs are shown throughout this book to demonstrate to the reader how to use programming concepts. The book is written in a USA-Today style question-answer format for a quick grasp of the concepts.

The purpose of this book is to provide the reader with a firm basic understanding of MATLAB syntax and fundamental programming concepts. Each lesson contains MATLAB programs that are used to help illustrate the concepts presented. By no means do the authors claim to present every MATLAB command, function, application, or programming concept in existence.

The program to find the determinant of matrix

Here is the MATLAB program to find the determinant of a nxn matrix by the cofactor method.  I had to develop a separate function for each size of the matrix.  I may be wrong about having to do that – is there a single function that can be written to find the determinant of any nxn matrix using the cofactor method?

The mfile can be downloaded here.   Try the program for a 10×10 matrix – it took about 6 seconds of CPU time on my PC.  A 12×12 matrix determinant would take about 13 minutes of CPU time.  I stopped at a 12×12 matrix.  You can either write a function or generate the function via a program for matrices of 13×13 order and higher.

Contents

Finding the determinant of a matrix using the cofactor method

and comparing the CPU time with MATLAB det function

clc
clear all
format long

% n=Size of matrix
n=6;
% Choosing a matrix of nxn size with random numbers
A=rand(n,n);

% Calculating cputime by cofactor method
tbegin=cputime;
detval=det6(A);
TimeCrammer=cputime-tbegin;

% Calculating cputime by MATLAB det function
tbegin=cputime;
MatlabDet=det(A);
TimeMatlab=vpa(cputime-tbegin,32);

% Printing the times
fprintf('Size of matrix is %gx%g \n',n,n)
fprintf('Determinant by cofactor method = %g \n', detval)
fprintf('Determinant by Matlab function = %g \n', MatlabDet)
fprintf('Approximate CPU time taken by cofactor method = %g seconds\n',TimeCrammer)
fprintf('Approximate CPU time taken by MATLAB function = %e seconds\n',TimeMatlab)

Individual functions for determinant of a nxn matrix

function detvalue=det2(A)
detvalue=A(1,1)*A(2,2)-A(1,2)*A(2,1);
end

function detvalue=det3(A)
n=3;
detvalue=0;
for j=1:1:n
    detvalue=detvalue+(-1)^(j+1)*A(1,j)*det2(A(2:n,[1:j-1 j+1:n]));
end
end

function detvalue=det4(A)
n=4;
detvalue=0;
for j=1:1:n
    detvalue=detvalue+(-1)^(j+1)*A(1,j)*det3(A(2:n,[1:j-1 j+1:n]));
end
end

function detvalue=det5(A)
n=5;
detvalue=0;
for j=1:1:n
    detvalue=detvalue+(-1)^(j+1)*A(1,j)*det4(A(2:n,[1:j-1 j+1:n]));
end
end

function detvalue=det6(A)
n=6;
detvalue=0;
for j=1:1:n
    detvalue=detvalue+(-1)^(j+1)*A(1,j)*det5(A(2:n,[1:j-1 j+1:n]));
end
end

function detvalue=det7(A)
n=7;
detvalue=0;
for j=1:1:n
    detvalue=detvalue+(-1)^(j+1)*A(1,j)*det6(A(2:n,[1:j-1 j+1:n]));
end
end
function detvalue=det8(A)
n=8;
detvalue=0;
for j=1:1:n
    detvalue=detvalue+(-1)^(j+1)*A(1,j)*det7(A(2:n,[1:j-1 j+1:n]));
end
end

function detvalue=det9(A)
n=9;
detvalue=0;
for j=1:1:n
    detvalue=detvalue+(-1)^(j+1)*A(1,j)*det8(A(2:n,[1:j-1 j+1:n]));
end
end

function detvalue=det10(A)
n=10;
detvalue=0;
for j=1:1:n
    detvalue=detvalue+(-1)^(j+1)*A(1,j)*det9(A(2:n,[1:j-1 j+1:n]));
end
end

function detvalue=det11(A)
n=11;
detvalue=0;
for j=1:1:n
    detvalue=detvalue+(-1)^(j+1)*A(1,j)*det10(A(2:n,[1:j-1 j+1:n]));
end
end

function detvalue=det12(A)
n=12;
detvalue=0;
for j=1:1:n
    detvalue=detvalue+(-1)^(j+1)*A(1,j)*det11(A(2:n,[1:j-1 j+1:n]));
end
end
Size of matrix is 6x6 
Determinant by cofactor method = -0.0431 
Determinant by Matlab function = -0.0431 
Approximate CPU time taken by cofactor method = 0.140625 seconds
Approximate CPU time taken by MATLAB function = 1.562500e-02 seconds

The above mfile can be downloaded here.


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