Lab Groups:
Last year (Semester 1 2012-13) I taught:
  • Catch-Up Class: Wednesdays, 14:15-15:05, 2E 1.14
  • Roaming Tutor: Fridays, 08:15-09:05, 2E 1.14
  • Group 3.5: Fridays, 09:15-10:05, 2E 1.14
  • Group 5.3: Fridays, 15:15-16:05, 2E 1.14

Last year (Semester 2 2012-13) I taught:
  • Group 2.2: Fridays, 09:15-10:05, 2E 1.14
  • Group 3.2: Fridays, 13:15-14:05, 2E 1.14
  • Roaming Tutor: Fridays, 14:15-15:05, 2E 1.14
An Introduction to XX10190
You'll probably find that XX10190 is unlike any course you've taken whilst at High School or College. In fact, XX10190 is pretty different from any course you will take whilst studying here at the University of Bath too. This is partly down to the course being jointly run between the Maths Department and Computer Science Department. It is also partly due to the forward-thinking idea that learning maths and coding (in our case through MATLAB) concurrently is a fantastic idea.

So how does the course work? You will have lectures with two faculty members: Professor Davenport will concentrate on the coding aspects of the course whilst Professor Spence or Professor Sankaran will concentrate on the mathematical side of things. Each week you will also have a practical lab session with one of the Postgraduate tutors (in your case, with me!) in one of the University's computer labs.

As with all University-level course, the onus is on you to make sure you do all the work required to understand the material and pass the course. For XX10190 there are a variety of facets to this work:
  • Lectures: You will have lectures from both Professor Davenport and Professor Spence/Sankaran. Obviously, every effort should be made to attend every lecture. Although lecture notes may be provided, I would recommend taking your own notes as well to help you with your understanding of the material.
  • Tickables: Tickables are practical problems set by Professor Davenport that are marked during the lab sessions each week. Each tickable will require you to write one (or sometimes mutiple) function(s) to solve a specific problem. This function will then be tested by a tutor during your next lab session and, if successful and well-commented, you will gain a 'tick'. Although a 'tick' does not directly count towards your grade, if you do not get a certain proportion of ticks your coursework mark will be curbed to a maximum of less than 100%.
    Tickable Deadlines: Tickable n will be 'ticked' in the lab session on the Friday of week n+1 (for example, Tickable 3 should be completed during weeks 3 and 4, and will be ticked in the lab on Friday Week 4).
  • Problem Sheets: These are mathematical worksheets set by Professor Spence/Sankaran, designed to help your mathematical understanding of the course. You should write up you solutions (legibly!) to the problems in a clear and concise manner. Unlike some maths problems in high school, for most of these problems it is the method that is important, and not the answer you get at the end. In fact, for many problems you won't actually have an answer per se, but rather a proof or function you have written out.
    Problem Sheet Deadlines: Problem Sheet n should be written up and handed in to my pigeonhole (marked "XX10190 DAVID" on level 1 of 4W) by Thursday 5.15pm in week n+1. I will then grade it and hand it back to you in the lab on Friday of week n+2 (for example, Problem Sheet 3 should be handed in by Thursday of Week 4 and will be handed back to you on Friday of Week 5).
  • Coursework, Class Tests and Examinations: You will be assessed throughout your course by a combination of pieces of coursework (writing functions for a given problem), a class test (given in the computer lab at the start of Semester 2), and written examinations in the exam periods. I will provide more information about these nearer the time!
All of these are important to your understanding and need to be completed to pass the course.

The first thing you should do if you have any problems or questions about the course is to e-mail me. I can normally reply pretty quickly (within reason) and it's better than you staying confused for weeks on end! If a few people email me about the same issue I'll post an answer here in a "FAQs" section so everyone can read the answer.

Advanced Warning...
I will try to give advance warnings of any sessions when I may be absent (there will always be a substitute tutor) and how this may affect you.

You really need to work on the Tickable problems before the lab class. As the problems get harder it is infeasible to write the program and get it ticked all within a 50 minute class. Often an early submission on Moodle can be worth an extra tick (always useful!) and even if you can't finish a program in time for the Moodle deadline, it will make life much easier when the class starts if you start with half-completed code rather than no code whatsoever.

As always, if you have any major problems with the Tickable whilst working on it before class then please email me.

Anything Else?
Let me know if you want anything else on here - this page is for your benefit!