COP 4313 -901 Symbolic Computations in Mathematics -- Fall 2002

[To download the following worksheets:  right click if you are using a PC and select Save the File or Download File. If you are using a Mac hold down the mouse button and select Save this Link As.  In either case if you are using a lab computer you may want to save the file to a floppy disk.  New lectures will be added weekly or more frequently.  Generally one "lecture" will be covered per week]
Lecture 1 Lecture 2 Lecture 3 Lecture 4 Lecture 5 Lecture 6
Lecture 7 Lecture 8a 8b Lecture 9 Lecture 10 Lecture 11 Lecture 12

Course Meets: TR 6:00--7:15 PM in PHY 209 B (computer lab on the second floor of PHY.)

Prerequisites: ALL of the following courses are REQUIRED prerequisites: MAS 3105 Linear Algebra, MAP 2302 Differential Equations, MGF 3301 Bridge to Abstract Mathematics, MAC 2283 Eng Calculus III or MAC 2313 Calculus III.

Instructor: W. Edwin Clark
   Office: PHY 326 A
   Office Hours: TR 2:00 to 3:25. (Also, immediately after class or by appointment.)
   Email: ( If you need to contact me, email is the best way.  I read my email frequently from home as well as from the office. Voice mail is not as likely to reach me. )
   Homepage: (This syllabus will be on my homepage in case you lose it. You may also go there if you are curious about my research and academic genealogy.)

Textbook:  There will be no textbook.  Instead Maple worksheets (aka, lectures) will be downloaded from the course website which may be found by going to my homepage.  Lectures will be added weekly as they are completed.  In addition Maple has extensive documentation and examples of use built in to the program. Instructions will be given on how to access this information.

Software: The program we will use in this course is Maple 8. It is installed on almost all USF computers.  You may want a personal copy. The Student Edition of Maple 8 can be purchased from the University of South Florida Bookstore for  $129.  This is the full version of Maple 7 and has not been limited in any way.   It is a great bargain. The undiscounted price is  over $1000. The Student Edition can only be licensed to full-time, registered students. The program comes on a CD which contains versions for Windows (95, 98, 2000, ME, NT and XP) and Linux. The Macintosh version of Maple 8 is not available yet. (August 2, 2002).  For more details go to

See Maple Links on my home page for information about Maple access at USF and numerous other sources of information related to Maple on the internet.

Notebooks, Attendance, Homework, Quizzes, Exams:

   1. Notebooks: (10%) Students are expected to maintain a loose-leaf notebook containing printouts of executed worksheets of all lectures and solutions to the assignments. These will be periodically checked. They will be graded according to neatness and completeness.  Optional: Make tabs for each lecture. You might even find it is worthwhile to make an index or list of all Maple commands used in the lectures.

     2.Attendance: (5%) Attendance will be taken and will count 5% of your course grade.  [Attendance on Thursdays may be negotiable if you have a good reason not to attend on Thursdays. See me and I might make an exception.]

   3. Homework Assignments:  (15%)  Assignments will be due at the beginning of class on the due date.  Late assignments will not be accepted. Plans are for assignments to be due on Tuesdays. This may change if there is a hurricane or something unforseen.  Collaboration Rules: Discussion of the homework between students is  encouraged;  however, electronicallycopying another student's work is not permitted.  You may let another student read your solution. But under no circumstances should you email a program to another student or otherwise allow someone to electronically copy your program.

   4. Monday Quizzes:(20%)  On each Tuesday, unless otherwise specified, a quiz will be given at the beginning of class. The quizzes will cover topics covered in previous lectures. Usually, but not always, they will concentrate on the lecture of the previous week.  Often I will send students a list of possible Quiz questions via the class mailing list. (See below.) There will be no makeups for student who are late or fail to take a quiz. However, I will drop the lowest  2 quiz grades .

   5. MidTerm Exam: (25%)  Thursday, October 17.

   6. Final Exam: (25%)  Thursday,  December 12,  6:00 PM-8:00 PM.

.COURSE GRADES: Your course grade will be based on the weighted average of the grades on items 1 through 6.   I will use the following scale to assign plus/minus letter grades

98-100 = A+, 93-97 = A, 90-92 = A-,
88-89 = B+, 83-87= B, 80-82 = B-,
78-79 = C+, 73-77 = C, 70-72=C-,
68-69 = D+, 63-67 = D, 60-62 = D-,
0-59 = F.

Class Mailing List:

It is important for students to have email accounts from USF or a private internet service provider and as soon as possible join the class mailing list,  SymComp.  If you are now on the course website, the easiest way to join right now is to click on the link JOIN SYMCOMP below and fill in your email address and name in the places indicated. Then without making any other changes in the form click on the SAVE button at the bottom of the form. You will then be a member.  You may join several times from different accounts if you wish.


I will use this mailing list to communicate with the class so it is very important that you subscribe as soon as possible AND read your email frequently. The first message from the list will explain how to use the list. If you don't get a Welcoming Message immediately, let me know after you have checked that you typed in your email address correctly. Possible Quiz questions will usually distributed via this mailing list.

To obtain an email account go to:

For techincal support for connecting from home, using email, etc, go to: