Class Policy


Professional presentation of homework assignments is required.

Professional presentation consists of neat and organized solution of problems on one side of 8.5"x11" papers.

Any homework not complying with professional standards will not be graded and will be assigned zero credit. The homework assignments are due one week after they are assigned. Late homework assignments will not be accepted.


Assignments involving the creation of Matlab and Javascript programs will be an important component of the course. Ample time for their completion will be given. The format for handing in programming assignments is:

  1. A complete listing of the program,
  2. A listing of the input,
  3. A listing of the program output.

The grading of programs will be based on the accuracy of the results, the programming techniques used to obtain the solutions, and the ease of understanding of the output, and of course, programming documentation.


All computer programs must be well documented. Documentation includes a description of purpose of the main program. Often it is a good idea to label the input and output parameters from each function. Consider, for example, the following MATLAB function:

    function  [mean, stdev] = stat(x)    

    % STAT  Mean and standard deviation    
    %      For a vector x, stat(x) returns the     
    %      mean and standard deviation of  x.    
    %      For a matrix x, stat(x) returns two row vectors containing,    
    %      respectively, the mean and standard deviation of each column.    

    [m  n] = size(x);    
    if m == 1    
       m = n;     % handle case of a row vector     
    mean = sum(x)/m;    
    stdev = sqrt(sum(x.^ 2)/m - mean.^2);

General Advise

Good programming logic is more easily acquired after you have obtained a good general knowledge a language's syntax. So spend some extra time early in the semester to learn the syntax of Matlab.

And don't leave assignments to the last minute, especially the computer programs!

The concepts in this course are rather straightforward; however, significant amounts of time may still be required to solve problems and write computer programs.


Academic integrity is the foundation for learning. The University of Maryland has approved a code of academic integrity that prohibits students from cheating on exams, plagarizing papers (this includes computer software), buying papers, submitting fraudulent documents and forging signatures.

Copyright © 2007, Mark Austin, Department of Civil/Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland