How to write up your homework

Homework for this course should be presented in the following manner.

Assume there are six problems due on September 17. Three are pencil and paper problems (P1, P2, P3), and three are numerical problems (N1, N2, N3). Do the pencil and paper problems as you'd do the homework for any other math class. Do the following for the numerical problems.

Start a matlab session.

Goof around until you feel that you know how to do the first numerical problem (N1). When you are reasonably confident you have a clue, type "diary 9_17_N1" at the matlab prompt. This creates a file called 9_17_N1 and everything that appears on the screen from now on will go into the file.

Now, solve the problem as best as you can with matlab. Don't worry about mistakes, you'll edit the file afterwards to remove them. When you are done, type "diary off".

Now work on the second numerical problem, and repeat the above to create the file 9_17_N2.

Now work on the third numerical problem, and repeat the above to create the file 9_17_N3.

Now that you have the three files, you need to edit them before handing them in. First of all, edit out the stuff you don't want me to see. Now type in explanations that say what you're doing and what you're getting out. Also, type in whether your work was a success (did it do what you expected to do/what you were asked to do) or a failure (what did you expect it to do/what is it doing that concerns you).

When you have edited all three files, print them out and hand them in.

You should hand in something that demonstrates understanding (when you understand something) rather than a list of cryptic numbers.

NOTE: if you work on 9_17_N1 one day and want to work on it some more later, then just type "diary 9_17_N1" again on the second day. Your second day's work will be tacked on to the tail of the first day's work.

NOTE: if your session includes commands that end with a semi-colon ";" then those parts will not appear on the screen, and hence will not appear in the file either.